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Older Execs Join Techie Youths

e-Briefing

August 16, 2001|ASSOCIATED PRESS

First came the International Executive Service Corps, a group that shipped retired U.S. businessmen to poor countries to help small businesses grow into large ones.

Then came Geekcorps, an organization that sent young technologists to Ghana to install computer networks and train businesses to use them.

Now, the two nonprofit groups have announced that they will join forces, pairing "geezers and geeks" to try to stem the growing gap in technology between rich and poor countries.

"We both believe that the way you solve economic development problems is by creating jobs," said Ethan Zuckerman, the 28-year-old chief executive of Geekcorps (http://www.geekcorps.org), his cowboy boots contrasting with the seersucker suit of Hobart Gardiner, the 72-year-old president of IESC (http://www.iesc.org).

Both groups style themselves as Peace Corps-type operations, one distributing information technology, the other handling business development.

The two groups plan to focus initial efforts on developing Ghana's information technology sector, marshaling 21 Geekcorps and six IESC volunteers to build computer networks and train employees in 50 Ghanaian companies.

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