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.
The telecoms situation in Benin is unique. The array of mobile telephone enterprises established during Mathieu Kérékou’s regime has resulted in the average Beninese owning three, four, or even five SIM cards for their daily communication needs. Facilitated by corruption and skyrocketing prices, it was not until the arrival to power of the new president Yayi Boni in 2006 that reform in this sector began. Despite the current progress and lower prices, networks remain segregated and there is still much to be done in relation to ICTs and the standardisation of the telecom sector in a legislative and regulatory environment that is open to investment. APC investigates to find out more.
Since the APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor started in 2001, significant inroads into raising the profile of the need for progressive ICT policy approaches in Africa have been made. The need for a portal like the Africa ICT Policy Monitor that collects and organises news and resources on a vast array of issues has diminished, but APC’s policy programme’s Africa wing will continue to report on issues of strategic importance through Chakula, a periodic newsletter.
Is the cellular phone a tool for oppression or empowerment? An innovative new campaign by Girl’sNet, a daughter project of Women’sNet aims to ensure that the cell phones are are used to empower young South African women through positive self-expression.
The recent South African elections, held on April 22 2009, seem to be the most vibrant yet to grip the country. Political parties launched their manifestos and a striking issue was the absence of women’s concerns in the political parties’ agenda, in spite of the fact that women formed the majority of this years registered voters. This special edition newsletter on gender and politics by Women’sNet explores the question of women, gender and politics and will leave you wanting to read more…
Computer World Kenya, Zambia
Tanzanian telecenters share costs of wireless 'Net'
07 May 2009
"Telecenters in rural Tanzania have challenged the idea that the ICT needs of rural communities are being met by mobile phone operators, according to a recent report by the Association for Progressive Communication (APC), a network of nonprofit ICT development organizations."
South Africa is on the cusp of major broadband infrastructure roll-out. Seacom, a submarine cable initiative, will link South Africa to India and Europe by mid-2009, breaking the state monopoly and bringing down the cost of international bandwidth. And the new government isn’t ready for this, say a coalition of South Africans. So to help, they’ve put together a policy framework that could ensure that broadband develops so that all South Africans benefit and that’s been signed up to by thousands of their compatriots.