ICT for development
In order to bridge the digital divide in Africa, one area that needs attention is imparting of basic literacy skills amongst the majority of the adult population, many of whom cannot read or write.
Greetings! Lauren writing from the AMARC 9 World Assembly in Amman,Jordan. It has been a privilege to be present here among the global and regional AMARC family and the many local community radio activists and journalists. I wish to share very good news from the Community Radio sector of India….
A conference of the Association of Community Radio Producers AMARC is currently taking place in Amman. A small APC team is there and, besides other types of involvement, we are organizing a workshop on wireless networking, with the focuse on wireless networks usage by community radios.
At the end of October 2006 the first ‘World congress on communication for development’ took place in Rome. Its aim was to discuss the value of ‘communication for development’ and to give this issue more priority in development cooperation. Although it is always helpful to network and to see many interesting people, my assessment of the congress is still rather mixed. Let me share one or two major critical points with you.
In the present context of Nepal, excluding the government offices and huge financial institutions, more than 90% of the PC’s run pirated version of Microsoft Windows. Despite the persuasion and the creation of awareness, as long as the piracy continues it will always be difficult for the users to switch to Open Source alternatives such as Linux. The major reasons behind it are the cost and the vendor lock.
Via the IGF Community Site one can find links to some events coming up (at the time of writing) at Athens, Greece. An anti-spam toolkit, a content creation workshop, another legal aspects workshop, an overview of diversity, yet another on human rights and the internet, workshop on IP-network development….. don’t we need solutions real fast?
Is this a shift of power? Is it just a form of tokenism? Does it work? Will it really involve the diversity of people across the globe? Kieren McCarthy posted to the Governance mailing list and Plenary list an announcement of how SMS questions can go to the IGF main session. Full details on the igf2006.info site that takes you to http://igf2006.intgovforum.org/
The leader of a Netherlands-based non governmental association at the very end of the World Congress on Communication for Development, here in Rome, probably best summarised how development practitioners (communicators, donors and those benefiting from the development at the end of the line) need to move on.
Here is a fresh analysis by Rahul Kumar of One World South Asia (OWSA) about the World Congress on Communication for Developement (WCCD). He writes: "People, local communities and the grassroots was the answer that came repeatedly from politicians as well as practitioners for answers to better communication, right communication and well as the mantra for successful communication strategies. Read "Global communications meet searches for answers" here.
The NEPAD e-school project is no doubt a very noble idea. It aims to equip schools throughout Africa with an ‘end-to-end Technology solution’. But will this project live beyond the implementation period?