In northern Mali, out beyond the famously remote Timbuktu, distances are vast and communication difficult. National borders often are less than lines in the sand, and the rule of law just a vague idea. In this power vacuum, bandits still hijack convoys, Tuareg stage rebellions, and terrorist organizations can take root and train.
Yet one brave organization is connecting remote Malian communities to reduce the threat of banditry or worse. Geekcorps Mali is building links between caravans, villagers, and local government – with information and communication technologies.
Geekcorps Mali has developed an innovative ICT intervention that marries FM radio broadcasting with Internet-enabled computers and digital audio recording to give a voice to local communities. The radio stations have become beacons of objective information and a de-facto early warning system for northern Mali and even the country as a whole.