Dear all, This is our first APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor e-updates No. 4 for year 2005 and we take this opportunity to wish you a fruitful new year. As we have previously done, here is a selection of the latest additions on the Africa ICT Policy Monitor Website chosen by our editors. On the news front, we would particularly like to point out the ongoing civil society online discussion forum on key policy issues revolving on ICT policy priorities for Africa, internet governance and finance mechanisms for ICT as part of the preparation to the upcoming Africa regional conference on the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). For more on this discussion forum and other categories, please visit the sections and links below for: - News - Information - Resources - Upcoming Events - Featured Organizations And please do us send us feedback or contribute news or other relevant information about your organization on the Africa ICT Policy Monitor Website. Kind Regards, Editor APC Africa Policy Monitor Website //\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\// NEWS * Kenya: Regulator licenses more Internet companies <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30354> 14/01/2005 (Tom Mogusu - East African Standard)-- Two more players in the Internet Backbone and International Gateway market segment were licensed yesterday. The two - Kenya Data Networks (KDN) and Jamii Telecoms-were licensed by the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) and are expected to compete with the Government-owned Jambonet. * Ghana: Accra to kick off with a high level training for Civil Society participants <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30316> 13/01/2005 (APC)-- The African Regional Preparatory Conference for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to be held from 2 to 4 February 2005 in Accra, Ghana is set to kick off with a high level training for Civil Society participants. The Civil Society Forum will take place on the 28th February as one of the pre-Conference workshops from 29 January to 1 February 2005. * ITU Launches Multipurpose Community Telecentre Initiative in Africa <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30287> 12/01/2005 (ITU) -- The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is launching an initiative to establish a network of at least 100 Multipurpose Community Telecentres (MCTs) in 20 African countries. The MCTs will provide critical access for communities to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), to help ensure these communities can obtain the social and economic benefits that come with participation in the Information Society. * Open Spectrum International Supports TRASA's Draft Wireless Policy for Southern Africa <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30288> 11/01/2005 (Open Spectrum International)-- Open Spectrum International today submitted comments to the Telecommunications Regulatory Association of Southern Africa (TRASA) in support of their draft "Guidelines on Wireless Technologies Policy and Regulation." * Africa Prepares for Second Phase of World Summit on Information Society <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30318> 11/01/2005 (UNECA)-- Approximately 1,000 people from the private sector, civil society, media, government and international institutions will meet in Ghana, next month to discuss an “Action Plan on Africa and the Knowledge Economy” (APAKE), for expanding access to - and use of - information and communications technologies in Africa. * Kenya: Lost opportunities for growth in ICT Sector <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30155> 10/01/2005 (John Walu - East African Standard)-- Attempts by the regulator to revolutionise ICT have been jumbled, scaring off foreign investment from an otherwise lucrative sector. The new licensing framework was expected to ensure that Kenya has a more dynamic and competitive information and communication technology environment, improved access to infrastructure and services, as well as options in the provision of communications services that address the socio-economic needs of our society. * Technology put to the test as parts of East Africa reel from effects of Asian tsunamis <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30161> 10/01/2005 (Russell Southwood - Balancing Act’s News Update) -- The relief effort in the wake of the Asian tsunamis has highlighted the importance of using ICT. African aid agencies have become significant ICT users and have sophisticated ICT managers. Communication is key in when disasters occur as communications links are often disrupted. Yet for disaster relief workers who arrive on the scene these links are essential as they rely heavily on telecommunications to coordinate the complicated logistics of rescue and relief operations. * Nigeria online businesses on the rise <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30164> 10/01/2005 (Chidiebere Nwankwo - BusinessDay) -- Nigeria, for long locked and dragged back by brick and mortar methods in governance, education and business is at last taking steps to cross the digital divide. With the ongoing revolution in technology and the realization that no country can move forward without first advancing technologically, Nigeria has joined the countries currently reveling the online bug. * Uganda: Regulator to License 3rd National Operator <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30158> 07/01/2005 (David Muwanga - New Vision) -- The director of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Patrick Masambu, has said they will issue a unified licence to a