This paper sets out to look at the question to information and communication technologies (ICTs) in relation to women’s development in Africa. The emphasis is on current issues and the paper highlights key issues and challenges faced by women in Africa and to a smaller extent, globally. The paper provides examples of good practice and includes recommendations to civil society organisations on how to create an enabling environment for women to access and use ICTs for development. The crucial link between understanding the gender dimensions of the information society – in terms of what women’s needs are and a thorough understanding of conditions of access, policies – and the potential ICTs have of boosting the economic, political and social empowerment of women, and the promotion of gender equality is explored. An extensive resource list and examples of successful initiatives form the field are included in appendices.
This paper presents a review of African participation in the first phase WSIS process (i.e. the Geneva summit held in December 2003 and the preparatory process leading up to it). It is not intended as a comprehensive analysis, but to stimulate discussion about ways in which African participation – particularly that of African civil society – can be more effectively structured during the second phase of the summit.
This discussion paper, commissioned by the APC, aims to raise the profile of e-waste issues in developing countries so that the implications of information and communications technology (ICTs) for development initiatives can be better understood – particularly in the context of the increasing flow of old technology from developed to developing countries.
Women have one chance in three less than men to benefit in the African information society. In the “Gender digital divide in francophone Africa” research on six countries (Benin, Burkina FasoBurkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal) conducted by the Gender and ICT Network, connections between gender and ICTs were found to be widely unrecognised. Looking at control, content, capacities and connectivity, the research measured gender disparities that are present with regard to access, use and mastery of ICTs. The reality surfaced from the results is as the title suggests, harsh. However, more positively, this collaborative research has developed critical statistical tools to enable concrete measurement of the gender digital divide. In turn, the data and knowledge base established renders the gender dimension in this field significantly visible. For the development of ICT policies that are equitable, strategic and relevant, particularly in response to poverty-reduction, this constitutes an important decision-making tool for the region.
The Gender Digital Divide in Francophone Africa: A Harsh Reality» is part of the French-language series “Etudes et recherches” published by ENDA. The series consists of papers presented at seminars and raining sessions, occasional papers and other documents.
The English translation and publication in PDF format of «The Gender Digital Divide in Francophone Africa: A Harsh Reality» was made possible thanks to the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).
Statement from participants in the “Civil Society Workshop on Open Access to ICT infrastructure in Africa”
A statement by African civil society groups was made in light of the publicised commitments and goals of the Connect Africa Summit taking place in Rwanda, Kigali on 29th and 30th of October 2007. The statement acknowledges that the private sector plays a key role in the deployment of infrastructure in Africa. Its continued investment should be encouraged through the implementation of a stable policy environment that encourages investment as well as protect the public interest. Read the full statement here.
The 2007 Global Information Society Watch report identifies Nigeria as the fastest growing ICT market in Africa. Despite this, women remain severely under-represented among the country’s ICT professionals. And yet, one young woman in APC-member Fantsuam’s ICT department became a role model when she became the first woman to climb a communications tower in northern Nigeria.
There is a Congolese proverb that says, “You can’t wash your face with just one finger.” That’s the expression APC’s new member AZUR Développement is using in reference to the need to solidify links with other APC members in order to get the ICT job done in Congo. And they mean it. Recognising that APC’s members have a lot of experience with ICTs, they believe that their activities and those of APC’s members will blend in well.
APC member Protege QV celebrated a belated but successful Software Freedom Day on Saturday 6 October 2007 with a Web 2.0 and web-based project management application workshop. The international day to educate the public about the importance of software freedom and the availability of free and open source software (FOSS) was officially 15 September 2007, but due to technical constraints, Protege QV pushed its plans ahead.