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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
‘Whose Summit? Whose Information Society?’ – An investigation of developing country and civil society experience in the World Su
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.
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’.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Coura Fall is enterprising, dynamic, knows the media and has knocked around with all sorts of acronyms. One of these is ICT, used to refer to information and communication technology. Coura is preparing to give us an earful of these three letters in her new appointment as Africa ICT policy coordinator for the Association for Progressive Communications. Her first objective is to advocate for a broader access to ICTs, in particular to the internet. This, she says, will primarily be pursued by partnering with civil society, governments and the private sector for developing internet infrastructure in Africa.