This paper produced by South African Mike Jensen covers increasing North-South inequities (“paying both ways”) and proposed strategies for minimising the disparities in interconnection rates, accelerating the restructuring of the communications sector, supporting the establishment of national and international internet exchange points, and building local demand for national and international backbones.
The book, Mainstreaming ICTs: Africa lives the information society, is a contribution towards efforts to bridge the “policy-practice” divide. It is aimed at development practitioners and ICT innovators interested in inventive technology applications for social justice and development. APC contributed to the section “Building community wireless connectivity in developing countries”.
The book contains ten case studies reflecting on the innovative and creative ways information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been used to promote people-centred development in a number of Sub-Saharan African countries. The ICTs for development handbook is a practical user guide, covering case studies of projects in the areas of ICTs in education, gender, environment, health and e-democracy. The book is a useful guide for positioning non-profit organisations to contribute effectively in meeting select MDGs and other development imperatives, through the use of ICTs.
The collection also features five toolkits which offer useful resources for civil society groups wanting to utilise ICTs for developmental initiatives. The toolkits centre on technology planning, open source migration, information security and privacy, gender evaluation methodology, and community wireless networking.
The book was compiled and edited by Women’sNet with the assistance of a Southern African editorial group including Toni Eliasz, Ria Greyling, Benter Okello, Muroro Dziruni, Ashraf Patel, and Natasha Primo. The project was supported by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA)”.
Many of us question the use of the term Information Society. It has the tendency to de-emphasize more fundamental inequalities. Nevertheless, the term is here to stay, and the recent United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Geneva in December 2003, popularized its use by governments and the media. Participating governments adopted a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action which outline policy for global coordination of information and communications technologies (ICTs), and propose actions to “bridge the digital divide.” Civil society organizations adopted their own declaration, which expresses an alternative vision and plan.
APC’s overriding objective at this year’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 12 to 15 November, was to promote internet for development.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is organising a one-day event called EQUITABLE ACCESS to start a process of consolidating emerging lessons and knowledge on innovative access solut
The APC Council is made up of two representatives of each APC memeber. They gather together face to face every two years, to set and revise APC strategic priorities.
In 2004, APC became focused on producing policy commentaries, proposals and positions, reflecting its independent and critical perspective. APC formed strategic alliances with like-minded groups with whom for instance it promoted the position that the internet is a global public good. The APC annual report 2004 includes APC’s advocacy work for the United Nations summit on the information society (WSIS) as well as in stimulating and supporting accelerated ICT policy and regulatory reform in six African countries.
The Gender Research in Africa into ICTs for Empowerment (GRACE) is a research project that APCNews has been covering in the past. APC’s women programme in Africa (AAW) also engaged with the project over the last months. But where is it at? Capacity building workshops were held in July 2005 and June 2006, with a third workshop planned for July 2007. Here is a short update on GRACE.
Blatant censorship is one thing, and can be fought. But who controls the controllers? What about the more subtle forms of control and blockages, that often can work in the more brutal ways of the unseen hand? APC member-organisation RITS’s Carlos Afonso, made this point articulatedly at the Internet Governance Forum in Athens. Afonso underlined that it was difficult to deal internet-related issues "without considering the situation of regulation, legislation and control of the network itself." He questioned the view that "the technical question is not as relevant as the other issues." What is the responsibility of network operators? Controlling players decide if voice over IP traffic can pass through an exchange point or not.