UN-Supported African Education Initiative Launched
Supported by GALA and The Rosetta Foundation
Supported by GALA and The Rosetta Foundation
The University of Limerick (UL) in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) today launched a unique program: a Master of Science in Multilingual Computing and Localization to be delivered through distance learning and co-hosted by UNECA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As part of the Action for Global Information Sharing (AGIS) initiative, this program, dubbed AGIS Africa, aims to promote African languages in the information society. The program is supported by the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA), the world's largest localization industry trade association, and The Rosetta Foundation, which supports the exchange of information and knowledge across the languages of the world.
Speaking at the launch, Ms. Aida Opoku-Mensah, Director ICT, UNECA, said, “Africa is the birthplace of humanity with over 3000 languages. However, less than 1% of these languages are used and represented in cyberspace, effectively excluding millions of Africans from participating effectively in the current information & knowledge society. This initiative can change all this.”
UL President Professor Don Barry added, “This is a wonderful partnership which will bring African students to Ireland and support a sustainable knowledge base in the vital area of digital information and knowledge exchange across countries, languages and cultures throughout the developing world.”
The exchange of information and knowledge on global networks is only possible if this information is available in the languages of the people who need it. Large amounts of content and many languages are still not represented in the digital world. AGIS Africa aims to help prevent large populations from being excluded from the digital world and thereby losing access to information they need to further their education, secure their economic future and look after their health.
GALA will provide business mentorship for the graduate students from Africa and contribute its vast localization industry experience to the program. Hans Fenstermacher, CEO of GALA, said, “GALA is excited to support this initiative. Making information globally accessible is a paramount mission of our industry, and to do that we need to connect and involve all countries and stakeholders. We look forward to building bridges between our member companies and partners in Africa through these students.”
The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) aims to be the voice for the language industry and a resource for the language business. The association supports its members and the language industry by creating communities, championing standards, sharing knowledge, and advancing technology. GALA is the world’s largest localization trade association with around 350 members. More information at www.gala-global.org
About The Rosetta Foundation
The Rosetta Foundation was established in 2009 to relieve poverty, support healthcare, develop education and promote justice through the exchange of information and knowledge across the languages of the world. The Foundation promotes Social Localization making vital information available to individuals all over the world irrespective of their social status, linguistic or cultural background, and geographical location.The Rosetta Foundation is a spin-off from the Localization Research Centre at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and the Centre for Next Generation Localization (CNGL), a major research initiative supported by the Irish Government. More information at www.TheRosettaFoundation.org
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) was established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN's five regional commissions. ECA's mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development. ECA is uniquely qualified to serve Africa. With its multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral character, the Commission serves as a vital bridge between African countries and their development partners. More information at www.uneca.org
About the University of Limerick
The University of Limerick (UL) with over 11,500 students and 1,300 staff is an energetic and enterprising institution with a proud record of innovation and excellence in education, research and scholarship. The dynamic, entrepreneurial and pioneering values which drive UL’s mission and strategy ensures that it capitalizes on local, national and international engagement and connectivity. UL is renowned for providing an outstanding student experience and conducting leading edge research. The University’s commitment is to make a difference by shaping the future through educating and empowering its students. UL is situated on a superb riverside campus of over 130 hectares with the River Shannon as a unifying focal point. The Localization Research Centre was established in 1995 and works with worldwide digital publishers and their partners who are interested in future technologies and processes for globalization, internationalization, localization and translation. It focuses its activities on the provision of relevant well-researched content rich information on future trends and technologies within a framework of a unique industry and academic collaboration which provides an unparalleled network of expertise. More information at www.ul.ie