“I am leaving Hyderabad tomorrow with a longer list of friends, but I know that philosophy of connecting people goes far beyond having the added names in the list. It has a deeper philosophy: connecting people for bringing changes into their lives.” The APC Women’s Networking Support Programme (WNSP) sponsored Dr. Anupama Saxena to attend this year’s Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad India. Throughout the event, she wrote about her thoughts on this global meeting and process from the perspective of a woman researcher from a small project in India. She now shares her thoughts and personal experience at the IGF.
In recent years, Kerala India has come forward in the international free and open source software (FOSS) community for its use and promotion of free software. As an emerging FOSS user, Kerala will host the second international conference on freedom in computing, development and culture: Free Software, Free Society. From December 09 – 11, APC staff member Cheekay Cinco will be one of five women speaking at the conference, among a list of 50 prominent speakers. APC is also working with experts on free software Aslam Raffee and Sunil Abraham, who will be speaking at the conference about implementation of pro-FOSS policies in South Africa and on the topic of open information sharing/licensing. Find out more about the programming and how to watch a live video stream of the events as they unfold.
Alice Munyua, of APC member Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) spoke at the IGF opening ceremony. In her speech, she highlighted the East African Internet Governance Forum (EAIGF) held in early November as the first of its kind in the African region. “[The EAIFG] was initiated from the realisation that there was a need to address very limited participation by Africa stakeholders in not only the Internet Governance Forum but also in other global ICT policy processes.”
“Throughout history, humanity has been able to challenge the most rigid power structures with its creativity and with the urge for freedom that is inherent to the human spirit. This has brought us here – we’re a result of human hope, solidarity and tenacity. We’re here to discuss internet Governance structures and policies and, in this third meeting of the IGF, we must move forward, building upon the relevant work that has been done by this forum so far,” explained APC member RITS’ Graciela Selaimen at the opening ceremony of this year’s IGF in Hyderabad on December 3rd. As a part of the inaugural panel discussion, Graciela stressed that the IGF can also be a space for deliberation and participative decision-making.
Watchdog report tackles the issue of unequal access to the internet and the information society in 2008
How do we ensure access to the internet is a human right enjoyed by everyone? This is one of the critical questions asked by an annual publication that highlights the importance of people’s access to information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure – and where and how countries are getting it right or wrong, and what can be done about it.
At the first Internet Governance Forum (IGF), “access to the internet” emerged as an issue of common concern and priority to all stakeholders. At the second IGF the business, civil society and technical communities worked together to reach a consensus on what should be done to increase access to the internet across the world. “Reaching the next billion” is now one of the priority themes for the upcoming third IGF – with participants working together to move from debate and discussion to a manifesto for action. Find out more and where APC will be.
Going to the IGF? APC staff and members will be there, busy participating in workshops and panel sessions. Here you’ll find a ready-to-print list of events in which APC staff and members will be speaking and APC-organised or co-organised events. We look forward to meeting you face-to-face.
The 1990s witnessed the exponential growth of online communication and simultaneously experienced its widespread impacts on all aspects of human activities. Worldwide progressive social movements recognised the potential of online communication and started using it as a networking tool for furthering their causes. APC member in South Korea, Jinbonet, was to see the flashpoint for their own birth in 1997, during a general strike, which “showed that computer networks could play a useful organising role across borders for each sector of the movement,” says Byoung-il of Jinbonet in an interview with APCNews to commemorate the organisation’s tenth anniversary.
Whether its through community radio, posters, sms, emails, audiocasts or websites, creative and informed use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) helps get the word out on violence against women (VAW). We have to know about technology to best use it for our activism, we have to understand it to protect ourselves and others, and to keep shaping an internet for all. From 25 November to 10 December it’s time once again to “Take Back the Tech!” and use ICTs to end violence against women.
On 19 November 2008, the Internet Society announced that ESLARED (Fundación Escuela Latinoamericana de Redes) was the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Jonathan B. Postel Service Award.
