“I think it is a great opportunity for linking millions of people to share information, ideas as well as network on serious global challenges”. With this quote, Maureen Agena, information and networking officer in Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), answered Newstime Africa when she was asked about her opinion on Global Pulse 2010. Global Pulse 2010 is a three-day global conversation based online where people around the world sit down in front of their computers to participate in the first virtual conference in history. Participants registered themselves and were received tickets via their emails confirming that they are invited to attend the event. Since last Sunday, all participants joined the international conference and engaged in with one another to share, exchange, and express their opinions, ideas, and solutions to the most problematic issues that face humanity.
The global dialogue consists of ten forums about women, partnership, citizenship, economics, sustainable development, education, human rights, health, technology, and world challenges. African problems and challenges are tackled in many forums; however, Maureen Agena in her interview with Newstime Africa said that “African challenges have just been highlighted by mainly the African participants. The reason for this is because the discussion topics did not limit the participants to African challenges but rather global challenges”.
The event is a collaboration opportunity launched by the US government and sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). In his speech to launch Global Pulse 2010 in Rabat, Samuel Kaplan, the US Ambassador in Morocco, mentioned Barak Obama’s creativity to use technology to effectively communicate with all societies to solve world problems. “I don’t believe we ever had a leader in America who is able to do that to the extent that he is”, the US Ambassador said. He added that the US used to develop technology to be better than other nations, but, according to Samuel Kaplan, the US now develops technology to collaborate with the others.
Global Pulse 2010 is also an opportunity for developing countries’ voices to be heard and messages to be sent to the governments. African participants in the event share many solutions and suggestions to develop the continent. When Newstime Africa asked Mauren Agena what she wants to tell her government through Global Pulse 2010, she said “That Women in Uganda still lag behind in all areas right from the political, social, and economic angles. That better approaches should be put in place to address the problems women face in Uganda. They should include ICTs, Digital and New media to solve some of these problems and bridge the gap”.
Karima Ghanem to Newstime Africa: “Global Pulse 2010 from Talk to Action”
As the world has witnessed lately global clashes and misunderstandings, the three-day virtual event Global Pulse 2010, which is the first in history, came as an international dialogue to seek mutual understanding between nations and share their ideas to solve the problems facing humanity. Newstime Africa interviewed Karime Rhanem, the Development Outreach and Communication Specialist in the US Agency for International Development USAID/Rabat and the forum coordinator for Global Pulse 2010 in Morocco.
Newstime Africa: What is Global Pulse 2010?
Karima Rhanem: Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched Global Pulse 2010, an online collaboration event that aims to bring together thousands of engaged participants from around the world. Discussions focused on ten hot-button issues facing the global community such as science and technology, economic opportunity, and human development. Even before the end of the Global Pulse, this online platform has drawn over 14,000 total logins from participants in over 158 countries actively participating.
Newstime Africa: How was Global Pulse 2010 initiated?
Karima Rhanem: Global Pulse 2010 was conceptualized in President Obama’s “New Beginning” speech at the University of Cairo where he articulated a vision of building substantive global partnerships. During the speech President Obama proclaimed “All things must be done in partnership.” He added, “There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from one another, and to seek common ground.” In response, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) led Global Pulse 2010 as a part of the President’s overall Global Engagement Directorate.
Newstime Africa: Who is invited to join the Global Pulse 2010 event?
Karima Rhanem: Governments, civil society organizations, universities, private sector organizations, youth and women focused groups, and relevant online communities. The Global Pulse 2010 team has reached out to a wide range of stakeholders with various experiences, interests, cultures, and geographic locations to ensure diversity.
Newstime Africa: What are the objectives of Global Pulse 2010?
Karima Rhanem: The objectives of the global Pulse are to demonstrate the U.S. Government commitment to President Obama’s Global Engagement vision of moving forward in partnership, listening to one another, and finding common ground. This initiative also aims at obtaining different perspectives, ideas and suggestions from a diverse set of global stakeholders that could be translated into actionable programs and policies depending on the quality of ideas produced during the discussions. Also, Global Pulse seeks to enable participants to connect, mobilize, inspire, and use this opportunity to also identify local solutions and ideas and to take GP2010 from talk to action in their communities.
Newstime Africa: What can you say about the Moroccan participation in particular and African participation in general?
Karima Rhanem: The Moroccan participation was commendable. Hundreds of Moroccans took part in the discussions. The topics which interested them the most as far as I can see are: empowering women and girls, enabling education, inspiring a new generation, exercising political and civil rights, and advancing entrepreneurship, trade and economic opportunity. Regarding African participation, we got participants from over 40 countries who are more or else interested in the same issues. Accurate statistics will be provided after the event.
Newstime Africa: In your opinion, how can Global Pulse 2010 serve in the development of Africa?
Karima Rhanem: USAID is committed to listening, engaging, and partnering with people and organizations throughout Africa. We believe that we can develop better development programs in partnership with local stakeholders.
Newstime Africa: After almost Three days now, how can you evaluate this event?
Karima Rhanem: There have been extremely active, engaged participants from over 158 countries dialoguing around 10 global issues. We believe this is the beginning of an engagement process, and we look forward to continuing the conversation and partnership. We are also excited to create opportunities for people to engage with each other in sharing ideas and providing feedback. We encourage Global Pulse participants to join the Global Pulse facebbook group at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Global-Pulse-2010/327872951484 and USAID/Morocco facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/USAID-Morocco/118936419368?ref=ts
Newstime Africa: Do you think that three days are enough for people around the world to participate effectively in Global Pulse 2010?
Karima Rhanem: GP2010 is the beginning of a process, and USAID and the USG partners will stay engaged and plugged in with the participants. We hope the participants will keep the conversation going on our Facebook page and there will be other opportunities for people to voice their opinion/ideas in the future. The conversations on the 10 issues will continue in our social media pages even after the end of the forum.
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