By Brenda Zulu
The Bamako Polycentric World Social Forum organisation has been challenged on how to bring Africa out of its marginalisation and the Bamako event is offering the occasion to converge the fight.
‘Mainstreaming ICTs: Africa Lives the Information Society" is a contribution towards efforts to bridge the "policy-practice" divide. The book is amied at development practitioners and ICT innovators interested in inventive technology applications for social justice and development. It contains 10 case studies reflecting on the innovative and creative ways information and communciation technologies (ICTs) have been used to promote people-centred development in a number of Sub-Saharan African countries. The book was compiled and edited by Women’sNet with the assistance of a Southern African editorial group including Toni Eliasz, Ria Greyling, Benter Okello, Muroro Dziruni, Ashraf Patel, and Natasha Primo. The project was supported by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).
IMARK is a suite of distance-learning resources, tools and communities on information management. A new website has just been launched. Modules are now available in French and Spanish. APC is part of the IMARK steering group together with UNESCO, FAO and others.
The ‘APC regional consultation meeting on ICT policy in South Asia’ that was to be held in end-January in Kathmandu, Nepal, has been postponed. This meet aims at engaging in surfacing ICT policy priorities and strategies in the countries of South Asia, to exchange information on ICT policy issues and advocacy strategies, and to explore new ways of networking and coordinating on ICT policy advocacy in South Asia. APC is also consulting with One World South Asia, Panos South Asia, IDRC, among others, in organizing the meeting.
You’ve probably heard of speed-dating: after a two minute chat with a stranger, you decide if you wish to give him or her your phone number for continued contact. Likewise, speed-geeking is a tech introduction-in-a-hurry. Some 11 interesting projects — including APC members — got a chance to introduce themselves to participants of Africa Source II, in January 2006 in Kalangala, a picturesque but really-remote island in Lake Victoria, Uganda.
Out of college, at a time when most young people would like just to have a good time, Rudi von Staden (27) is onto something vastly different. He believes his tech skills can really make a difference to those working for social change in southern Africa. This representative of an APC member organisation shares his vision and mission with APCNews editor Frederick Noronha.
Natasha Primo recently became the first-ever woman to chair APC, or the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), which one publication called The African Digital Commons described as being founded by a team "clued in to the potential power of ICTs at a time when many of us still thought of computers as glorified typewriters". Primo, also the executive director of the South Africa-based Women’sNet, outlines some issues, challenges and plans that stand before APC.
The APC blog was started in November of 2005 for the World summit on the information society (WSIS) taking place in Tunis. The blog was an instant hit. It attracted a diversity of voices. The APC comms team decided to make the blog a permanent source of alternative news about ICTs and the internet for social justice and sustainable development.
The APC blog is open to all. It serves the purpose of a ‘quick and dirty’ information exchange for all the participants of the APC community. If you attend an cyber-activist event, interview a social techie or want to share a great hyperlink about free and open source software, please don’t hesitate to post.
Good reading, good writing, good blogging!
BBC’s Radio 4 has announced an appeal for cash donations to Computer Aid International (CAI). Meanwhile, this APC member is also launching a Kenya Cycle Challenge, which encourages volunteers to "cycle from the foot of Mount Kenya to the shores of Lake Victoria" in February 2006 in support of CAI’s work with Kenyan secondary schools. Computer Aid is looking for participants for what it calls a "trip of a lifetime". Besides cycling for hundreds of kilometres across "one of the beautiful landscapes on earth", participants also get a chance to visit schools benefitting from the project, along the way. Details from kenyachallenge @ computeraid.org
Projects from Brazil and Chile
that seek to include the disadvantaged in the realm of benefits brought about by information and communication technologies (ICTs) have emerged as joint winners of the APC Betinho Communications Prize 2005.