Representatives from 29 different African parliaments met last week in Kigali to reaffirm that “equitable access to information is a right for all” and urge governments to enact laws that promote access to information, knowledge and communication for all citizens. Traditionally seen as civil and political rights, information rights are now becoming acknowledged as rights that are also social and economic, said APC’s Anriette Esterhuysen in her presentation which was framed by APC’s internet rights charter. The charter has just been translated into its twentieth language, Esperanto.
What are some of the most important challenges South African NGOs face in their communication and networking efforts? According to SANGONeT’s IT Programme Officer Botswang Kgeledi, limited ICT resources and knowledge are among the biggest challenges to effective communication and networking. Hear more about how SANGONeT is capacitating civil society with new tools to learn to make the most of these resources, in an interview by Frederick Noronha.
South African tech site, ITWeb, interviews APC’s Willie Currie on the forum being convened by APC and SANGONeT along with South Africa Connect and the Shuttleworth Foundation with the aim of drawing up a framework for a national broadband strategy.
Access to broadband is an imperative for the full expression of citizenship in today’s world. With affordable broadband, the enormous potential for socio-economic, cultural, and educational development in South Africa can be realised.
In the recent years, APC’s francophone community has grown significantly, and with this growth also came an interest for Gender Evaluations Method (GEM) training in French. Requests for the workshop have not gone unheard, and the GEM Francophone Workshop, co-organised by the Women’s Networking Support Programme (WNSP), APC-Africa-Women (AAW) and Afriklinks officially began today in Bamako, Mali. The small group of fifteen people is comprised of participants from all over Africa, including two GenARDIS grantees. The workshop, which is coordinated and facilitated by APC’s Dafhne Plou and Sylvie Niombo, aims to build capacities in gender evaluation, integrating a GEM practice in Africa, and other challenges related to gender and ICTs in Africa. Additional information and impressions can be found on the Afriklinks webiste (in French).
APC member Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) has been running satellite ground stations in its community of Entasopia, Kenya, as part of a project that has recently been featured in the International Herald Tribune and reprinted in the New York Times. In November 2008, three engineers from the University of Michigan (USA) set off to Kenya, to install a small solar-powered satellite dish to connect a few computers in the community. Chris Nicholson of the International Herald Tribune reports on the project and explores how this new connection has changed life in the community: “When Internet connections arrive in small towns like Entasopia, they put new tools into the hands of people hungry to use them, and for some there, that has had wide repercussions.” Read the article
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).