According to the UN, access to electricity is extremely low in some areas of African countries like Kenya, where only 3 people out of 20 have power. Schools in rural areas generally have no access to a reliable power source, and other alternatives such as diesel or solar panels are an expensive alternative, and therefore not ideal for IT. In an attempt to provide pragmatic and adapted computing solutions in areas where electricity remains a challenge, Computer Aid International set out to identify what computer solutions were available and appropriate to rural African settings. Read the Computer Aid report on the five top-scoring low-cost, low-power computers or read more about it in an “online review by ZDNet”:http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/0,1000000323,39363065,00.htm.
The Community Education Computer Society (CECS), an ICT training NGO established in 1985 in South Africa, is conducting two-day workshops on free and open source software (FOSS) in five Southern African countries. Workshops will build awareness of FOSS and build capacities to conduct OpenOffice Writer courses in Lesotho, Malawi, and Namibia; and build partnerships with organisations and individuals in Angola and the Democractic Republic of Congo, to translate the FOSS portal to Portuguese and French.
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."[...]
This Day, Lagos, Nigeria
Woman! Thou Are Loosed From Poverty
22 July 2009
This major independent daily covers APC member Fantsuam Foundation "a rural-based non-governmental organisation [which] works with local communities to fight poverty and empowers disadvantage people. It is committed to making Southern Kaduna a successful and replicable model of integrated rural development in Nigeria. It was founded in 1996 by a group of Nigerian professionals from the area who recognised the need for empowering their rural neighbours and community members, particularly women, to find means of employment and income and meet their own development needs." And mentions that among its many 'firsts', Fantsuam Foundation was the winner of the First APC Africa Hafkin prize (2001).
Business Report & Independent Online, South Africa
'Telecoms gorillas need independent regulator'
22 July 2009
[...] A research article published in 2007 by Robert Horwitz and Willie Currie, from the department of communication at the University of California-San Diego and the Association for Progressive Communications, respectively, certainly supports Lewis' concerns about the regulator's lack of independence. The paper examines how Telkom's controlling shareholders were allowed to dictate the government's telecoms policy in the years after its privatisation.[...]
The Independent, Uganda
Don't miss this chance
21 July 2009
[…] A 2008 study by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) on the effects of ownership of the South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT-3/WASC) on the communications markets in Angola, Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal found that the potential of the cable had not been properly exploited. The study found that ownership of the cable by telecoms incumbents, such as MTN and UTL owning shares in EASSy in Uganda, reinforced their market positions.[…]
In the Congo, people are paying for a service that cannot even meet their needs. Poor connectivity and staggering costs that can be as high as USD 2 make it difficult to promote widespread use of the internet. In a country where people earn as little as three or four dollars (US) a day, it is impossible for 97% of Congolese to even access the internet. And those who do, are not guaranteed to get what they need from it: it can take over an hour to download a single file. With the newly re-elected government back in power, ICTs are becoming an increasingly important issue for the country’s economic and social development. Will this new presidential term bring successful reforms to the sector? APC looks at the state of ICT policy in the country and the road ahead.
What do you do when you want to install a telecentre but there is no building available to house it? APC member Arid Lands Information Network has solved the problem by building cybercafes in shipping containers. These containers, known as maarifa (or knowledge) centres are fully equipped with computers and internet access and can be moved when the need arises.
Africa: Internet Growth Accelerating
04 June 2009
Until recently, the experience of the internet in Africa has been like having to eat a three-course meal by sucking it through a straw: time-consuming, unreliable and expensive. .. [but prices are dropping] and cheap international bandwidth is an essential component for any developing country to remain competitive in a changing world.