By most standards, Tanzania’s information and communications technology (ICT) policy looks ambitious. In just six years, it wants to make the country a hub of telecommunications infrastructure to help build the economy and end poverty. But John Mireny argues that when it comes to broadband, this vision lacks practical application, and is out of step with the real limitations on the ground….
For twenty days in July, land-locked Niger was without internet connection owing to damage to the undersea cable which goes through neighbouring Benin, and on which Niger depends for 70% of its bandwidth. This APC investigation seeks to understand why this West African country is almost exclusively reliant on Beninese infrastructures, when an alternative satellite solution could have minimised the severity of the situation.
On 12 December last year – Kenya’s 44th independence-day celebrations – journalists, media owners and civil society activists took to the streets in Nairobi. They were protesting the publication of Kenya’s Communications Amendment Bill (2007) which was later passed into law. But the media protests overshadowed a more complex challenge that lies at the heart of policy convergence in a networked world, write Rebecca Wanjiku and Alan Finlay…
In Latin America there is still a lack of universal access to telecommunications infrastructure in general and broadband in particuar. Some countries have chosen to develop national and local internet traffic through national access points (NAP) to keep prices down by avoiding international networks. However Venezuela has not yet taken the decision to install a NAP. APC research takes a look at the situation behind the deadlock.
Analysts argue that governments in cash-strapped developing countries often tread a tightrope between a need to shore up the state coffers for public spending, and a responsibility to address critical telecommunications access for the poor. Telecommunications make money – lots of it – and many governments know that this money can be used to fund basic services, such as water, housing and electricity. But in the process universal access promises go adrift, as is the case with Uganda’s high taxes on telecoms services, write Wairagala Wakabi and Alan Finlay.
afrol News, Africa
Africa lags behind in use of free software
22 July 2009
[...]According to the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), African institutions now slowly are discovering the advantages of free software. In West Africa, APC reports, "the low level of free software production goes hand in hand with marginal usage. Nonetheless, free software is present in certain businesses, in education, etc."[...]
[img_assist|nid=8855|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=213|height=300]Late 2008 a sensational homage to Creative Commons (CC) usage within Australasia was published. Edited by Rachel Cobcroft and produced in collaboration with the team at the Australian Creative Commons Clinic, >Building an Australasian Commons features a vast repertoire of projects and initiatives that have employed Creative Commons licenses.
APC strategic priorities for 2009-12: The challenges and opportunities to using internet for social justice today
After several days of intense debate, APC members identified six issues as the key strategic areas that APC must tackle in the next five years: advocating for affordable internet access for all, ICTs and the environment, building the “information commons” , defending internet rights, critical and creative engagement of emerging technologies from a social change perspective and improving governance, especially governance of the internet. Why did APC members prioritise those six issues? What are the key challenges and opportunities that they perceive regarding the freedom of the internet and its use for social justice in the coming years?
South Africa is on the cusp of major broadband infrastructure roll-out. Seacom, a submarine cable initiative, will link South Africa to India and Europe by mid-2009, breaking the state monopoly and bringing down the cost of international bandwidth. And the new government isn’t ready for this, say a coalition of South Africans. So to help, they’ve put together a policy framework that could ensure that broadband develops so that all South Africans benefit and that’s been signed up to by thousands of their compatriots.
Does broadband really make a difference to economic growth? Are there other similar broadband campaigns elsewhere in Africa? The South Africa broadband campaign has answers to these questions on its campaign site:www.broadband4africa.org.za. APC has translated this essential information into French and Portuguese for our African readers and Spanish for Latin American readers fed up of paying over the odds for what’s now the basic internet connectivity required to access today’s interactive sites.