Indian language computing solutions in free/libre and open source software is "doing fine" but needs better documenting and packaging. It also needs to find sufficient numbers of users. There is a lot of potential for regional, cross-country cooperation in this field in South Asia, a region in urgent need of solutions to its computing challenges. This interview with Sarai.net, the Delhi-based new media initiative, also self-defined as a "space for research, practice and conversation about the contemporary media and urban constellations", explores these challenges.
On Sunday May 7, free speech activist Alaa Seif Al-Islam – a pioneer Egyptian blogger – was arrested by the authorities of his country. Alaa, a colleague and friend of the APC community, with which he shared many encounters, is persecuted for organising protest activities against his government.
Our colleague, Alaa Abdel El Fatah, is spending his fourth night in an
APC Women’s Programme Coordinator, Chat Garcia Ramilo combines a gender workshop with a road trip in the Indian summer and gets a hot dose of Indian culture.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process culminated with the Tunis Summit in November 2005 and we are now five months into the post-WSIS implementation phase. … But what does that mean in practice? What are the post-WSIS implementation processes, what actors are involved, when and where are they taking place and how can you get involved? The following ten-page overview sheds some light on these questions, as well as other questions civil society actors have, as we prepare for the first intensive series of post-WSIS panels, workshops and consultations scheduled in May and June 2006.
“Pro-democracy demonstrators have been locked up and reformist judges face dismissal for criticising the Egyptian regime over its grip on power,” writes The Guardian on May 8. Sign the petitions for the immediate release of Alaa and the rest of the group that was kidnapped yesterday – and who’ll be detained for 15 days – on this blog.
“Francophone women are less likely to use the internet than Anglophone women (40.4% compared with 55.3%, respectively)" says a survey report released lately on the Womyn’s Voices website. In the spring of 2002, 50 women’s groups working in minority situations in Canada were surveyed on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The project’s scope is limited, looking at Francophone women’s groups working in minority situations. Also since statistics tend to change rapidly, especially concerning ICTs, the data presented may not be an accurate account of today’s reality. It remains a valuable assessment for APC, not only for better understanding its current projects and members in francophone Africa and Canada, but also in preparing its new website in French.
Between the 12th and 16th of July 2006, an APC-organised North African Regional Wireless Training Workshop will take place in Morocco. Wireless technologies offer developing countries an important low-cost, versatile alternative to wired infrastructure. They enable communities to extend the reach of cabled internet connectivity and to be in control of the planning, implementation and design of their own networks. Applications need to be in by the 19th of May.
In close collaboration with the Collegium for Development Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden and civil society groups in Uganda, APC-member WOUGNET has recently made a report available. The general theme of this report is the process and outcomes of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society, with special focus on internet governance, censorship and human rights issues, as well as on the Uganda’s way forward.
In this piece published in the March edition of the Development Journal, Chat Garcia Ramilo argues strongly for a feminist agenda on technology. Drawing on the discussions at the AWID Forum, she shows how within the framework of women’s rights technology is a determining factor in women’s sexuality, representation and exploitation, and has to be seen as one more facet of violence against women. She calls on the feminist movement to engage technologies as a site of feminist political struggle. Download the article in PDF format.