Friday, June 20, 2008

BDPA IT Corps Unveiled at Leon Sullivan Summit in Tanzania

The BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) provided grant funding to empower BDPA's efforts to establish itself on the on the global landscape. BDPA will unveil its Information Technology (IT) Corps at the Leon H. Sullivan Economic Summit, an annual economic development conference being held in Arusha, Tanzania.

“This is our response to a rapidly globalizing world, and we are taking our place in it”, remarked Norman Mays as he prepared for the trip this week. Mays, an entrepreneur and past national president of BDPA serves as the first Executive Director of the IT Corps initiative. Similar to the Peace Corps, BDPA's IT Corps will send teams of young adults on technology-based community service missions in the United States and to targeted locations abroad, particularly Africa. Mays added that “….this is an exciting new journey and we hope to engage many of the (30) African countries that have already showed interest and will be represented at the conference.”

In the near future, IT Corps members will assist students in African countries to review existing civic priorities and jointly devise technology based solutions that are locally effective and globally relevant. Dr. Demo Solaru, the IT Corps's Director of International Relations from BDPA Cleveland chapter, will participate on this trip also. An African immigrant, he maintains that “……Africa is ripe for this initiative - capacity building, knowledge sharing and transfer - our youth have the most fertile minds. In the United States, they have already showed us what's possible. In an interconnected world, this is the logical next level.”

The premise of the Leon H. Sullivan Summit is socio-economic development in Africa through foreign direct investment. A specific area of interest to BDPA is the summit's stated objective to advance information technology through regional economic community discussions. BDPA's IT Corps student teams will be doing just that - sharing the many skills learned in BDPA's mentoring, competition and technology education initiatives in the United States with colleagues in Africa and around the world, and applying these skills to real world problems.

The first student teams should deploy as early as summer 2009. What are your thought of the BDPA IT Corps concept?


POPS said...

now that's innovative

emi said...

good job,, owh

Villager said...

Pops & Emi - I'm hopeful that we can get Norm Mays or Dr. Solaru to come by and provide first-hand information for our consideration. Stay tuned...