Let us start by claiming that information technology, and in particular the Internet, should be available to all peoples in their own mother tongue, whatever that might be, however small the population of mother tongue speakers might be. Information technology must move to meet the user community and provide all its services fully localised, working in the local languages and according to local cultural conventions. That this is desirable is not universally shared. Is the localisation of IT to all languages and cultures, however small, a reasonable ideal objective? Communities using localised information technology will be enabled by information technology to develop their communities in whatever way they see appropriate. But today we live in a globalising world, with the expectation that if peoples are to prosper they must participate in the global economy. Information technology is seen as a critical ingredient of this new global economy (eg Cassels 1996). The global and the local could be in conflict. James Wolfensohn, the President of the World Bank, in his foreword to the 1999-2000 World Development Report “Entering the 21 st Century ” writes: “Globalisation is praised for bringing new opportunities for expanded markets and th
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