The internet affects how we work, study, communicate and countless other aspects of our daily lives. However, almost three billion people have never used the internet, according to recent research. What are some community-led solutions to this lack of connectivity? Can community-owned networks contribute to reducing the resulting social and economic inequalities? To shed light on these issues, APC is launching a new podcast: Routing for Communities.
Throughout 12 episodes, this podcast will showcase life stories of people connecting themselves while defending the rights and well-being of their communities in remote, rural and urban areas across the globe.
Community networks to overcome digital divides
Around 2.9 billion people (37% of the world's population) have never used the internet, according to the publication “Measuring digital development: Facts and figures 2021”. The situation is worse depending on the country and considering differences in gender, age, income or between urban and rural areas. Community networks aim to overcome such digital divides.
In this podcast, we will showcase community-led experiences of people who have come up with alternatives to overcome the challenges of digital inclusion in South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, Kenya, Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, India and Colombia, among other countries. Join us to listen to local realities and needs, and to understand why a bottom-up approach is key to promoting connectivity.
Women connecting a village in South Africa
Our first episode focuses on the Mamaila Community Network, in South Africa. With strong female leadership, the people of this village managed to build their own connectivity and digital skills to support education and increase employment opportunities. How did they achieve this, after being ignored by major service providers? We talked to Kgopotso Magoro from South Africa and Claire Milne from the UK to learn more.
Listen to episode 1 here.
Enabling communications in Kibera, the biggest slum in Africa
Our second episode visits TunapandaNET, an initiative enabling communication, education and health in Kibera, which is located on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya and is the biggest slum in Africa. “We realised that our community would not only need to consume the content that was already online, but also start thinking of ways that they can produce content that matters to them," Risper Akinyi Arose, a young resident dedicated to digital inclusion and communication, stresses in this episode. Listen to her and to Peter Bloom from Rhizomatica, an APC member organisation promoting community networks and technical autonomy and training.
Listen to episode 2 here.
Would you like to know more about people connecting themselves and their communities?
Look out for new episodes on the first Thursday of each month at routingforcommunities.apc.org
Subscribe here to receive episodes as soon as they are released
See this article for more background
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For interviews, media coverage and other press inquiries, contact Débora Prado, APC community networks project communications associate, at: firstname.lastname@example.org