Web Foundation - which today announced two new projects.Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the Web, has embarked on a trip through Africa on behalf of the non-profit
The Web Foundation exists to bridge the 'digital divide' in Internet usage. Only about 25% of the world population uses the Web today, however more than 70% of people have access to mobile or fixed communication devices capable of displaying Web content. According to the W3C, "the gap in Web usage is partly attributable to the lack of accessible or relatable content, and the lack of available training on how to use the Web to its full potential."
On his African trip, Berners-Lee will visit Kenya and Uganda. There he will meet with government leaders, development workers and educators to help support local Web initiatives - such as improving local health and education.
The Web Foundation was founded in 2008 by Tim Berners-Lee, with the aim of studying the Web and expanding access to the billions of people worldwide who aren't currently online. Today, the Web Foundation launched a fundraising campaign and announced two partnerships.
On the former, Web Foundation CEO Steve Bratt hopes to raise $10-20 million per year, much of which will be put towards programs that train people to use the Web.
One of the partnerships is with the University Amsterdam in the Netherlands, which aims to expedite "re-greening" initiatives throughout the African continent. The other partnership is with the CDI (Center for Digital Inclusion), a social enterprise based in Brazil dedicated to educating disadvantaged youth about information technologies. The Web Foundation and CDI plan to develop training programs to teach young people how to create accessible Web content.
It's interesting to note that many of the Web Foundation initiatives have a big Mobile Web component. In the CDI partnership, Web-based applications are being created that will be "mobile ready." Accessibility is also a key aspect of these projects. The CDI web apps will integrate voice and graphical elements.
In a previous trip to Africa in September, Tim Berners-Lee visited Ghana to meet with officials and educators. He's currently at the 2009 Internet Governance Forum in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt - where he made today's announcements. Starting next week, Berners-Lee will travel to Kenya and Uganda.