News

Briefing papers towards Tunis 2005

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 30 July 2004 (ITeM)

APC member, the Third World Institute (Instituto del Tercer Mundo, ITeM) has launched a research project intended to contribute to the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) decision-making process. Research will be focused on key issues of interest to developing countries. Based on the research, position and briefing papers will be produced to advise Southern negotiators and working groups on the policy implications of the different proposals they will be considering during the Summit process.

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Basic Information System on Colombian Municipalities

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA 30 July 2004 (Colnodo)

The SisBIM helps decision-makers in local governments make informed decisions regarding planning for development by providing a series of key indicators and essential geo-information. It also serves as a ‘sustainable development observatory’ where citizens can find basic development information and importantly hold government accountable. The system has been developed by APC member Colnodo and coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Development.

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Cambodians have access to Khmer-language email software for the first time

PHNOM PEN, CAMBODIA 30 July 2004 (Open Forum of Cambodia)

Until now, a native Cambodian has needed to be able to read in a foreign language to be able to send email in Cambodia. Software was not available in Khmer. But APC’s member organisation in Cambodia, the Open Forum, is changing that. The KhmerOS portal, set up earlier this year to bring together previously isolated developers is starting out by providing Khmer translations of well-known free applications such as the powerful e-mail application, Thunderbird. Thunderbird was ready for use after just two months – sixty days earlier than expected! The Open Forum has sent APC the report on their advances in the first half of 2004.

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1000 Brazilian communities in areas of extreme poverty to get telecentres

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL 30 July 2004 (RITS)

New partners mean that RITS APC member in Rio de Janeiro is drawing up a blue-print for the set-up and operation of 1000 telecentres in municipalities situated in areas of extreme poverty throughout Brazil. This follows RITS’ experience working with the government in Brazil’s largest city to establish over a 100 free public internet access points in marginalised neighbourhoods.

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ICT policy set to change – Minister of Information and Communication backs change for the better

NAIROBI, KENYA 27 July 2004 (APCNews)

Kenya’s new Minister of Information and Communication, Hon. Raphael Tuju, has announced his support for the liberalisation and advancement of ICT policy in Kenya following a week-long ICT policy advocacy workshop in Nairobi organised by APC. The multi-stakeholder workshop – which ran from 19-23 July – brought together some of the most influential ICT policy stakeholders from civil society organisations, the private sector and the media from nine African countries.

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APC at the Americas Social Forum in Quito

QUITO, ECUADOR 26 July 2004 (APCNews)

The Americas Social Forum 2004 takes place in Quito, Ecuador July 25-30. APC is at the event offering a workshop on ICT policies and gender, as a joint initiative of the LAC ICT Policy Monitor and the Latin American network of the APC Women’s Programme (WNSP), with the support of APC member in Ecuador, INTERCOM.

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Rural Africa Yearning for Internet, Connectivity

NAIROBI, KENYA 26 July 2004

In a few years, an old woman in rural Africa should be able, if all goes according to plan, to connect to the net and communicate with her children in the city. This is what an information and communications technology (ICT) workshop held in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, by APC is seeking to explore.

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Civil society ICT policy portals: How the ten websites in ten different countries were developed simultaneously

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 20 July 2004 (APCNews)

APC’s Anna Feldman explains the process behind the challenge to set up ten information portals around the world in under six months in a team effort where everyone involved collaborated entirely online.

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ICT policy advocacy workshop this month to kick-start policy actions in Africa

NAIROBI, KENYA 13 July 2004 (APCNews)

APC is holding a five-day ICT (information and communication technology) policy advocacy workshop in Nairobi starting July 19. The workshop intends to galvanise the growing interest there is in ICT policy into a network of policy advocates working in their home countries. It will be the first of two regional ICT policy advocacy workshops, the second being held in Dakar, Senegal later this year. "Through the workshop, we hope to kick start concerted policy actions at the national level," says APC executive director, Anriette Esterhuysen. "There’s a lot of interest and concern and a lot of expertise out there but not enough collaborative action. We want to do more than just build capacity."

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Children hungry for computer training held back by lack of PCs in Upper Egypt

CAIRO, EGYPT 3 July 2004 (ArabDev)

“Learning and working on the computer makes me feel that I am no less than anyone else in the world.” “Everyone should learn how to use a computer, especially the poor.” This is how the children of 4th grade elementary in Abou Korkas, Menia governorate feel about their computer classes but hundreds of other children are being deprived of classes because of red tape and computer shortages. ArabDev, APC member in Cairo, sends us this report.

