The Impact of the Internet on Developing Countries

The Ashaninka Village

Last year, Red Científica Peruana (RCP), the Canadian government, and a local branch of Telfonica, Peru's largest telephone company, combined their efforts to bring a video conferencing system (a generator, computer, television, and satellite) to the remote villiage of Ashaninka in Marankiari, Peru. The Ashaninkan tribal leader Oswaldo Rosas and five other tribal heads received eight weeks of computer training in everything from web development to word processing [1].

Since then, the tribe has used the equipment to sell their organic oranges to buyers in Lima and provide high school classes to the tribe's children. One of the tribe's "young leaders" is now attending a Lima university [1].

While this case is quite extraordinary, it illsutrates the culture of optimism that permeates the Peruvian countryside. One 43-year-old Ashaninkan woman commented, "I guess we are a lost generation already. But if my prayers are answered, my children won't be" [q. 1].

The tribes web site is available at

Argentina's NetKiosk

The Argentinian start-up illustrates what may be a new model for Latin American technology entrepreneurship. Rather than offering a web service to be accessed from a personal computer, NetKiosk set up public internet "kiosks" all over Buenos Aires.

Likewise, the individual kisoks are managed by local entrepreneurs. According to Terrance Danial, one of the founders, "Franchising our 'NetKiosks' leverages local entrepreneurial spirit and builds local commercial infrastructure that allows other entrepreneurs to reap the rewards of their hard work" [3].

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  1. Faiola, Anthony and Stephen Buckley. "Poor in Latin America Embrace Net's Promise." Washington Post. 2000 July 9: A01.
  2. Mangurian, David. "Internet for the People." Inter-American Development Bank Web Site.
  3. Krochmal, Lisa. "Can the Venture Capital Model Work for Latin America?" Comments on Argentine Trade. Argentina American Chamber of Commerce.