As part of its research activities, APC has compiled a list of African ICT blogs. Thematically, most of them focus on ICT4D issues, although some others deal rather with online journalism, ICT policy, freedom of expression, or other related issues.
Project Capacity Building for Community Wireless Connectivity in Africa was implemented over a period of just over two years (from the end of 2004 to late 2006). It started out primarily as an initiative to gather knowledge and resources on community wireless connectivity. But, working with a network of partners to design the project, its eventual goals were to pilot face-to-face workshops, develop and maintain a distributed knowledge base on wireless for ICT4D, and build partnerships and knowledge networks.
Perhaps one of the most significant outcomes of the project was the four regional training workshops. Initially conceived of workshops to pilot training materials, they achieved significant results in raising awareness of wireless, and positioning most of the 140 people trained in different parts of Africa to teach others, build wireless network, re-use and distribute the materials, and in some cases, link to the emerging African wireless network. Every workshop was over-subscribed, which proves that the demand of training remains enormous in Africa.
A survey of participants in these workshops completed in early 2007, to which 95 of the 140 people trained responded, indicates how they valued these workshops, and the extent to which skills gained have been shared and put into practice. The findings of the survey are summarized in this document.
From August 2005 until April 2006, an evaluation of APC’s information and communication technology (ICT) policy involvement from 2002 to mid-2005 was carried out by an independent consultant. “The overall conclusion from this evaluation has to be that APC is an energetic, active, committed organisation that has achieved a lot with limited staff and resources. [.. and] APC is highly respected. This respect comes from a range of different players and extends over technical, advocacy, and political aspects of its work”, but, says the writer, “Perhaps the overwhelming message is to aim lower”.
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.
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).