By March-end 2006, the first 50 telecenters of the Telecentros BR project are expected to be launched. They’re located in low-income communities. This project was developed by APC-member Rits, Brazil’s state-run oil corporation Petrobras and ITI (National Institute of Information Technology). Each unit is equipped with 20 internet-linked computers. Free Software technicians and social developers were hired and especially trained for the project. Rits developed a management system that can generate real-time reports about the usage of every telecentre. Telecentres will offer free access to the internet using Sacix – http://www.sacix.org.br – a customized Debian version of the GNU/Linux operating system.
Kenya-based African Regional Centre for Computing (ARCC) is the newest member of the Association for Progressive Communications. It is a non-profit ICT training, research and development centre based in Nairobi, and was the first provider of internet connectivity in the East African nation of 32 million.
London-based APC member GreenNet has had a "dynamic" past year as far as its web sites go. After three years of developing tools for dynamic web site construction, it is seeing the results in the form of content-rich sites that it has helped launch into cyberspace.
The first NGO e-elections in Bulgaria were held at the end of 2005, facilitated through the Civil e-Representation Platform designed by APC member in Sofia, BlueLink. This is an internet-based tool for electing representatives of NGOs in working groups and committees at institutions that implement environmental and sustainable development policies in Bulgaria. Before the development of this platform, the voting process for NGO representatives was carried by email, fax and regular ‘snail’ mail. The platform is based on specially developed software, using the Free Software-based PHP 4 and MySQL. It was first launched in March 2005, and has since undergone a series of tests.
Just getting to the World Social Forum one knows that another world is possible. On the plane from Atlanta most passengers - if not all - were heading to the WSF. This led to a different kind of plane ride. Without even mentioning reading material - Mother Jones and a Venezuela Primer instead of Time and Dr. Phil - people on the plane were just different - they were in better moods, interested instead of agressive, talking instead of blackberrying, and of course many many nalgene bottles. Two hour delay? No problem. Smiles all around... There are worse things. We all looked at each other secure in the knowledge that even though we didn't know each other we knew who we all were.
The Bamako Polycentric World Social Forum (WSF) has an overwhelming 70 percent of particpants who are being women from all walks of life in Africa and the World over.
The women’s movement meeting at the third Feminist dialogue have recognised access to technologies as one of the strategies which they need to use to advance themselves as a movement.
World Court of women on resistance to wars, wars of globalisation, and wars against women heard stories in poetic and visual presentations of testimonies of women from all over the world at the Polycentric World Social Forum (WSF) in Bamako.
Traffic came to a stand still in Mali during the kick off of the Polycentric World Social Forum (WSF) as about 6000 people marched in Bamako’s Independence Statue through to the stadium called Stade Omini Sports Modibo Keita carrying banners with different solidarity messages saying Another Africa was possible.
By Brenda Zulu
The Bamako Polycentric World Social Forum organisation has been challenged on how to bring Africa out of its marginalisation and the Bamako event is offering the occasion to converge the fight.