More than a decade after the telecommunications policy reform in many African countries, there continues to be a deficit in universal affordable access to fixed telecom infrastructure. This deficit severely limits the possibility of information and communication technologies (ICTs) being used to foster social and economic development, yet, the problem persists despite the phenomenal increase in access to mobile telecom networks, and greatly inhibits access to information and knowledge through the internet, which still requires broadband connectivity through fixed networks. APC’s Communication for Influence in Central, East and West Africa project (CICEWA) project links advocacy, research, network-building and action for regional ICT development – here is what the project has taught us.
Two years ago, APC’s policy team led a project that would help strengthen African civil society to advocate for affordable broadband, adequate infrastructure, and in some cases, universal access funds which help put in place the necessary systems to achieve universal access to the internet. The Communication for Influence in Central, East and West Africa, or CICEWA, initiative was about identifying the political obstacles – what we called policy knots to extending affordable access to ICT infrastructure in Africa – and to advocate for their removal in order to create sound platforms for sub-regional connectivity. As the project comes to an end, participants reflect on their experience – the lessons learned, the challenges they encountered and what they found most rewarding — through interviews with APCNews.
Currently, about 20 million Kenyans own mobile phones. Mobile phones receive their signals over electromagnetic waves that are also used for everything from home appliances like microwave ovens and remote controls, to the radio and internet. These waves are assigned different frequencies or spectrum so that they don’t interfere with each other. However Kenya is at risk of running out of spectrum because of an outdated spectrum allocation framework and a disaster in day-to-day communications and the security of countless services is waiting to happen. A new study by Muriuki Mureithi commissioned by the APC proposes a solution.
With hundreds of telecommunications and broadcasting licenses granted since 1992, Nigeria is arguably the leading country in Africa with respect to spectrum deregulation and licensing. There are over currently 350 licensed broadcast stations in operation in the country. Simultaneously NCC has licensed over 300 telecoms licenses to private companies in Nigeria, though unlike for broadcasting, this study could not independently verify the utilization of these licenses. With the global trend that will see the two regulatory bodies merge, this report questions which regulatory body’s practice of assignment will prevail, and what steps will be taken to improve transparency and usage of spectrum – especially of the newly-freed broadcasting frequencies from digital migration.
Women’sNet invites you to a day filled with activities to reclaim Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) back by occupying Miriam Makeba Street and setting up an outdoor internet cafe.
Inter Press Service (IPS), YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon
CAMEROON Profits Were Only a Phone Call Away
08 December 2010
[…]Njepang is a resource person with a project funded by GenARDIS (Gender, Agriculture and Rural Development in the Information Society). “We thought that in this fast-moving world, it was necessary to put at the disposal of these village communities, a communication tool, namely, the mobile telephone,” said Njepang.
GenARDIS teamed up with the SB Mathur Foundation in a six-month project to provide women farmers in Santa district in the North West, and in Bangang, Bafoussam and Kamna districts in Cameroon’s West Region with cellphones with which to gain access to valuable market information. […]
SABC Radio, JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
APC and WikiLeaks
08 December 2010
The Association for Progressive Communications says it believes the ability to use the Internet to share information and communicate freely is vital to the realisation of human rights. The association’s statement comes after WikiLeaks website outraged Washington by releasing thousands of secret American documents. The association says the website plays a vital role in aiding the fight against corruption in governments and corporations. According to the association, WikiLeak has enhanced efforts to use the internet to contribute more accountable and transparent governance at global and national levels. The association is the world’s longest-running online progressive network which was founded in 1990.
Hi comrade. Hope this letter will find you a good health. Just wanted to tell you that on December 1, in Kinshasa, we will be marching from Maison communal de Kimbanseke towards… a positive future.
Five organizations representing those who have suffered the most from HIV join forces to speak out, celebrate and inform.
Today I challenged ideas around pornophobia and morality among Congolese media practitioners
I’m just back from a cyberdialogue organized in my country around ICT and violence against women. As my organization Si Jeunesse Savait is implementing a 2-year project on the topic, I felt like it was really the place to be today. I put aside planning for next year. That could wait.
“I used to think that computers are only for those people who are educated and are in big offices in Kampala but today I have realized that I can also use a computer,” said Kintu Solome, who received training in ICT skills at a workshop led by APC partner Isis WICCE in Uganda 15-19 November. Isis-WICCE was awarded a small grant from APC Women’s Networking Support Programme’s (WNSP) Take Back the Tech! to end violence against women project to hold the training.