DRC: Alternatives reveals the first independent study on an internet infrastructure that can serve the entire country
The NGO Alternatives revealed the first independent feasibility study on the implementation of a vast high-speed internet infrastructure the size of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Carried out by Congolese and international researchers, the study proposes, in particular, that the implementation of the internet network be carried out in partnership with the Congolese National Electricity Company (SNEL).
Within the perspective of making high-speed internet accessible to the Congolese people, the development of an internet backbone in the Congo seems to be a necessity that could give an immediate boost. On Tuesday 7 August 2007, the feasibility study for an open internet backbone in the DRC was officially revealed in Kinshasa. APCNews quizzed Alphonse Ntita, a specialist in ICTs and internet infrastructure issues, who is part of the team of researchers behind the study.
“Feasibility study for an open internet backbone in the Democratic Republic of Congo”, this is what the ripened fruit has been called for close to a year by a team of seasoned researchers. François Ménard is one of those who were hands on in this exhaustive study. He is a project manager with the Canadian firm Xit Télécom. APCNews interviewed him on the subject of deploying a high-speed internet in Congo.
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.
Agreement between the Chilean government and the Microsoft Corporation: the Chilean digital strategy is in rough waters
Emails, text messages and the media spread the word: the Chilean government has signed one of the broadest known-agreements to date with the Microsoft Corporation, covering aspects of education, management of personal data, and support for local governments (municipalities) and the micro enterprise sector.
Through evaluations we can measure to what extent our work is contributing our bit, our grain of sand, in the struggle for a better world. The APC women’s programme took this premise to heart when it developed the Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM). At the end of July women and men from around the world gathered in Kuala Lumpur to share their experiences with the use of GEM in particular and evaluations in general. One of the lessons learned was…
Information has become a powerful weapon that can be manipulated during times of conflict. This was seen again in central Africa between 1993 and 1994, as revealed by Sylvie Niombo of APC-Africa-Women in her analysis of the work, The media and conflicts in Central Africa, edited by Marie-Soleil Frère and published in 2007 by the Panos Institute of Paris.
Seven short-listed prize finalists in 2007 are currently under consideration by an international jury of experts. In September, APC will award the $4,000 USD prize to up to three of these outstanding initiatives.
Amader Gram (Our Villages) ICT4D Project is building knowledge society under a pilot scheme in twenty villages of Bagerhat and Khulna Districts in southwest Bangladesh by providing appropriate knowledge and ICT intervention that facilitates both skill transfer and employment creation. The Amader Gram ICT4D Project is offering fellowship for the year 2008. Interested students can send their request by 30 August 2007.
Training communities to set up wireless internet access points using empty tin cans, “taking back the tech!” to combat violence against women and keeping the focus of the world’s governments on the importance of affordable internet access. Read our new annual report for 2006.
The Bulgarian police has called in bloggers and pressured them to stop writing about the recent wave of environmental protests that has swept across the country in the recent weeks. While the issue is hot in Bulgaria and broadly covered by the Bulgarian press, APC’s member in Bulgaria (BlueLink) believes this deserves to go global.
A rapid assessment, commissioned by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in South Africa and implemented by APC-member Women’sNet, has just been released. If stars all line up, the document will provide baseline data that will inform a strategy to launch a new generation of cell phone technologies to address underdevelopment and in particular HIV/AIDS. Read our correspondent’s article "Did you say cell phones for development?" or the full 64-page assessment.
LAC-DROLET, Canada, — “This prize will be of great help to us in building our capacity to promote the rights of women farmers through the demystification of new ICTs, and through gender advocacy,”
The report was launched on the sideline of a discussion meeting on ‘Reviewing the progress of WSIS action plan in Bangladesh’ organised by Bytesforall Bangladesh and other partner organisations. GISW, APC and Uruguayan member ITeM report that monitors the information society revolution, was presented at this event, where the Bangladesh chapter was highlighted.
Tactical Tech and APC-member Women’sNet are pleased to announce the web launch of the latest edition of NGO-in-a-box, the BaseBox. The BaseBox is a collection of tools for the day-to-day running of small to medium sized NGOs. It aims to make it easier to set up base, find the right software and learn how to use it. Targeted primarily at activist and advocacy organisations in developing countries, the BaseBox contains a set of peer-reviewed free and open source software tools, with associated guides and tutorials. The edition can be accessed online but it’s primary form is as a physical box set of CDs.
The first regional workshop on capacity building in community wireless networking will take place between July 16 and 21 in the Huaral City of Peru. Organised by APC members, APC and partners, 29 people – ten of which are women – from Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia will meet with the objective of extending the community wireless connectivity model to the Andean zone. Their names have recently been announced.
Democratising Global Communication? This is a question asked by Milton L. Mueller and colleagues at US-based universities in a report published in IJOC, the International Journal of Communication. Scrutinising the role played by global civil society at the World Summit on the Information Society, the authors insist on the centrality of APC, and conclude that “There is no doubt that WSIS was a more substantive, inclusive and meaningful exercise in global governance, because of the civil society mobilisation pioneered by [the] CRIS [Campaign] and managed so impressively by APC.” Read the 31-page report.
In the article “Firms Race to Update E. Africa Telecom”, published in the New York Times’ June 3 edition, APC researcher Abiodun Jagun is quoted for her stakeholder analysis of the EASSy submarine cable. The article is about the undersea fiber-optic cables meant to connect Eastern Africa. Jagun’s analysis was originally published in the APC Africa Policy Monitor in February 2007.
With about 90 active volunteers over the years, Île Sans Fil now has managed to install some 130 hotspots all around town, using a nice piece of software. Wifidog is an open source solution designed primarily for wireless community groups, it is now in use in more than 36 locations, including at the municipality of Rosario (Argentina), the Tegucigalpa technical university (Honduras) or the Hull libraries (United Kingdom). Can Wifidog work in the developing world? Interview with the key figure of the group, Michael Lenczner.
“This is a technology that works, a proven technology, and what it needs is a bit more promotion,” said Ermanno Pietrosemoli just days after reaching a new wireless connection record of 382 kilometres. The president of Venezuelan APC member EsLaRed spoke with APCNews by conference call about this low-cost solution that is impacting the world’s rural communities.