GOA, India, 21 August 2005
APC, the network of civil society organisations pushing for a pro-people thrust for the internet and ICTs (information and communication technologies), is gearing up for participation in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). This UN-sponsored conference about information and communication gets underway later this year.
The summit happens twice: its first part took place in December 2003 in Geneva. Phase two will take place in November 2005 in Tunis. (Photo shows APC’s stand at the Geneva summit in 2003.)
In early August, APC finalised its proposal for exhibition space at the Tunis WSIS summit.
There, APC will feature projects from around the globe. It will be joined by several of its members — including ALIN-East Africa, BlueLink (Bulgaria), Computer Aid (UK), Foundation for Media Alternatives (Philippines), Instituto del Tercer Mundo (Uruguay), and the South African SANGONeT, Ungana-Afrika and Women’sNet.
Book launches planned for Tunis include the release of a practical user guide for implementing ICT4D in Africa, another focussing on ICT4D experiences from East Africa, the WSIS briefing papers collection and the popular ‘ICT policy for beginners’ handbook in Spanish.
Audio-visual presentations planned are to focus on communication rights in Asia; threats to privacy in South Korea; telecentres in Brazil; transparency in local government and NGOs in Colombia and Bulgaria; and IT in the Australian outback.
In a section focussing on ICT policy, APC will look at monitoring ICT policy developments in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean; animating ICT policy actions in six African nations through CATIA (Catalysing Access to Technology in Africa); and its new ICT policy portal GenderIT.org.
APC’s focus on capacity-building in ICTs will include information dissemination in rural Uganda; responding to the civil society capacity-building crisis through ‘eRiding’; GEM, a tool used for evaluating and planning ICT initiatives for gender equality; the multimedia training toolkits and Itrainonline.org; capacity building for wireless connectivity
in Africa; and network facilitation in the APC.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is a network of civil society organisations promoting ICTs for social justice and sustainable development. APC members were often the first to provide email to civil society in their countries in the late 80s and early 90s. Today, this network continue to pioneer practical uses of ICTs, especially in the ‘developing’ countries.
APC is an international facilitator of civil society’s engagement with ICTs, holds UN Category 1 Consultative Status since 1995 and is represented on the UN ICT Task Force. Its strong mix of Southern and Northern members from five continents, and their combined knowledge and experience of promoting and using ICTs at local, national and regional levels, makes APC stand out from the crowd.