Sunday, January 09, 2011

Denis O'Brien

Denis O'Brien is somewhat of a legend in the telecommunications industry. Having been the driving force behind Esat Digifone before its takeover by BT, he moved his interests to the Caribbean, setting up Digicel which has been successful in many markets. In particular, it's the dominant mobile network in Haiti.

This morning's Observer has a fascinating article about Denis O'Brien's work over the last year to rebuild the iconic Iron Market in Port-au-Prince, inviting the original traders back to take up their stalls on the eve of the first anniversary of the destructive earthquake that has left 1 million people still living in refugee camps.

The article is well worth a read.

Behind the symbol of progress - and symbols can be terrifically important - it raises questions about the priority of aid and rebuilding efforts, and the way that the local administration organises itself.

h/t to Wiseguyrussell for the link.

Update - 29 January - new post about documentary on BBC Two about the rebuilding.

No comments: