SOCIAL WATCH REPORT: Call it ‘digital divideS’, major study suggests

GOA, INDIA 4 October 2006 (FN for APCNews)

Unequal access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) has generated new inequalities, according to Social Watch -a coalition of 400 non-governmental organisations present in 60 countries. This year’s report, the eleventh edition, finds there is an urgent need to reform the current international financial structure to fulfil national and international commitments to eradicate poverty and promote gender equity.

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‘Now we have made a noise’ says APC's Ugandan member WOUGNET

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 3 October 2006 (Alan Finlay)

The goal of The Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) is to promote the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by women’s organisations in Uganda. Set up in 2000, APC member WOUGNET has been a lead actor in bringing a gender focus to ICT policy in Uganda, open source software and the World Summit on the Information Society. Read the interview with WOUGNET’s director and the organisation’s ICT programme manager.

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Turning points in the DRC for APC-member Alternatives

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 3 October 2006 (Alan Finlay)

Only just emerging from a civil war, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has for many years proved difficult for development initiatives to work in. This is especially the case when dealing with ICTs, which many people do not consider a developmental imperative. But as the Canadian-based APC member Alternatives has found, it is possible to get a foothold in difficult terrain.

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Africa must have a say in the IGF, protest from citizens in open letter

VANCOUVER, CANADA 3 October 2006 (FD for APCNews)

In an open letter sent to Markus Kummer, coordinator of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), on Otober 3 2006, African civil society organisations working on communication regulation clearly stated their commitment to contribute to the trailblazing Athens IGF encounter to be held later in October. The coalition, also known as ACSIS, recalled its fundamental principles in favour of a development-oriented internet governance arrangement, in which African citizens and those from "least developed countries" would explicitly have a say. "Even though remote participation, when adequate facilities are provided for it, can have some effectiveness, it is limited and does not replace physical presence," the letter insist, thereby demanding guarantees of inclusion for a variety of actors in the first IGF meeting. [ACSIS website momentarily unavailable]

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Drupal usability report made available

TORONTO, CANADA 3 October 2006 (Oliver Zielke)

Web Networks’ report on the usability of the content management system Drupal is now available on APC Canadian member Web Network has developed this detailed and professional report with the support of APC’s ActionKit project. Says, the report summary: "the overall conclusion of this report is that the tools Drupal provides to accomplish the most common administrative tasks associated with managing a website are all usable."

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IT-powered civil protest turns polluting gold-miners away

SOFIA, BULGARIA 28 September 2006 (Filka Sekulova)

In an unprecedented act of civil and internet activism, the villagers of a small mountain village in Bulgaria succeeded to prevent an environmentally devastating gold mining project. Despite the pressure from the corporation, the federal authorities and the police, the local community was victorious: the Canadian Martern company pulled-out at the end of the summer 2006.

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Harambee project: Call for small grants applications

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 26 September 2006 (Harambee)

The Harambee project coordinators are announcing a small grants facility to provide a number of sectoral based networks and

communities in Africa with funding for the development of greater collaborative capacity.

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Coup d'Etat in Thailand


Television and radio broadcasts were suspended yesterday, and back in full-swing again. Meanwhile, bloggers have quickly responded by setting up community sites to let the news out.

Blogging: A new vehicle for Activism

Grahamstown, South Africa

In most African countries, the governments have tried all means to ensure certain ‘dissident’ voices are not heard. Blogging is a new avenue that such voices can be heard

Who gets to speak? 50 million blogs and 6 billion people

DCI workshop, Grahamstown, South Africa

On the first day of the Digital Citizen’s Indaba in Grahamstown, South Africa, Ethan Zukerman asked: “50 million people blog out of a global population of 6 billion people – not exactly representative is it?”

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