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."[...]
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.
Launch of draft framework for a national broadband strategy highlights policy vacuum in South Africa
A draft framework towards a broadband strategy in South Africa was launched in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
How does an organisation founded in the 20th Century devise a strategic plan for the 21st…
Representatives from 29 different African parliaments met last week in Kigali to reaffirm that “equitable access to information is a right for all” and urge governments to enact laws that promote access to information, knowledge and communication for all citizens. Traditionally seen as civil and political rights, information rights are now becoming acknowledged as rights that are also social and economic, said APC’s Anriette Esterhuysen in her presentation which was framed by APC’s internet rights charter. The charter has just been translated into its twentieth language, Esperanto.