GOA, India, 30 January 2006
APC-member WOUGNET in Uganda was one of the organisers of a conference in mid-December, on a post-World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) consolidation for Uganda.
Held on December 14, 2005, the conference was co-organised by the Uganda Communication Commission, I-network, Collegium for Development Studies and Uppsala University of Sweden.
Overall, the Uganda conference aimed at strengthening what happened at WSIS and finding a concrete way forward to meet the WSIS targets at the national level. Specially, by way of establishing national priorities and benchmarks.
[The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was a series of UN-sponsored conferences about information and communication that took place between 2000 and 2005. One of its chief aims was to bridge the so-called "digital divide" separating rich countries from poor countries by spreading access to the internet in the developing world.]
By the end of the post-WSIS Uganda conference, the pre-WSIS task force was adopted to oversee the initial two-year implemetation strategy and action plan. It was equally agreed that the task force increases its current depth of membership.
Said a report posted on the Uppsala University site: "More than seventy participants, representing government, private sector, and civil society attended the workshop."
This workshop aimed at widening the in-country discussion and engagement in information society policy issues and the WSIS process with special attention paid to Uganda’s way forward, i.e. finding concrete ways forward and establishing national priorities and benchmarks to meet the WSIS targets at national level.
WOUGNET’s Dorothy Okello said in an email interview: "I think, for one thing, the WSIS was a good platform to get us working more with government, due to the multi-stakeholder nature on inputs and participation that was expected of the WSIS."
Okello said three WSIS-related events have been co-organised by WOUGNET with the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and the Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications.
"We also received support from the UCC for a video documentary on ‘Connecting the Unconnectable’ that we took to the WSIS," added Okello, who has been coordinator since May 2000 of the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET).
WOUGNET programme officer Milton Aineruhanga said, "The ‘ICT community’ in government, civil society and the private sector has been pushing for the inclusion of ICT in all aspects of socio-economic development and so the WSIS provided another avenue to leverage this campaign."
Aineruhanga added, "With specific regard to WOUGNET, our work around the WSIS has also improved the reputation of the organisation as a credible link partner between the government and the civil society."
A final report on this event is currently under preparation.