The Family Alliance for Development and Cooperation (FADECO) has come a long way since 1993, when Joseph Sekiku and friends formed an alliance to help overcome poverty in north-western Tanzania. Starting as a network of people sharing an internet connection, the small telecentre eventually became a computer literacy training station, an internet café, and has expanded to an informative radio station reaching two million listeners, many of whom are farmers. Radio France International interviewed Joseph after his story was featured in an APC study called Unbounded possibilities: Observations on sustaining rural ICTs. Listen to the interview (off-site).
The rationale for the report is featured in an APCNews article Rural communication: Is there still a need for telecentres now that there are mobile phones? which is also available in French and Spanish.
Alice Munyua, of APC member Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) spoke at the IGF opening ceremony. In her speech, she highlighted the East African Internet Governance Forum (EAIGF) held in early November as the first of its kind in the African region. “[The EAIFG] was initiated from the realisation that there was a need to address very limited participation by Africa stakeholders in not only the Internet Governance Forum but also in other global ICT policy processes.”
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Every now and then a conference happens at the right time, in the right place, and in the right way. MobileActive08, hosted and organised by SANGONeT falls into this category.
Monday October 13 2008 marked the beginning of MobileActive08 Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. Over 350 participants from more than 40 countries attended the first of the three-day event, whose theme is “Unlocking the Potential of Mobile Technology for Social Impact”. The event brings together key stakeholders that are interested in the use of mobile technology for social development, and the participants, which include NGO and nonprofit practitioners, will explore how mobile phones are being used to advance civil society work and investigate new opportunities. Follow the proceedings of the event and read about the discussion topics online.
As other African countries along the SAT-3 submarine internet cable struggle with the high costs of monopolised international bandwidth, Mauritius has encouraged a lowering of prices through price-setting. But Mauritius Telecom had lowered its rates even before the government scale came into effect. The Cyber Island has seen a significant increase in its call centre and outsourcing sectors. Can Mauritius provide lessons to countries that are looking to boost their economies? This study written by Russell Southwood for APC in May, and now available for the first time in French and Portuguese, examines the relationship between international bandwidth prices in Mauritius and the impact of its Cyber Island strategy.
Why African governments need to listen to the case for "open access" to international communications infrastructure
Africa faces two serious challenges regarding internet connectivity – high prices and unreliable connections. The SAT-3/WASC cable, a submarine cable that runs from Portugal to South Africa, has the potential to help alleviate some of the connectivity challenges however, a study released by the APC in May 2008 and now in French and Portuguese written by Abiodun Jagun, reveals that the cable remains largely under-utilised. APCNews talks to Abi Jagun about her findings.