News

ZaMirNET joins a Croatian free software cluster

GOA, INDIA 2 April 2007 (FN for APCNews)

The APC member in Croatia, ZaMirNET, has joined an industrial cluster working on free and open source software. Read part one (of two) of this new adventure which might help transform Croatia’s software sector. The full interview in part two reveals the specific role ZaMirNET will play in the still-in-formation economic network.

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The GRACE research to hold new workshop, launch new website

BERLIN, GERMANY 2 April 2007 (FD for APCNews)

The Gender Research in Africa into ICTs for Empowerment (GRACE) is a research project that APCNews has been covering in the past. APC’s women programme in Africa (AAW) also engaged with the project over the last months. But where is it at? Capacity building workshops were held in July 2005 and June 2006, with a third workshop planned for July 2007. Here is a short update on GRACE.

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Overcoming the orphan curse with ICTs

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 2 April 2007 (KW for APCNews for APCNews)

In releasing the list of successful applicants in one of its small grants initiatives, APC’s women programme in Africa injected some real-life into the Swahili word "harambee" in March 2007. DSI.ORG, a small non-profit located in the western Ugandan district of Kabarole, was one of six Harambee small grants winners. It’s recently created Diary Project, which assists boys from child-headed families affected by HIV/AIDS to cope with grief, stigma and discrimination, share experiences and knowledge, and work together.

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Asia pursues a roadmap of action to strengthen “access to knowledge”

MANILA, PHILIPPINES 2 April 2007 (Al Alegre)

"Access to knowledge is both an issue of economic development and an issue of individual participation and human liberty" says an article by Jack M. Balkin. This buzzword makes reference to a world in which information and knowledge are increasingly becoming like products. Knowledge is worth money. Knowledge is worth power. Without much fanfare, a group of twenty-two Asians sat down in Bankok last March to tap into that power. They drew out a roadmap of actions in order for that knowledge to stay in the hands of the people. Idealistic? Maybe, but the actions are real and timely and might take you further than you think.

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30 March: Stop Cyberbullying Day

KUALA LUMPUR 29 March 2007

Increasingly, harassment and stalking is happening in and through digital communications technology. As we gain access and use stuff like blogs, mobile phones, social networking platforms like Orkut and Friendster, personal information displayed and shared may be used in targeted harassment.

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An option for online documentation, Newsrack.in, helps NGOs

GOA, INDIA 29 March 2007 (Frederick Noronha)

Subramanya Sastry is an Indian techie who holds a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin but chooses to deploy his software skills for the development sector back home. A tool he created, called NewsRack.in, is drawing rave reviews from the few who have encountered it early.

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Blogs for African Women get Nigerian women hooked on technology

MEXICO, MEXICO 29 March 2007 (ES for APCNews)

In releasing the list of successful applicants in one of its small grants initiatives, APC’s women programme in Africa injected some real-life into the Swahili word "harambee" in March 2007. Blogs for African Women (BAWo) has taken hold of the Nigerian blogging spirit to strengthen women’s activism and by the same token, got awarded one of six Harambee small grants. Read about Networking for Success, BAWo’s second initiative getting Nigerian women into the blogosphere.

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Kenya sets world first with money transfers by mobile

NAIROBI, KENYA 28 March 2007 (Xan Rice)

The ping of a text message has never sounded so sweet. In what is being touted as a world first, Kenya’s biggest mobile operator is allowing subscribers to send cash to other phone users by SMS. Known as M-Pesa, or mobile money, the service is expected to revolutionise banking in a country where more than 80% of people are excluded from the formal financial sector.

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A missing link? Media and development in Africa

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM 23 March 2007 (Abiodun Jagun for APC)

Is mobile technology driving the internet revolution in Africa? Does the distinction between new and old media make sense? These are some of the questions that APC raised in a recent conference on the role of media in building African society.

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ICT policy: A beginner's handbook in French

BERLIN 13 March 2007 (APCNews)

This flagship book by APC is a must. It lays out the issues and dispenses with the jargon to encourage more people to get involved in issues related to information and communication technology (ICT) and policy. The new French version is part of APC’s efforts to make French its third full official language before the end of this year.

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Bytes for All to review Pakistan’s IT policy

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN 12 March 2007 (Bytes for All)

Bytesforall.org, in collaboration with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is planning to conduct "Review of Pakistan’s IT Policy and IT Action Plan”. This brand new initiative by APC’s member in South Asia will be undertaken from a civil society perspective in order to identify the gaps and analyse their implications on community use of information and communication technology (ICT).

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Funredes redefining its action lines

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 12 March 2007 (APCNews)

Funredes, APC member in the Dominican Republic, is in the process of transition towards work which, in its words, “will involve more reflection than action.” APCNews spoke with Funredes’ director Daniel Pimienta about the new focus of the organisation.

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Ungana-Afrika connecting advice centres in rural South Africa

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA 12 March 2007 (Ungana-Afrika)

APC-member in South Africa, Ungana-Afrika, is in the middle of a rural connectivity initiative that targets legal advice centres. Communication capacity is being beefed-up in the rural area of South Africa. Ten advice centres are already on Ungana-Afrika’s eRiders roadmap. And they’re moving fast.

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UN agencies and industry launch network on e-waste

GOA, INDIA 7 March 2007 (FN for PCNews)

Several United Nations agencies, partners and technology companies are setting up a consortium aimed at extending the life of computers and other electronic equipment, reducing pollution and improving the salvage, which is turning into a growing problem worldwide.

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Communication, a cornerstone of development policy

GOA, INDIA 6 March 2007 (FN for APCNews)

A study commissioned by UK’s international development agency lists the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) in the top ten organisations survey respondents identified as networks they find are valuable resources of information relevant to their internetional development work.

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ALTERNATIVES, Democratic Republic of the Congo: New report on internet infrastructure in the Congo

GOA, INDIA 6 March 2007 (FN for APCNews)

Montreal-based Alternatives is in the final sprint to release a report on the development of internet infrastructure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The feasibility report by this APC member focuses on the set-up of a national internet backbone as well as on the content of a national information and communication technology policy for Africa’s third largest country.

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Going autonomous with wireless networks

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC 5 March 2007 (Karel Novotny)

“TRICALCAR” is a Spanish abbreviation that stands for Weaving Wireless Community Networks in Latin America and the Caribbean. But much more than an abbreviation, it is in fact a project. It brings together ten partner organisations that are all dedicated to training Latin American computer network administrators in building and administering community wireless networks.

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Keeping track of what media's saying via African software

GOA, INDIA 5 March 2007 (FN for APCNews)

The South Africa-based Media Monitoring Project has developed the first version of a software application which will eveluate gender-sensitivity in online media. "Media monitoring is relevant to all countries, both those with advanced and less advanced media sectors," claims project coordinator Sandra Roberts.

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E-waste: Impacts, challenges and the role of civil society

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 28 February 2007 (Katherine Walraven)

That information and communication technologies (ICTs) have a valuable role to play in building a more fair, just, and sustainable world is well established. APC is a firm believer in the power of these tools to transform lives and communities. And yet, while the benefits of expanding access to ICTs are many, there are negative impacts as well, such as the problems associated with a growing volume of e-waste.

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'Consumers shouldn't subsidise South African telephone monopoly'

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 23 February 2007 (APCNews)

It’s time to stop subsidising monopolies like Telkom, argues APC’s director Anriette Esterhuysen. That’s after Telkom told South Africa daily, the Financial Mail, that too much competition in the provision of international bandwidth in Africa could be bad for business.

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