News

ICT policy: far from gender neutral

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA 26 November 2004 (APCNews)

Women’s organizations are dealing with so many priority issues, it’s hard to see information and communication technologies (ICT) as anything more than a tool to facilitate their work. For this reason 16 members of the APC Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP) came together in early November in Cape Town, South Africa, to map out key gender and ICT issues for the APC WNSP’s upcoming Gender and ICT Policy website.

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Partnership with ALIN to provide computers to not-for-profit organisations

LONDON, UK 26 November 2004 (Computer Aid International)

London-based NGO and APC member, Computer Aid International recenlty launched a new partnership with APC member ALIN in Nairobi. “Computer Aid has already provided over 2,500 quality refurbished PC to non-profit organisations in Kenya”, commented Tony Roberts, Computer Aid Founder and Chief Executive. “However with the help of the Baobab initiative we plan to provide 5,000 more computers in the next few years”.

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Progressive programmers from across the APC and beyond gather in South Africa

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 26 November 2004 (APCNews)

Progressive technology organisations all over the world met in Cape Town to discuss the future of the free content management system – ActionApps. ActionApps is a software that makes websites easier to manage and more dynamic and facilitates the creation of portal sites, improving the visibility of civil society information. Almost 40 developers from as far afield as Egypt, Cambodia, Spain, Peru and the Philippines debated future plans, sustainability, documentation needs and a new online campaigning action kit for activists which will come to life in 2005.

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ICT literacy training across southern Africa develops awareness as well as skills

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 25 November 2004 (APCNews)

“People won’t benefit from improved access to digital networks, if the necessary capabilities to select, apply and interpret the available information are not better developed”, says Arnold Pietersen of CECS. With oversight from ICT NGOs from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia, CECS designed an ‘ICT Literacy’ programme.

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Training on free and open source software for NGOs

MANILA, PHILIPPINES 24 November 2004 (Foundation for Media Alternatives)

The Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), together with key free and open source software (FOSS) advocates in the country organized a training-workshop for Philippine non-government organizations (NGOs). Held on 28-29 October 2004 and attended by 30 participants from 18 organizations, the learning activity sought to impart not only with the necessary skills and knowledge of FOSS but more importantly, to provide the trainees with the confidence in using FOSS-based applications.

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New computer partnership to increase access to ICT in Rwanda

LONDON, UK 24 November 2004 (Computer Aid International)

APC member Computer Aid International will officially launch an exciting and innovative new partnership with a Rwandan not-for-profit, E-ICT. By providing an affordable solution to high cost computers, the partnership aims to increase access to ICT for schools and not-for-profits.

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Local content, local people, local languages: ICTs used to promote exchange of indigenous knowledge

NAIROBI, KENYA 23 November 2004 (ALIN-EA)

Arid Lands Information Network – Eastern Africa (ALIN-EA) has successfully completed a one-year pilot phase of the Open Knowledge Network (OKN) East Africa project. OKN is a global initiative linking marginalized communities and facilitating information sharing through Information Communications Technologies (ICTs).

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NGO.ZA, ICT Services for Civil Society

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 23 November 2004 (SANGONeT)

APCmember SANGONeT launched a new joint venture, called NGO.ZA. The overall aim of NGO.ZA is to meet and respond to the South African NGO sector’s connectivity, hardware and e-business infrastructure requirements, and as a result, transform the information and communication technologies (ICT) usage, capacity and infrastructure levels of the sector.

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Peace-building in Croatia through community technology centres

KISTANJE, CROATIA 22 November 2004 (ZaMirNET)

Telecentres in rural Croatia run by APC member ZaMirNET don’t just provide training facilities. They’re also bringing together neighbours of different ethnicities. “During the computer course, we were socialising with other nationalities. We were all in the same position of learning new things and sharing what we know,” recounted a Croat woman. “Now we greet each other in the street.”

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Canadian technology wizards adapt APC software so that Inuit can publish online

TORONTO, CANADA 1 November 2004 (Web Networks)

APC member in Canada, Web Networks, has integrated APC’s free software ActionApps with a number of other applications to come up with a first – the ability to easily view Inukititut (a Canadian Aboriginal language) online, as well as giving Inuit abilities to easily publish online in their native language.

