APCNews 125 – ICT and livelihoods, Romania, South Africa

APCNews – July 26 2010 – Year XI Issue 125
The news service on ICTs for social justice and sustainable development
Today the “bottom” three-quarters of the world’s population include more than 50% of all people with internet access says a Pew report . The majority of the poor live in the rural areas of developing countries and are dependent on agriculture or fishing for a living. The information they need to improve their livelihoods is about food production and credit streams. Access to information on government programmes and entitlements is also key. This edition of APCNews features a GISWatch report which looks at examples of how access to information over the internet and mobiles is improving lives in developing countries and a new project to “share” broadband to reach marginalised South African communities. In Romania, another GISWatch author reports that technology is far advanced of the Romanian government which needs to get its act together and provide more information online for citizens.


Mobiles and internet improve the livelihoods of the poorest

Fishermen from coastal villages in southern India can now access information on weather conditions and the market in their own language via mobile phone. This has not only improved the standard of living for their entire communities, but it has also saved the lives of a number of fishermen who would have died at sea. This article from Global Information Society Watch 2009 – Advancing human rights and democracy looks at concrete examples of how access to information through mobile phones and technology is adding to the wallets of the poor .

Opening up e-government in Romania

MONTEVIDEO (KAH for APCNews) – Rozi Bako reports that after researching the state of access to online information for extending democracy in Romania “we are now advocating for open e-government”. Bako of the StrawberryFoundation found that technology in Romania is far more advanced than information dissemination practices, and that if Romania is to become a transparent, participatory society, government initiatives and a business community drive have to be backed up by opinion-makers and citizen action groups.

New model to get broadband to under-served communities in South Africa

PRETORIA (Ungana-Afrika for APCNews) – Broadband for All aims to provide broadband connectivity to South Africa’s under-served areas through a community-centric model rather than a telco-driven model. The model leverages wireless-mesh technologies to link priority government sites and high bandwidth users such as schools, municipalities and government offices, who in turn provide a link to smaller customers such as businesses, NGOs and individuals.

Nobel Peace Prize for “the internet”?

CALGARY (LC for APCNews) – Google has launched a world-wide campaign on how the internet can be used for peace in support of the worldwide network’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 on the basis that “the Internet is a powerful tool that promotes freedom of expression, while fostering the global spread of democracy”. Support the nomination by selecting your country on the home page (http://www.google.com/intl/en/landing/internetforpeace/index.html ) or take part on the debate as to whether the prestigious Nobel Prize should to go the internet and its users or not. APC is a campaign affiliate.



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