TechWeb's Internet Evolution Premiers Ground-Breaking Documentary, Highlighting the Critical Importance of the Internet in the Republic of Rwanda

Dec 3, 2008

Last night at an invitation-only screening at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab, TechWeb's Internet Evolution (, a Web 2.0 site dedicated to investigating the future of the Internet, premiered a ground-breaking documentary examining how the Republic of Rwanda is attempting to use the Internet to re-invent its economy and lift its population out of poverty. The video is part of Internet Evolution's ongoing "Web Wide World" global documentary series that looks at how countries around the world use the Internet to better their societies and the lives of their citizens.

"Rwanda is a place that's infamous for the appalling genocide that took place there less than 15 years ago, but now it wants to be famous for something else -- as the commercial hub of sub-Saharan Africa. And Rwanda's government views the Internet as absolutely critical to making that happen," said Stephen Saunders, founder of Internet Evolution, and the documentary's presenter. "This documentary provides a unique insight into its progress in meeting its goals -- goals that are especially vital given the current events in that region."

The documentary tells Rwanda's story through interviews with its population, including a former commander of the FDLR, a notorious Hutu militia that is currently embroiled in the fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who is now attempting to rebuild his life by studying the Internet at the Kigali Institute of Technology in the capital of Rwanda. The documentary also looks at the growth of the cellphone-based Internet in the neighboring Congo. And it features extraordinary footage of Rwanda's endangered mountain gorillas -- including the moment when a 450-pound silverback gorilla charged Saunders during the filming of the documentary.

An Internet entrepreneur and technology journalist, Saunders was the co-founder, president, and CEO of Light Reading (, an online startup, which was sold to United Business Media in 2005. Saunders has received industry recognition for his work, including six Jesse H. Neal Editorial Achievement Awards, and has also authored two books: The Data Communications Gigabit Ethernet Handbook (McGraw-Hill, 1998) and The McGraw-Hill High-Speed LANs Handbook (McGraw-Hill, 1995). Most recently, Saunders has traveled the globe discovering how the Internet is changing people and cultures. Through real-world examples and anecdotes garnered through this epic journey, Saunders's program reveals how the Internet is as varied as the countries using it and is playing a vital role in improving the quality of life for the world's population. Saunders chronicles the use of the Internet in an engaging, straightforward approach with an irreverent tone.

Previously, the "Web Wide World" video series traveled to Iceland, India, London, and Warsaw. Following is background information and links to the videos:

-- Rwanda: Internet Evolution examines Rwanda's progress to date in using the Internet to move directly from an agrarian society to a knowledge-based economy. (

-- Iceland: Iceland wants to become the No. 1 destination for companies to outsource their green IT data centers. (

-- India: Internet Evolution visits India, where the Internet is as varied and exciting as the country itself. (

-- London: London, Europe's largest capital city, is home to a slew of innovative Internet apps. (

-- Warsaw: The Internet's influence is strong in Poland's capital city -- with the significant growth of citizen journalism and ecommerce opportunities. (

Internet Evolution has been received enthusiastically by millions of viewers. In addition to videos, Internet Evolution offers more than one hundred world-famous Internet experts through its ThinkerNet blogosphere, where they blog and interact with the site's audience via message boards. Contributors include authors, entertainment executives, musicians, economists, politicians, CIOs, investors, activists, and Internet entrepreneurs. Internet Evolution also features investigative reports and user-generated content facilitated via the latest Web 2.0 technology.

About Internet Evolution

Internet Evolution hosts more than 100 world-famous Internet experts -- such as Kevin Mitnick, once the most-wanted computer hacker in the world; Dr. Lawrence Roberts, inventor of packet switching, and one of the world's foremost authorities on telecom network architectures; Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google; Craig Newmark, the founder of; Paul Mockapetris, inventor of the Domain Name System (DNS); Howard Schmidt, former White House cybersecurity adviser; and Andrew Keen, author of Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet is killing our culture -- all of whom are addressing today's critical socio-economic issues within the site's ThinkerNet blogosphere. Internet Evolution also offers broadcast-quality broadband video documentaries and interviews; investigative reports; and user-generated content facilitated via the latest Web 2.0 technology.

About TechWeb

TechWeb, the global leader in business technology media, is an innovative business focused on serving the needs of technology decision-makers and marketers worldwide. TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed media brands in the business technology market. Today, more than 13.3 million* business technology professionals actively engage in our communities created around our global face-to-face events Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat and VoiceCon; online resources such as the TechWeb Network, Light Reading, Intelligent Enterprise,,, and The Financial Technology Network; and the market leading, award-winning InformationWeek, TechNet Magazine, MSDN Magazine, Wall Street & Technology magazines. TechWeb also provides end-to-end services ranging from next-generation performance marketing, integrated media, research, and analyst services.

  *13.3 million business decision-makers: based on # of monthly connections

  About United Business Media Limited (

United Business Media Limited (UBM) is a global media and marketing services company that informs markets and brings the world's buyers and sellers together at events, online, in print, and with the information they need to do business successfully. UBM serves professional and commercial communities, from IT professionals to doctors, from journalists to jewelry dealers, from farmers to pharmacists around the world. UBM employs more than 6,500 people in more than 30 countries. UBM's businesses operating in the US include CMPMedica, Commonwealth Business Media, Everything Channel, PR Newswire, RISI, TechInsights, TechWeb and Think Services. UBM is listed on the London Stock Exchange (UBM.L) and has a market capitalization of $1.6 billion.

  Alix Raine
  United Business Media
  516 562 7827

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SOURCE: Internet Evolution

CONTACT: Alix Raine of United Business Media, +1-516-562-7827,

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