The high cost of conventional “wired” infrastructure is an obstacle to those looking to harness the potential of ICTs for development and social change. Wireless technologies offer tested, low-cost options to complement conventional infrastructure – but in order for the promise of wireless to be fulfilled, interventions are needed at a number of levels, ranging from policy, to technical development, to capacity building.
During 2005 and 2006 APC implemented a “Capacity building for community wireless connectivity in Africa” partnership project, the first of a proposed series of projects to address capacity building for wireless connectivity.
Capacity building for community wireless connectivity in Africa
This partnership project focused on capacity building through training, materials development, knowledge networking, information dissemination, and general awareness raising, drawing on the considerable expertise of the implementing partners in community wireless projects on the one hand, and training and support materials development on the other.
- An East African training workshop was held in Zanzibar during April 2005.
- A workshop for Southern Africa took place from 17-21 September 2005 in South Africa.
- A workshop for Francophone West Africa was held in Dakar from 24-28 January 2006.
- A North African workshop was held in Arabic from 12-16 July 2006.
- A variety of presentations were made at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in November 2005.
- Training on community wireless connectivity was presented in Amman, Jordan at the AMARC 9 conference during November 2006.
Some of our Africa project partners
- wire.less.dk offsite
- ESMT offsite
- CUWiN offsite
- Alberto Escudero-Pascual (IT +46)
- IDRC donor offsite
- OSI donor offsite
All our training materials from these workshops are available online:
Network of experts and practitioners
Wireless projects in AfricaIn December 2006, a large partner meeting was organized by APC, with an aim to map existing wireless community initiatives in Africa and to identify further challenges and opportunities related to promoting wireless technology on the continent.
Among the outcomes of the meeting was the establishment of an online network of ICT practitioners interested in further development of and support for wireless community projects in Africa.
Since March 2007 the network is no longer facilitated by APC. The task has been handed over to a small team of facilitators.
Capacity building for wireless connectivity in LAC region
TRICALCAR workshops (image APC)This project focuses on developing a series of training workshops on wireless connectivity in three Latin American regions (see the map).
As part of the project…
- a series of training materials will be developed, localized into Spanish and published online
- near to hundred telecentre operators, academics and other professionals will be trained in building community wireless networks
- regulatory ICT policy concerning community wireless networks will be mapped across the LAC region
- an online network will be created of people interested in using wireless technology for development work in Latin American region
The project implemantation is taking place between February 2007 and July 2008. The schedule for individual training workshops was:
- Region East: 16 – 21 of July 2007 (Valle Huaral, Peru)
- Region South: 22-27 of October 2007 (Rosario, Argentina)
- Region North: 4-9 of April 2008 (Tlayacapan, Mexico)
Spanish training materials on wireless connectivity have been developed and will be made available in MMTK format on the ItrainOnline training resources repository by mid 2008.
TRICALCAR project partners
Besides APC and APC members EsLaRed (project coorinator – Venezuela), CEPES (Peru), Nodo TAU (Argentina), LaNeta (Mexico), the project partners are:
- A next phase of the project TRICALCAR which should cover Brazil and non-Spanish speaking Central America region is planned for 2008-2010
- Development of a study on business models for community wireless networks by mid 2008