APC Annual Report 2007 – Building and strengthening networks for accessible, affordable, equal access to the internet

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By KAH for APCNews

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 31 July 2008

Wireless networking in Bolivia. Photo: Freddy BohorquezWireless networking in Bolivia. Photo: Freddy Bohorquez “APC is striving to build a more just, plural and sustainable world. One that is richer in diversity through networks facilitated by technology,” says APC’s chair Danilo Lujambio, in his introduction to the APC Annual Report 2007.

In existence as a virtual community since 1990, APC’s leitmotif is building and strengthening online networks for social change. The 2007 annual report describes the challenges encountered building networks to influence international internet policy so that more people have reliable and affordable access to the internet, networks of technicians who are taking wireless to parts of Latin America where there’s no internet, and networks of women concerned about keeping the internet safe but not censored.

Diversity of tactics, diversity in action

In Africa, networking with academia, the media, government regulators and others, APC challenged the monopoly control of submarine cable which sets the prohibitive access costs currently paid on the continent.

In Latin America, APC saw the fruits of a transatlantic network of community wireless activists which had started in Africa and inspired a Latin American version, training almost a hundred technicians from indigenous associations to national banks to set up internet connections where there was previously no infrastructure.

For the second year, the Take Back the Tech! campaign took place in more then ten countries, spreading to new regions as an original tool to fight violence against women, and sparking the attention of the media internationally.

To strengthen diversity, APC invested in making even more materials, news articles and publications about internet-for-development and internet rights available in different languages. APC’s policy network alone published the APC Internet Rights Charter in eighteen languages including Albanian, Hausa (lingua franca in West and Central Africa), Khmer and Urdu.

APC, the networked association, sets new strategic priorities 2008-2012

Many people ask if APC is a network or an organisation. In reality we are both. The APC membership is, in itself, composed of organisations working in their own countries to advance the same mission as APC – to facilitate the use of internet for social justice and sustainable development. Together the members establish the APC network’s strategic priorities every five years. In November 2007, they set the action areas for the network for the period 2008-2012. These priorities are laid out in the 2007 report.

As usual the report features stories and pictures from the members of the APC network on five continents, including:

  • ALTERNATIVES, Canada: First independent study on internet infrastructure in Africa’s third largest nation
  • BYTES FOR ALL, South Asia: Pakistan’s ICT policy in the spotlight
  • ITEM, Uruguay: Blogging on the impact of multilateral finance institutions
  • UNGANA-AFRIKA, South Africa: Connecting rural paralegal advice offices
  • ZAMIRNET, Croatia: Making e-government accessible

“2007 was a year full of life. A life built in a network,” says Lujambio – who is from Argentina and whose organisation joined the APC network in 2001. “[The APC is] a network that speaks different languages, that is nourished by different cultures, but which always tries to contribute a view from those with less. A network that seeks to unite and achieve a consensus of voices in national and international arenas in order to bring influence to bear, but which also stands with grassroots groups, rural communities and the most disadvantaged sectors, with the hope that the internet can help build a more equitable world.”

The report will be available in French, Spanish and Urdu in August.

Open the APC Annual Report 2007 [2.6 Mb]
To receive a hard copy of the report in English or Urdu, write to Karen Higgs, APC’s communications manager khiggs@apc.org.

(END/2008)

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