News

What is happening in Burma?

BURMA 2 October 2007

APC partners recommend reliable news sources for those following the Burma democracy and human right crisis. Check www.irrawaddy.org and www.mizzima.com for regular updates.

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Ungana-Afrika offers free capacity-building workshops

WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA 28 September 2007

Ungana-Afrika, with the support of OSISA, is hosting a selection of free workshops that help leaders of non-profit organisational communities understand and implement new models of technology support and capacity-building. Upcoming workshops will take place in Windhoek, Namibia on 17-18 October 2007.

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APC's executive director gives keynote at Web 2.0 for development conference

ROME, ITALY 26 September 2007 (Brenda Zulu)

Anriette Esterhuysen’s opener for the first "Web2fordev" conference taking place in Italy this week on video (the organisers have provided the video viewable in Internet Explorer only!).

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Open Institute featured in the International Herald Tribune: "Cambodians of post-Khmer Rouge era embrace new cultural revolution

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA 26 September 2007 (The Associated Press)

Increasingly, young, tech-savvy Cambodians are embracing blogs. The trend is changing their lives and their communication with people abroad — even as electricity remains an unreachable dream for most households in this poverty-ridden nation of 14 million. "This is a kind of cultural revolution now happening here in terms of self-expression," said Norbert Klein, of the Open Institute, a close APC partner.

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APC member in Colombia nominated for best portal

BOGOTA, COLUMBIA 26 September 2007

APC member organization, Colnodo (cmsi.colnodo.apc.org), has been recognized by the Colombian Chamber of Informatics and Telecommunications for their outstanding ICT monitor portal. They have been nominated for best portal in the best online policy site category. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on 4 October 2007. [Spanish]

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Pakistan’s Draconian Electronic Crime Bill

PAKISTAN 24 September 2007 (Jehan Ara, Advisor P@SHA / Shahzad Ahmad, Bytesforall)

A controversial Electronic Crime Bill, drafted by The Ministry of IT & Telecom, Government of Pakistan, is currently being tabled in Parliament in advance of a vote. The bill has already been approved by Cabinet and could receive final approval as early as November. Critics say the Bill is draconian and lacks the safeguards to ensure the protection of civil liberties.

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Bangladesh: Government urged not to ink any deal with IMF

DHAKA, BANGLADESH 18 September 2007 (The Daily Star)

Speakers at a discussion in Dhaka on September 17 asked Bangadesh’s government not to sign any agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to protect the country’s interests. APC-member VOICE demanded transparency and accountability on the part of the government.

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Cambodia: KhmerOS to have a social impact

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA 18 September 2007 (Javier Sola)

The goal of the KhmerOS project is to produce the basic computer technology necessary for Cambodia to enter the age of technology. The requirements for this technology are clear: It must be in Khmer (Cambodian) language, sustainable, and well adapted to the socio-economic situation of the country. Cambodia not being a profitable market for software companies, the only option left to undertake this effort is to base it on free and open source software (FOSS), which allows translation, adaptation and free distribution of the software.

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Central and East European online environmentalism targeted

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY 13 September 2007 (Pavel P Antonov for APCNews)

Fidanka and Eoin McGrath, a family soon expecting their first child, spent two of the hottest August days in a quite unusual way – having a friendly talk with police officials. The family life was disturbed abruptly this summer, when the two were called in by the local unit of the Bulgarian secret service.

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APC launches new book on WSIS, developing countries and civil society: Time for lessons learned

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 12 September 2007 (APCNews)

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) has been roundly criticised in the past and this new study from APC concludes that the summit “is not the best starting point for new action.” So, what is the point of looking at how developing country delegations and civil society fared at the summit? Because, says the author “it is always important to learn from experience – particularly where it did not deliver up to expectations.”

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‘Whose Summit? Whose Information Society?’ – An investigation of developing country and civil society experience in the World Su

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 12 September 2007 (Kat Walraven for APCNews)

Organised in two stages, and lasting four years, WSIS certainly consumed a great deal of time and resources – both financial and human. But was it worth it? What did WSIS actually achieve? What did developing countries and civil society organisations (CSOs) gain from it? And, perhaps more importantly, did these gains outweigh the costs associated with participation? These are just some of the questions addressed in the book, commissioned by APC and written by David Souter. Read this introductory article to the 128-page study.

