Access to information

Opening internet access in Africa, convergence and developing country participation in the UN summit on the information society:

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 31 October 2006

Several new papers on key issues now and in the future are available online. Part of the "APC Issue Papers" series, they are currently being circulated at the UN conference on internet governance being held in Athens in English and French.

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“C4D needs to embrace the world of technology infrastructure”

ROME, ITALY 27 October 2006 (FD for APCNews)

Politically, the World Congress on Communication for Development that is presently unrolling in beautiful Rome might not seem to be the most relevant event. No gender perspective to report on, little debate on the value of telecom infrastructure, almost no inclusion of information and communication technology for development on the agenda. In one seminar, APC nevertheless felt like going political.

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BBC panel on media left audience laughing and out of breath

ROME, ITALY 27 October 2006 (FD for APCNews)

In a packed plenary room of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome this week, the BBC’s World Service Trust organised a world debate, hosted by BBC World star moderator Stephen Sackur. “Is a Free Media Essential for Development?” was the question asked. Trigger-happy panellists did not loose a second to get in debating mode.

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World congress on communication for development shopping for an identity

ROME, ITALY 25 October 2006 (FD for APCNews)

The very first World Congress on Communication for Developement got underway on October 25 in Rome. In the course of the WCCD, we will be able to measure if the participants will be able to give ‘communication for development’ a clear focus and genuine identity. With the diversity of voices in the audience though, one might scratch one’s head, doubting about the feasibility of this objective. APCNews is on the ground and offers an introduction here.

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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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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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Getting impatient with GAID: Calls for clarity on the plans

GOA, INDIA 4 September 2006 (FN for APCNews)

Like six blind men trying to understand what an elephant is all about, comprehending the Global Alliance for ICT and Development is still a challenge for most. But is it impatience, or is the GAID slow in taking off?

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Alcatel bags EASSy tender, all eyes watch over who really won

GOA, INDIA 31 August 2006 (APCNews)

French telco giant Alcatel has bagged the tender for the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System, an initiative to connect countries along the eastern coast of Africa, via a high bandwidth fibre optic cable system to the rest of the world. It is considered a milestone in the development of information infrastructure in the region. But what is really happening on the ground to make sure the important ‘open access model’ is implemented?

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Chris Nichol: A man who made a difference

IRELAND 27 August 2006 (Maud Hand)

“If you don’t try, you can’t complain,” said Chris Nichol the first time I interviewed him at a preparatory conference for the World Summit on the Information Society in February 2003. Chris was one of the many APC members I engaged with as a WSIS virgin tasked with the job of communicating the process in a web-friendly way for the organization.

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