The APC executive board and staff met in March for an intensive planning meeting to map out APC’s activities for the next three years. The meeting took place following the definition of strategic priorities for the APC by the 36-member APC council in Cartagena, Colombia last November.
APC has been present in Latin America since the late 1980s when two of our founding members were technology activist groups based in Nicaragua and Brazil. Here we briefly summarise our current internet and information and communications technology (ICT) policy efforts in the region, the innovative work of the Latin American branch of APC women’s programme in Latin America and last year’s APC Betinho Communications Prize which recognises notable technology initiatives in the region.
Transparency for Colombia and APC member Colnodo recently donated their new software “Internet for Accountability” to allow a mass take-up of the ‘good government’ tool. More than 500 municipalities will receive the software plus internet access on the signing of a transparency and anti-corruption agreement.
New publication: “The Other Side of the Divide” - Voices from Latin American and the Caribbean speak out about the social impact
RedISTIC (Networking on the Social Impact of ICTs) is a coalition made up of groups that work on information society-related issues (communication, knowledge, wisdom, etc.) in Latin American and the Caribbean. The first achievement of RedISTIC is the publication of the book “The Other Side of the Divide: Latin American and the Caribbean Perspectives on the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)”.
Based in the UK, Computer Aid the largest and most experienced non-profit in the world which supplies professionally refurbished computers to not-for-profit organisations in developing countries. They have provided over 25,000 quality computers to progressive organisations in the South working to bring about social and economic change. This year, Computer Aid is focusing their work on less-developed countries and to increase provision to and via rights based organisations and women-led initiatives. They also plan to focus on training and computer refurbishment as a means for self sustainability. Computer Aid is APC’s first new member of 2004!
Kenya needs a workable and all-inclusive ICT policy and this is only possible through a partnership approach. This was the conclusion of a stakeholder’s forum held in Nairobi in November 2003 that brought together members of the government, the private sector and civil society organizations interested in ICT policy issues to deliberate on an all inclusive information society in Kenya and Kenya’s participation at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
Reports and news on the fourth edition of the World Social Forum, which had its venue for the first time in Asia. This year the Forum, held in Mumbai, focused on imperialist globalization, religious sectarianism, identity politics and fundamentalism, castes, racism and social exclusion, patriarchy and militarization.
The Open Forum of Cambodia established the first connection to the internet from Cambodia in 1994 and has played a pioneering role in ICT in Cambodia ever since. They have developed tools to allow Cambodians to use their native Khmer script
which in unique in Asia in e-mail and mailing lists and to read Khmer-language web pages which automatically download the Khmer font for Cambodian readers. The Open Forum was formed to provide, as the name suggests, an unrestricted space for communication amongst people of different backgrounds and opinions – not an easy task in a complex war-torn society.
ArabDev is a non-profit based in Cairo, Egypt dedicated to spreading information and communication technology (ICT) knowledge and skills among poor communities in Egypt, particularly women and youth. ArabDev aims to help these communities find better livelihood opportunities, through improved access to information and its use in skill development as well as small and micro-enterprises. ArabDev joined APC in September and is APC’s first member from both North Africa and an Arab state.