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Open technologies bring government transparency, development

BRASOV, ROMANIA 22 May 2007 (Mihály Bakó)

Technology put in the public information and communication domain (internet) can bring transparency to government behaviour, argues a high-profile forum that has just come to a close in Brasov, Romania. eLibretica, organised by the Romanian Open Source and Free Software Initiative and Agora Media and held at the end of May 2007 did not go unnoticed in the new European Union member country, reports Mihály Bakó of APC’s romanian member StrawberryNet Foundation [in Romanian].

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A little goes a longer way with ICT-based networking

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 21 May 2007 (Katherine Walraven for APCNews for APCNews)

In the former Ethiopian capital of Mekelle, the Mekelle Child Centered Forum (MCCF) reaches approximately 5,840 disadvantaged children, youth, and women living in the city. The winner of one of this year’s Harambee awards, MCCF will use its grant money to expand its reach of service towards its target of 20,000 individuals.

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Pakistan: Blog-o-Furious

PAKISTAN 16 May 2007 (Omer Alvie)

As the political situation in Pakistan gets progressively worse, a native writer highlights the views of Pakistani bloggers providing the most honest and accurate views on events there.

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The fight against HIV/AIDS armed with blogs, wikis and emails

MONTREAL, CANADA 14 May 2007 (FD for APCNews for APCNews)

Often, people working in prevention of HIV/Aids experience difficulties in gaining an overview of successes and failures of HIV/Aids programmes in the most affected countries. The key information about vulnerable segments of the population who are not yet enrolled in these programmes is generally absent. It is around these two reasons that Réseau Sida Afrique’s work revolves. APCNews asked some questions to Lydie Diaboungana of the secretariat of the network, located in Brazzaville, in the Congo. Chronicle of a tough fight with the help of ICTs.

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Ever heard of soil health? If not, networking is taking it to your front door

MONTREAL, CANADA 9 May 2007 (FD for APCNews for APCNews)

The Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) is a capacity building organisation for librarians, information specialists, scientists, researchers and students of sub-Saharan Africa. Better said, it assists them in mastering information and communication technology. APCNews talked to Gracian Chimwaza, executive director of ITOCA, about the organisation’s latest project aimed at groups working on ‘soil health’. The goal? Help them locate and access information cost-effectively.

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PROTEGE QV, the first central african member at APC

MONTREAL, CANADA 9 May 2007 (FD for APCNews)

PROTEGE QV is a group of people who are passionate about educating and promoting youth, women and leaders so that they can play their roles as citizens in full. The Yaoundé-based APC-member who brings the number of francophone members at APC to three, herewith catalyses innovative solutions, good practices to those who are in need, rural populations and women particularly.

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Metamorphosis, a think and do tank

MONTREAL, CANADA 9 May 2007 (FD for APCNews)

Metamorphosis is a think and do tank from Macedonia, gathering experts and activists devoted to the development of an information society, which we see as crucial element in bettering people’s lives. Most of the people currently involved rely on a background in the IT industry and the NGO sector, but in general, we favour an interdisciplinary approach and broad involvement of stakeholders. APCNews interviewed Bardhyl Jashari, director of this newest APC-member.

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Profile: Bangladesh Friendship Education Society becomes new APC member

MONTREAL, CANADA 9 May 2007 (FD for APCNews)

Bangladesh Friendship Education Society (BFES) is a non-government development organisation based in Bangladesh. It was established in 1993 and its mission is to promote educational projects in rural areas.

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Ugandan women network launches a book about ICT-based entrepreneuship

KAMPALA, UGANDA 8 May 2007 (Milton Aineruhanga)

Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) launches Women’s ICT-based Enterprises Handbook and a CD entitled "A Guide to Promote, Initiate and Improve Women’s ICT Based Enterprises in Uganda". The APC-member WOUGNET published the multilingual document in English and two local languages.

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APC POOL OF WRITERS: Two job announcements, one pool

BERLIN, GERMANY 4 May 2007 (APCNews)

APCNews and GenderIT.org are building a pool of writers to contribute on a freelance basis. We are interested in working with writers from all continents. APC is a virtual network and in general most of our research and interviews are done online. Read the details and send your application before May 15, 2007.

