Aleph Molinari, founder of Fundación Proacceso ECO, speaks to Brian Pellot about why his Mexico-based non-profit organisation promotes information and communication technologies for development and why the internet should be considered a basic right.
The Fundación Proacceso ECO was established in 2008 with the aim of decreasing Mexico’s technological divide. By the end of its first year, Aleph Molinari’s initiative had reached 63,000 users. Fundación Proacceso initially focused on urban areas to maximise impact and use resources in an optimal way (2mins 40secs). The Foundation has a very successful programme for children that focuses on computer literacy, maths, reading and English as well as educational video games (5mins 15secs). Creating courses for adults has enabled women to engage with their children and society (3mins 50secs). Molinari says that for every dollar the Foundation invests, there is a return of $1.84 in terms of social and economic benefits (6mins 10secs). As more government resources are digitised in Mexico, people without access to computers struggle to fulfil their democratic duties. In that regards, Molinari considers access to the internet and technologies a right. (7mins 10secs). “As everything become digital, if we do not have a society that can participate in that, we are excluding them. If we do not give people the ‘right’ to access the internet and technologies, the people without access will become increasingly marginalised,” he argues (8mins 20secs). Molinari does not believe that cultural imperialism is good justification to deny people technologies (10mins 35secs). He believes that Free Speech Debate’s first draft principle – and the right to be free and able to communicate – implies a right for internet access that enables citizens and breaks down borders (11mins 30secs).