Strategic use of the internet

SANGONeT ... attempting a rescue of poorly performing telecentres

GOA, India

APC member SANGONeT features in this report titled South Africa: Rescue Attempt On Poorly Performing Telecentres. Says the Johannesburg-datelined report in Business Day, which is South Africa’s major business-oriented daily: “Dozens of telecentres set up to take telecommunications services to rural areas have been an absolute waste of time and money, says an organisation trying to salvage them. Of 133 telecentres set up by the Universal Service Agency (USA), many are underused, entirely dysfunctional or have turned into private businesses benefiting the people appointed to run them. Now a three-year project is under way to revive some of the centres and assess which should be written off. This report quotes SANGONeT executive-director David Barnard as saying: ““There are some fairly critical views about the impact telecentres have had and to a large extent those criticisms are valid. Real questions have been raised about their relevance and whether millions of rands have been pumped into a big black hole with little to show for it.” Says the report: “Sangonet, a body that helps development agencies use IT in the communities they serve, is driving the telecentre overhaul.”

WSF coverage: What a day!


It was no ordinary day at the Forum yesterday. An angry crowd protested, stopped the traffic, and created confusion. It was the worthy WSF that found itself at the end of the of the protesters’’ anger. Some 200 them from the slums demanded to be let into the stadium, forcing Forum organiser Jose Chacon to order the giant metal gates open.

The internet in Latin America... from the eyes of its protagonists

GOA, India

Check this blog by Jose Sorian titled “la historia de Internet en ALC por sus protagonistas” at Thanks to Adolfo Dunayevich of APC for putting out the link. Some other links on that blog’s blog-roll: Convergencias de gente en la red; LANIC – Historia de Internet en ALC; and recuerdos de la red.

India looks out for models, skills on community radio

GOA, India

Looking at a few available models, social groups interested in entering the field of non-commercial ‘community radio’ broadcasting are actively assessing models for the same.

Wireless technology and blogging in Africa

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM 16 January 2007 (Focus on Africa)

Following an APC coordinated meeting in London about wireless internet technology in Africa last December, John Dada and Alaa Ahmed Seif al-Islam gave interviews to the BBC World Service. Those of you not based in Africa may have missed the broadcasts. Here they are in mp3 files. Both were broadcasted on the BBC’s Focus on Africa Programme in December 2006.

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The Chaos in the Bazaar: The CCC kicks off

BERLIN, Germany

Hackers, young zit-faced teenagers, mid-aged technologists and enthusiastic social techies rallied behind the motto “Who Can You Trust?”. It’s called the Chaos Communications Congress (CCC) and attracts several hundred Central and Eastern Europeans, but also North Americans by now.

Dawn of the digital city


“It’s a go for the installation tomorrow, I know I’m last minute, but that’s the life of a ninja,” Alexis Cornellier, director of operations for the Montreal-based community wireless network Île Sans Fil (ISF) wrote in an sms. ISF has now become a catalyst for the establishment of the digital city. Read the excellent article "Dawn of the Digital City" by Brendan K. Edwards in the pages of Siagu, an independent bi-monthly news and analysis magazine.

Interview with SANGONeT’s web editor: Getting the tech right

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 16 November 2006 (FD for APCNews)

The South African non-governmental organisation net (SANGONeT) is known for being at the forefront of South Africa’s civil society, especially in matters related to information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the internet. How that came to be and how SANGONeT is using technology is discussed with SANGONeT portal editor Fazila Farouk here.

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BETINHO PRIZE SPECIAL: Communication technologies, weapons against war in Colombia

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 9 October 2006 (AL for APCNews)

In the midst of an armed conflict, organising an audiovisual communication workshop for youth does not tend to be a priority for groups working in the area. Nevertheless, for the International Peace Observatory (IPO), a Colombian organisation that was a finalist for the Betinho prize in 2005, it is essential that small farmer communities – who are the first victims of the war – be able to tell their stories. APCNews spoke to Laura Lorenzi, president of the IPO, about how new technologies can become arms in the struggle against the war.

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Harambee project: Call for small grants applications

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 26 September 2006 (Harambee)

The Harambee project coordinators are announcing a small grants facility to provide a number of sectoral based networks and

communities in Africa with funding for the development of greater collaborative capacity.

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