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News feeds direct to your desktop from APC

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 1 November 2004 (APCNews)

Using RSS technology, it’s now possible to get news headlines from APC and APC member websites direct to your desktop. News feeds available cover a rich variety of civil society concerns –from the environment in Bulgaria, to human rights in Spain, to peace campaigning in the USA, to monitoring aid agencies in Australia. Find out more about the news feeds.

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New website: APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 27 October 2004 (APCNews)

What we want is an information society based on social justice and human rights. That’s only going to happen if the people affected by the policies get involved in their development. Collecting indispensable documentation since 2001, the new look ‘Africa Monitor’ just launched on October 28 has a new design and structure including powerful cross-referencing which let’s you search by theme and by country at the same time. For the first time, there’s a ‘Getting started’ section for people new to ICT policy and advocacy which collects information specially selected by our editors. Go and take a look!

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APC condemns “arbitrary” seizure of IndyMedia web servers by US and European law enforcers

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 12 October 2004 (APCNews)

In a statement, APC has condemned the seizing by US and European law enforcement agencies of the web servers of independent online news service Indymedia, closing down over 21 of the more than 140 Indymedia web sites worldwide. “We are disturbed by the apparently arbitrary and extreme measures taken to silence an independent internet-based source of information,” said Anriette Esterhuysen, APC’s Executive Director. “This is a violation of freedom of expression across international frontiers.”

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US Authorities Seize IMC Servers in the UK

LONDON, UK 10 October 2004

Thursday morning, US authorities issued a federal order to Rackspace ordering them to hand over Indymedia web servers to the FBI. Rackspace, which provides hosting services for more that 20 Indymedia sites at its London facility, complied and turned over the requested servers, effectively removing those sites from the internet.

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Massive victory at WIPO!

5 October 2004

For years now, progressive groups have been trying to get the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization to start thinking about ways of promoting creativity and development instead of just IP — to get the organization to see that its raison d’etre is a better world, and that stronger IP laws is just one way of accomplishing that — and that IP only works sometimes.

Which is why this is such good news: at the general session of the WIPO in Geneva this weekend, the Assembly as adopted a decision to put development and the promotion of creativity front-and-center in its goals. That means that from now on, WIPO isn’t an organization that blindly supports more IP no matter what, but rather one that seeeks to improve the world by whatever tool is best suited to the job.

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The first “free software” workshop run for women by women in the world? Southern African women do it!

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 1 October 2004 (APC-Africa-Women)

Splicing cables, partitioning hard drives, developing technology plans and sharing stories of activism set the scene for a lively and full first Southern African Development Community Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) workshop to be held. And as far as we know, the first FOSS workshop for women in the world, writes Jenny Radloff of APC-Africa-Women.

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Youth network in Colombian capital puts young people in touch with their communities

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA 30 September 2004 (Colnodo)

“I learned a lot and changed my way of thinking not only about computers and the internet, but about working for the community”. “I didn’t just learn to write and upload news to a website, I learned about leadership and how to build projects.” “In the RIJ we are bringing about positive change for young people. We help get their message out.” This is how some of the teenage participants feel about RIJ, a communications network for Bogota youth. Now the project is over, they’re still planning to keep the network alive.

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Resistance in Hungary to EU proposals on software patenting

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY 30 September 2004 (APCNews)

A crowd of about four hundred turned out to demonstrate against proposed European software patents legislation. It was the first "geeky", free-software related demonstration in Hungary said APC member Green Spider, organised by groups not typically used to leaving their computer screens to get their voices heard.

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WSIS Update: APC reports on recent and upcoming meetings on internet governance and the financing of ICTs in developing countrie

LONDON, UK 30 September 2004 (APC)

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process continues and two issues on which governments were unable to reach consensus during the first phase in 2003- ‘internet governance’ and ‘financing mechanisms’- are under the microscope. Last month saw the first open consultation on the ‘working group on internet governance’. APC briefs you on the discussions taking place.

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WSIS Update: APC reports on recent and upcoming meetings on internet governance and the financing of ICTs in developing countrie

LONDON,UK 30 September 2004 (APCNews)

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process continues and two issues on which governments were unable to reach consensus during the first phase in 2003- ‘internet governance’ and ‘financing mechanisms’- are under the microscope. Last month saw the first open consultation on the ‘working group on internet governance’. APC briefs you on the discussions taking place.

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