State encourages use of tech in solving world problems

Tuesday - 10/19/2010, 3:53pm EDT

The State Department wants to expand the use of technology in solving the world's problem..

In a speech last week to San Francisco's Commonwealth, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the audience of tech experts, "The new communication tools that you and I use as a matter of course are helping to connect and empower civil society leaders, democracy activists, and everyday citizens. We need your help," according to an article in Fast Company.

The idea of using technology to solve social problems is already in practice with the Apps 4 Africa contest, which State helps fund. According to the website, local developers in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania use digital tools to address community challenges, including health care, education, government transparency and election monitoring.

This year's Apps 4 Africa winner tracked the fertility of cows, the BBC reports. The app -- called iCow - helps cow farmers maximize breeding potential by tracking fertility cycles.

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