There is a Congolese proverb that says, “You can’t wash your face with just one finger.” That’s the expression APC’s new member AZUR Développement is using in reference to the need to solidify links with other APC members in order to get the ICT job done in Congo. And they mean it. Recognising that APC’s members have a lot of experience with ICTs, they believe that their activities and those of APC’s members will blend in well.
Access remains one of the greatest challenges facing the internet community in the developing world. The Nominet judges believe that the work of Computer Aid epitomizes what their access category represents. Computer Aid has enabled thousands of people in developing countries, who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity, to access to the internet. Computer Aid’s partners are also able to provide training, capacity building and routine maintenance, to ensure that the use of equipment is maximized.
Journalist Miguel Peirano finds that "Many people think that a laptop for every child is a magic solution and that just giving the children a machine will make them happy," in his well-documented opinion piece about the CEIBAL Plan. This Uruguyan adaptation of the One Laptop Per Child project turns this South American nation into the only country in the world that has adopted, as government policy, the proposal to endow every schoolchild with a low-cost laptop connected to the internet.
APC member Protege QV celebrated a belated but successful Software Freedom Day on Saturday 6 October 2007 with a Web 2.0 and web-based project management application workshop. The international day to educate the public about the importance of software freedom and the availability of free and open source software (FOSS) was officially 15 September 2007, but due to technical constraints, Protege QV pushed its plans ahead.
“An attack on net neutrality and an act of censorship,” was how Miguel Acosta, editor of a New York-based Paraguayan newspaper referred to the measure taken by the Paraguayan Communication Company to block access to internet telephony or voice over internet protocol (VoIP). Civil society has responded forcefully to this situation.
Anriette Esterhuysen, executive director of APC, delivered a keynote address at the opening of the conference on Web2fordev at the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome, Italy in late September. Her ideas around participatory web for development were reported on in the Web2fordev blog.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), in collaboration with its partners, will be convening a civil society workshop on Sunday 28 October 2007 in Kigali, Rwanda, to accompany the Connect Africa Summit, taking place 29-30 October 2007.
Violence against women was the theme of a recent digital storytelling workshop organised by APC’s programme in Africa and APC’s South African member Women’sNet, held in Durban, South Africa from 25 to 29 August 2007. Seventeen women from throughout Africa gathered for one week to develop the skills to use technology for the creation of digital stories as a means of combating domestic, sexual and other forms of violence faced by African women.
Other voices: The struggle for community radio in India, by two University of Hyderabad scholars, has just been published by Sage. BytesForAll’s Frederick Noronha interviews the authors of the book: Vinod Pavarala, Professor of Communication and Dean of the Sarojini Naidu School of Communication, University of Hyderabad, and Dr Kanchan K Malik, a lecturer at the university.
APC announces a one-day event on equitable access to ICT infrastructure on 10 November 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Why this event? Access brings people together to exchange information, promotes new spaces for social inclusion and is fundamental to development processes in any society. However many of these innovative solutions are happening in isolation and APC’s event is a place where stakeholders working in the area of equitable can come together to share knowledge and experience and to discuss the issues.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) members assisted by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) officials are conducting house-to-house searches in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet pinpointing each and every internet user with a fast connection. They are collecting user details from all the internet service providers (ISPs) in order to profile more than 450,000 internet subscribers in the country.
Individual activists and organisations are invited to join an online discussion on the potential of information technology for environmental sustainability. APC, BlueLink Bulgaria, and Ekoforum Serbia will produce a live online talk show from Belgrade in partnership with the UNECE Aarhus Convention Secretariat as a side event to the Sixth Ministerial “Environment for Europe” Conference.
PHNOM PENH (Javier Sola for Open Institute) – 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.
APC announces a one-day event on equitable access to ICT infrastructure for 10 November 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This event will bring together innovative minds and experience in developing and implementing ICT policy and technology solutions for low-cost access and connectivity.
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.
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!).
Open Institute featured in the International Herald Tribune: "Cambodians of post-Khmer Rouge era embrace new cultural revolution
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.
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]
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.