Rwanda seems to be the odd place to go if you want to see how classical capitalism is working hand in hand with some form of grass-root initiative. Yet it is there, right in the heart of Africa, where a genocide decimated millions that a company called Terracom is currently changing the livelihoods of thousands.
Greg Wyler, an American entrepreneur wants to make Rwanda the next big IT thing in Africa and he's putting the money where his mouse is. Not only is he selling broadband relatively cheap, let alone provide it - £40 may seems a lot but it includes landline and already thousands are using either the broadband services or the dial up one.
Mind you, we are talking of a country where standards of living are nearer to Biafra than to UK but still it is a venture that deserves to be mentioned. The Register's article (opens in new tab) also mentions the contribution of Sun Microsystems which will put 20,000 (paid-for) thin client computers into hundreds of schools and an innovative solar power plant that should power the whole thing. Plus hundreds of kilometers of cables have already been laid.
As the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (opens in new tab) is putting hundreds of hours of high quality, content rich videos of its courses online together with Podcasts, as tools like Bittorrent propagate culture and knowledge around the world, Wyler and its associates are doing their little bit to bridge the technology gap between the very rich and the very poor.