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Interview with David Souter: Learning from the WSIS Experience

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 12 September 2007 (Kat Walraven for APCNews)

APCNews interview with David Souter, author of ‘Whose Summit? Whose Information Society? Developing countries and civil society at the World Summit on the Information Society’.

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Looking for literature? Free software lit now easy to find

GRAHAMSTOWN, SOUTH AFRICA 12 September 2007 (FD for APCNews)

Launched on September 11 by Arnold Pietersen of the South African organisation CECS, the “Free knowledge for ICT literacy portal” will act as a guide for people who are looking for “the best information available on and for ICT training”. Pietersen’s enthusiastic launch took place at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, in front of a small but highly stimulated audience attending the 2007 edition of the Highway Africa conference.

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The end of the beginning: DRC plans ambitious infrastructure development

LONDON, UK 11 September 2007 (APCNews)

Balancing Act, one of Africa’s most important ICTD online media, has picked up on a feasiblity study carried out by APC member Alternatives for an internet backbone for the Democractic Republic of Congo that featured in APCNews earlier this month. "For all the difficulties in Eastern Congo, the DRC has seen a number of recent developments that will form the beginning of a backbone development plan for the country," writes Balancing Act. "Canadian NGO Alternatives launched its extremely detailed feasibility study for a backbone plan and the Government has begun to look at some of the issues that will need to be addressed if it is to be implemented."

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National Literacy Award for Canadian APC member Web Networks

TORONTO, CANADA 11 September 2007 (APCNews)

APC member in Canada Web Networks announced that its "Tusaalanga" Inuktitut language online learning platform (developed using the open source Drupal system) has received the prestigious national literacy award. Inuktitut is an indigenous language spoken in Candada and other northern territories.

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APC at Highway Africa & Digital Citizen Indaba 2007

GRAHAMSTOWN, SOUTH AFRICA 11 September 2007 (APC blog)

Highway Africa is where more than 600 African journalists gathered between September 10 and 12 in Grahamstown, South Africa. The conference was preceeded by the second Digital Citizen Indaba on blogging which was held at Rhodes University, same location, on September 10. Keep track of the debates on excellence in journalism, and issues such as community media and gender and media in Africa as APC blogs.

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Two radio stations experiment with a brand new multimedia resource kit

FOTOUNI, CAMEROON 22 August 2007 (Avis Momeni for PROTEGE QV)

Nearly 70% of households in Cameroon have a radio set. APC-Cameroon member PROTEGE QV intends to place information at the disposal of the urban and rural women, particularly by means of radio broadcasting programmes. With their latest project oriented towards small businesses run by women, representatives of PROTEGE QV carried out a field trip earlier this year to rural localities in western Cameroon to hand-over material to two radio stations and promote their Multimedia Resource Kit.

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Mental gym at the GEM exchange

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA 21 August 2007 (ES for APC WNSP)

GEM speaks to people, said Sarah Earl, an evaluation specialist attending a workshop to improve what’s been coined as the Gender Evaluation Methodology. More than an evaluation theory, GEM "is a development theory," commented Earl who, along with over 40 ICT practitioners from around the world, took part in a training exchange in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at the end of July 2007. Read the full account on APC WNSP.

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DRC: Alternatives reveals the first independent study on an internet infrastructure that can serve the entire country

MONTREAL, CANADA 21 August 2007 (Michel Lambert for Alternatives)

The NGO Alternatives revealed the first independent feasibility study on the implementation of a vast high-speed internet infrastructure the size of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Carried out by Congolese and international researchers, the study proposes, in particular, that the implementation of the internet network be carried out in partnership with the Congolese National Electricity Company (SNEL).

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DRC: No electric infrastructure, no internet backbone?

OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO 21 August 2007 (Tiego Tiemtoré for APCNews)

Within the perspective of making high-speed internet accessible to the Congolese people, the development of an internet backbone in the Congo seems to be a necessity that could give an immediate boost. On Tuesday 7 August 2007, the feasibility study for an open internet backbone in the DRC was officially revealed in Kinshasa. APCNews quizzed Alphonse Ntita, a specialist in ICTs and internet infrastructure issues, who is part of the team of researchers behind the study.

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