The IntraHealth Open Initiative is a collaborative endeavor bringing together global leaders in music, technology and public health to foster a new generation of African IT developers and health workers who participate and lead in creating solutions to the biggest health crises using open source technology.
To raise awareness for this work we recently released a special album titled “OPEN Remix” featuring Grammy winning African superstar Youssou N’Dour’s song “Wake Up, It’s Africa Calling” reinterpreted by some of the top names in music. Nas, Peter Buck of R.E.M., Duncan Sheik, Mopreme Shakur, Q-Burns Abstract Message, Beef Wellington, Gavin Hardkiss, Afrissippi and Toubab Krewe with DJ Equal and Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets are among those who have joined in.
The songs are being released free, by major distributors, and on our website in the spirit of open source, under a creative commons license, to mirror the philosophy and mission of the initiative; that through sharing and collaboration, in music, technology or health, we can all make a great difference in the world.
We also launched a Global Remix Contest with Indaba Music inviting everyone to join in and remix the song using the same tracks made available to celebrity artists. Over 500 remixes were submitted from 21 countries. The general public and the Indaba community selected the top remixes over the last few weeks and the final selections were made by Youssou N’Dour, David Bither of Nonesuch Records and Toubab Krewe.
We decided to announce the winner at the 36th annual Global Health Council Conference in Washington DC taking place this week. This year’s focus is new technologies for health and global health leaders from around the world are gathering to discuss the implications of growing connectivity, technological innovation and mobile phone use in the developing world. We held the inaugural meeting of our OPEN Council, a team of luminaries in public health, entertainment and technology (including a representative from the ONE Campaign) concurrent with the Global Health Council to address key issues in open source collaborative approaches to solving global health challenges.
Afrissippi, Toubab Krewe, DJ Equal, Umar Bin Hassan and Indaba Music joined us for a special celebration and award ceremony at the conference and announced Studio Mali as the winner of the Global Remix Contest. You can listen to their version here. We congratulate Studio Mali and thank all of the people who shared their time and artistry to support this work.
Supporting African technology professionals, eHealth workers, and national leaders who understand, use, and support open technologies to improve health is essential. When there is a critical mass of connectivity the benefits of a network grow larger than its costs. Capacity increases as people share and expand their knowledge and their collective experience, and open source allows for that kind of large scale collaboration. We have chosen to put significant resources into open source technology for years because of it’s great and inclusive potential for creativity and increased local leadership and innovation.
For us it’s not about technology alone, it’s about people, communities, and the processes that are going to lead to efficient and sustainable global health results.
-Pape Gaye, President and CEO IntraHealth International