Access to information
Beginning a process of regionalisation APC member Computer Aid International opened its Southern Africa Regional offfice in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new Computer Aid office will support existing and future partners in Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
IPLeft, a social group for information commons in South Korea since 1999, launched the Korean Open Access Licence (KOAL) in October, 2004. KOAL is a newly-introduced model of open access to information in South Korea. Jinbonet, APC member in Seoul, has participated in IPLeft activities to develop this new initiative.
longtime APC collaborator is localising OpenOffice.org and other open software to Swahili, the lingua franca of East Africa, spoken by almost 100 million people. The software has just been released.
A project using wireless technology to link small-scale farmers in a desert valley in Peru is helping farmers by providing and generating local information online. The living conditions of more than 6,000 rural workers is being directly affected. APC member in Lima, CEPES, is providing technical support for the project and the content exchange software used is APC ActionApps.
APC member in Canada, Web Networks, has integrated APC’s free software ActionApps with a number of other applications to come up with a first – the ability to easily view Inukititut (a Canadian Aboriginal language) online, as well as giving Inuit abilities to easily publish online in their native language.
WSIS Update: APC reports on recent and upcoming meetings on internet governance and the financing of ICTs in developing countrie
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process continues and two issues on which governments were unable to reach consensus during the first phase in 2003- ‘internet governance’ and ‘financing mechanisms’- are under the microscope. Last month saw the first open consultation on the ‘working group on internet governance’. APC briefs you on the discussions taking place.
A workshop held in Manila focused on pressing communication rights issues in the Asian region including attacks on freedom of expression and independent media. Activists issued a statement in support of a Thai colleague present who returned home to face a million-dollar lawsuit for speaking out in the press against government corruption.
Following the successful World Forum on Communications Rights held in Geneva in December, communications activists including the APC aim to bring together those working at different levels on communication rights – from grass roots activists working on practical projects and street level campaigns, to those engaged in lobbying and advocacy, to researchers and academics for a European Forum on Communication Rights on October 14 in London.
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.
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.