Skill sharing sessions on wikis, web 2.0, a tech hunt, and webcasts marked the first day of the FTX (Feminist Tech eXchange) Hub as part of the Power of Movements forum, from November 14 – 17 2008 in Capetown. The FTX Hub is a place to put those skills into practice – and to share ideas around how critical communications rights are to women’s rights with over 2000 women attending this forum, organised by the Association for Women’s Rights and Development.
Seven women and thirteen men from Anglophone and Francophone Africa and the Caribbean met during the last days of September in Gorée Island, Senegal. They have many things in common, but one in particular is their ability to make innovative connections in gender, agriculture and information and communication technologies (ICTs). This ability has led them to be finalists of the Gender, Agricultural and Rural Development in the Information Society (GenARDIS) small grants fund.
Congratulations to APC member Jinbonet of Korea, who will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on November 14th. As innovators of ICT for social justice, Jinbonet has been a leader in its commitment to social rights, gender equality, use of free and open source software (FOSS), and has been an integral part of APC’s work in Asia and at large. APC has learnt so much from this truly dedicated and steadfast organisation, and will continue to do so.
How can feminists use technology to their advantage? On November 10, the first ever Feminist Tech eXchange (FTX) in Cape Town will bring together more than 100 activists from around the globe to address this type of question. Organized by the APC Women’s programme in the run up to the massive women’s movement forum AWID, the capacity-building and information-exchange event will explore various technologies such as video, audio, social networking platforms and other emerging ICT tools. The event will act as an open space to network, share knowledge, and learn new skills and strategies for how to make technology work best for the women’s movement.
Following the initial rush of Information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) projects in rural Africa, many did not yield the anticipated outcomes, and interest has been dying down. People then began talking about “sustainable ICT” projects, in which it was understood that projects would become self-sufficient after their initial donor-led investment and set-up period. But with the use of mobile phones gaining in popularity, popular rhetoric has begun to question the need of ICTs beyond the mobiles phone. While mobile phones certainly have had a great impact in rural areas, a new study by Ian Howard, commissioned by APC, through the analysis of two case studies he argues that the need for telecentres and affordable internet connections exists, as such centres cater to rural and niche markets the way larger companies cannot.
“The principles that I learned in the APC workshop helped me work in resource-constrained environments,” says Alex Gondwe, techie at the Baobab Health Partnership in Malawi. Alex is setting up wireless internet connections between health institutions to improve patient care and HIV/AIDS data collection and he shares his tips here.
Last year APC and partners trained local technicians, community leaders and telecentre operators from the Andes on the basic principles of setting up wireless internet access in their communities. Now the participants report on the impact once they went back home.
Non-profit internet provider GreenNet has recently released a new ultra-low power computer. The tiny computer can run on a car battery for hours and uses a maximum of nine watts of electricity. Sustainable in almost every way – from its fabrication, to its distribution and consumption – the E2 also comes fully equipped with free and open source operating systems. APCNews interviewed Sharif Fanselow of GreenNet to find out more about this revolutionary computer.
Business people, community activists and policy-makers have an interest in as many people as possible –including people in the lowest income-brackets- having access to the internet, being able to check out important information on websites and communicate cheaply via email or internet phone.
In order to reduce poverty and foster inclusive development through affordable access to the internet, APC is working on a resource kit for realising a universal access agenda, present promising options, experiences, lessons and opportunities in pro-poor access provision in developing societies.
According to March 2008 statistics only 3.6% of internet users in the world were from Africa. Asia contributed to 37.6% of internet users globally, but this percentage is inflated by large numbers of users from China. The number of fixed lines has not increased significantly, and in some cases has even shrunk. And, in addition to this, a new divide is emerging: the broadband (or “high speed internet”) divide. In Manaus, deep in the Amazon jungle, “broadband” is available but at a cost. There, a 200Kbps connection (hardly considered speedy in better connected parts of the world) costs about $100 USD a month.