The Digital Planet team travels to Cape Town in South Africa to explore the innovations in, and development of, technology that helps to improve people’s lives.
There’s news on the growth of open source tools such as Ubuntu, including an interview with Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, and a demonstration in the biggest shopping mall of the Freedom Toaster which allows shoppers to download free open source software onto CDs and memory sticks.
Gareth also hears about another Shuttleworth foundation project called Hip to be Square which is using technology to promote science to youngsters.
Mixit, the most popular platform on mobile phones is something of a local phenomenon, with 21 million users out of a population of 47 million. Gareth discovers the secrets of this South African answer to Facebook.
Gareth visits Rlabs, an organisation which is using technology to help reform drug users and gang members. He talks to former and current gang members.
Gareth also visits the latest internet café to open in the township of Khayelitsha usually overlooked by IT innovators and the state telecom company which refuses to provide broadband cables to this ghetto for fear of the cables being ripped up and stolen. In contract to this, two brothers, local to Khayelitsha, have formed the company Silulo that has now opened its 8th internet café. Silulo is providing residents in the township with affordable internet facilities, and IT lessons.
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First broadcast: Tuesday 24 Mar 2009 on BBC World Service