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Copyright and 'intellectual property' doesn't help all: study

GOA, INDIA 3 May 2007 (Frederick Noronha)

In a world which is part of the ‘digital revolution’ era, restrictive copyright laws still act as a serious barrier to sharing and learning from each other, more so in countries of the global South where three quarters of the population live, says a study.

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Did you say cell phones for development? “Yes, technology can do anything, really, but people have to drive it”

MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE 26 April 2007 (Katherine Walraven for APCNews)

Considering the demographic overlap between those most affected by HIV/AIDS and cell phone users, it only makes sense that a major focus be put on how this low-cost technology can fight this deadly pandemic. APC-member Women’sNet recently engaged in a UNICEF-driven speed assessment of fifteen projects that apply cell phones towards development objectives in Africa, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care.

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Wireless networking: Technical training scholarships offered

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC 25 April 2007 (Karel Novotny for APCNews)

Applications are now being accepted until May 18 for technical training scholarships that will cover expenses for attending the first workshop of the TRICALCAR project. This community based wireless networks project is initiated by APC-members in South America. The workshop will be held in Huaral, Peru from July 16 to 21, 2007.

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"IT spreads throughout society at all levels, and is not concentrated in the hands of a few"

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 25 April 2007 (Katherine Walraven for APCNews)

APCNews interviewed Nicholas P. Sullivan, author of ‘You Can Hear Me Now: How Microloans and Cell Phones are Connecting the World’s Poor to the Global Economy’, a book published in February 2007 by Jossey-Bass. Sullivan argues that ‘inclusive capitalism", combined with the ‘external combustion engine’ are better approaches to development than foreign aid. Do you agree?

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'Gold in the mud' unleashed through ‘inclusive capitalism’?

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 24 April 2007 (Katherine Walraven for APCNews)

In 1993, Bangladesh was considered a no-go zone by foreign investors. Foreign direct investment in the country totalled USD 3 million that year. Today, it has multiplied to around USD 1 billion, three quarters of which feeds the telecommunications industry. How did foreign investment skyrocket in such a short period of time? The answer lies in the story of the GrameenBank, if we are to believe Nicholas P. Sullivan, author of You Can Hear Me Now: How Microloans and Cell Phones are Connecting the World’s Poor to the Global Economy.

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Radical question: Can alternative media get a leg-up from new technology?

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA 24 April 2007 (FN for APCNews)

On the sidelines of the OURMedia conference held in Sydney, Australia, in mid-April 2007, John D.H. Downing spoke to APCNews and explained where his critique of the media intersects with the possibilities opened up by information and communication technologies.

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APC.au, sailing with changing times and moving with the surf

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA 24 April 2007 (FN for APCNews)

Grant McHerron always has a joke and formidable technical skils to share. Or so it seemed when APCNews ran into APC.au’s technical director in Sydney, Australia, during the APC’s Asia-Pacific members meeting, held in mid-April 2007.

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'All rights reserved’ not the only option for documentary filmmakers

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA 24 April 2007 (FN for APCNews)

Documentary filmmakers take note: there are other ways in which you can choose to distribute your films. Rather than the all-rights-reserved approach of the copyright world, take a look on the creative side.

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South Korea: Opposition to draft legislation on "Communication Data Retention"

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA 19 April 2007 (PatchA)

The South Korean parliament is discussing a dangerous revision of the "Protection of Communications Secrets Act". So what? It seems quite clear that the revision would legally enforce telecommunications companies and internet service providers (ISPs) to retain ‘communications data’. But do people agree with this? APC-member in South Korea, Jinbonet, thinks not. International civil society organisations think not. They endorsed a letter of protest that was sent to the South Korean parliament

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Team of ICT consultants expanded in southern Africa

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA 16 April 2007 (Ungana-Afrika)

To address the current information and communication technologies capacity crisis most development organisations are facing, APC-member Ungana-Afrika will be expanding and strengthening the network of development sector oriented ICT consultants, eRiders, across the southern African region.

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