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Discussion papers on financing, 'e-strategies' and internet governance support new WSIS phase

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 30 June 2004 (APCNews)

The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) the first-ever UN conference on information and communication has started. Delegates are meeting in Hammamet, Tunisia in the first ‘prepcom’ of phase two, and APC is amongst them. As input to the debate of the issues that were most contentious during the first stage of WSIS internet governance, financing for ICT initiatives in developing countries and "e-strategies" APC has commissioned discussion papers written by civil society experts in the areas. You can download the papers from this site.

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The Rio Networking for Change and Empowerment Forum - A report from the women's programme

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL 30 June 2004 (APC WNSP)

In the first week of June, Rio de Janeiro saw a major gathering of gender and ICT advocates from all around the world. Over 40 activists, researchers, members of non-profits, donor agencies, and other institutions, many of whom have been working in gender and ICT for more than a decade, arrived in Brazil invited by the APC Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP) to discuss gender issues in the context of ICT policy processes and practice.

The aim of the Networking for Change and Empowerment Forum was to provide a much-needed space to build on the momentum created during the first phase of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and prepare a strategic approach and plan for the second phase of WSIS and other ICT policy arena including the Beijing+10 process (the ten year review of the results of the 1995 United Nations conference on women), the World and Regional Social Forums (WSF), the World Trade Organisation and others.

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Conflicts Arise between the Government and Civil Society Organisations Regarding Proposed Privacy Protection Act

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA 29 June 2004 (Base21)

A current government proposal to protect Korean citizens’ personal information assigns the responsibility for ensuring privacy between two government departments – one taking care of information collected by the private sector, and the other, data held by the state. APC member Jinbonet reports that civil society organisations are calling for privacy to be protected by an independent body to deal with both the public and private sectors.

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The Thethas go to the provinces in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 29 June 2004 (SANGONeT)

In March 2003 the Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) launched Thetha – the SANGONeT ICT Discussion Forum. The forums focus specifically on the ICT challenges facing the CSO sector, highlighting and promoting practical benefits, opportunities and lessons learned to date. Given the success and positive feedback received in response to previous Thetha forums, SANGONeT co-hosted its fourth provincial Thetha in the Northern Cape Province and the fifth forum in the Free State province.

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WSIS: Diary reports from civil society from the first preparatory meeting in Tunisia, June 2004

TUNISIA 29 June 2004

Collected on the CRIS Campaign site, reports in English and Spanish cover the progress of the first ‘prepcom’ from a civil society perspective of the second phase of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held June 24-26. There are reports covering each day – from Day 1 to Day 4.

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APC is lead trainer at first ICT policy for civil society workshop in India

NEW DELHI, INDIA 29 June 2004 (APCNews)

A three-day workshop on information and communication technology (ICT) policy in New Delhi in April brought together thirty participants from Indian non-governmental organisations, academics, government officials, representatives from an internet service provider association. APC was invited to be the principal trainer for the three-day workshop and participants and guests presented their experiences and case studies through the three days.

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Finding the "GEM" in the haystack - how the women and men are being affected by Africa's ICT revolution

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA 29 June 2004 (APC-Africa-Women)

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in collaboration with regional network, APC-Africa-Women, and the LINK Center, Wits University, Johannesburg, hosted a pan-African workshop to develop a multi-country action study in Africa to measure how people especially women are making use of the ICT sector since the popularisation of cell-phones, telecentres and other communications innovations.

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Why did ten APC members from around the world decide it was time to set up ICT policy portals in their countries?

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 8 June 2004 (APCNews)

10 APC members have created national portal websites tracking communications and information related policy in a joint initiative. The portals have been set up in Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, the UK and Uruguay.

APCNews asked some of the site administrators who were still putting last minute touches to their portals which were launched collectively on June 8 2004 to comment briefly on ICT policy in their countries and their hopes for the portals.

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ICT policy work at global level sparks local action and collaboration, as civil society-driven policy websites are set up in ten

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 8 June 2004 (APCNews)

Ten APC members have created national ICT policy portal websites in their own countries in a joint initiative. The portals which are all uniquely adapted to address each country’s particular situation all use free software that allows content-sharing in different languages and between multiple information databases hosted in different parts of the world.

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Why did ten APC members from around the world decide it was time to set up ICT policy portals in their countries?

MONTEVIDEO 7 June 2004 (KH for APCNews)

Ten APC members have created national portal websites tracking communications and information related policy in a joint initiative. The portals have been set up in Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, the UK and Uruguay. APCNews asked some of the site administrators who were still putting last minute touches to their portals which were launched collectively on June 8 2004 to comment briefly on ICT policy in their countries and their hopes for the portals.

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