third national operator within 12 months of the expiry of the exclusivity period. * Africa Civil Society Holds Discussion Forum on WSIS PrepCom II <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30085> 06/01/2005 (APC) -- Africa civil society organizations will be holding a discussion forum to develop position papers on various policy issues in preparation to the upcoming Africa regional PrepCom for WSIS in Accra, Ghana later this month. * South Africa: ICASA Fails to Act for the Poor <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30022> 03/01/2005 (AllAfrica) -- If everything goes according to plan, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) will today (3rd January 2005) present its recommendations to the communications minister on new Telkom price controls. * Kenya: Year ends without the much-awaited ICT policy & regulations <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29916> 29/12/2004 (Benson Kathuri - East African Standard)-- Another year has gone without the much-awaited Information and Communication Technology policy. The process of developing an ICT policy has been going on for several years with several drafts, most of them unofficial, having been discussed in government circles. * Kenya: Telkom reduces tariffs <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29855> 28/12/2004 (Alari Alare - East African Standard) -- Telkom Kenya has drastically reduced Internet tariffs by up to 69 percent after the government licensed two operators to compete with the main internet backdone and international gateway provider - JamboNet. * Nigeria: Interconnect problem worsens as phone lines hit 8.5million <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29865> 28/12/2004 (Uchendu Amuta - BusinessOnline)-- Phone calls across the various telecommunications networks in Nigeria have become more difficult as total number of telephone lines hit 8.5million. The problem is more noticeable among mobile (GSM) networks where in recent times, it has become increasingly difficult to communicate across the four networks, MTN, Vmobile, Globacom and M-tel. * APC Africa Hafkin Prize 2004-5 : Recognising Community Connectivity Projects for Economic Development <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29627> 22/12/2004 (APC) -- "Connectivity is a term referring to the means by which people are connected to or are able to access communications channels such as the internet, email, computer and people networks." The theme for this year's Hafkin Prize recognises community initiatives that use the internet and other digital communication networks to access markets, skills and opportunities to derive real economic benefits. The prize is now accepting applications until February 14 2005. * Kenya: Regulator to Act Tough On Backbone Licensing <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29621> 21/12/2004 (Alari Alare - East African Standard)-- The Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) will enforce strict rules for issuing licences to Internet backbone and gateway operators. A number of existing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been ordered either to apply for the international gateway operators’ licence as different entities or give up their ISP licenses. * Africa accounts for 8.3% Internet users worldwide <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29623> 21/12/2004 ( Uchendu Amuta - BusinessDayOnline)-- Only 12million Internet users out of the 699million users in the world , representing 8.3% are located in African countries, including Nigeria, as at 2004, according to recent report by Yoshio Utsumi , Secretary-General of International Telecommunications Union.(ITU) * Nigeria: Regulator qualifies companies for universal access telephone project <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29624> 21/12/2004 (Uchendu Amuta - BusinessDay)-- The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is in the process of qualifying telecom firms wishing to participate in the country’s Universal Access (AU) telecommunications project //\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\// INFORMATION * Building Cyberlaw Capacity for eGovernance: Technology Perspectives <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=he_1&x=30384> 15/01/2005 -- An abridged definitive conceptual framework is presented for Electronic Governance (eGovernance). The framework relies on the time-proven principle of introducing a concept by progressing from the ‘known’ to the ‘unknown’. It takes note of the need to define Electronic Governance from the more well-known concept of Good Governance that predates it. The framework is informed by the author’s several years of experience in an advisory role in the concepts, planning and implementation of eGovernance in Commonwealth member countries. * New ICT Book Launched: “ICT4D Connecting People for a Better World” <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29682> 23/12/2004 -- No doubt, information and communication technologies (ICT) have dramatically changed the way individuals, organisations and enterprises interact. But are they a priority for development cooperation, empowerment and poverty reduction? In a new book, jointly published by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP), key innovators, government leaders, development experts, grass-roots practitioners and leading CEOs offer new and often unexpected answers to this and other questions. In addition, readers of “ICT4D Connecting People for a Better World” will find a wealth of information related to concrete implementation of ICT for development projects. * The draft of the E-Government Strategy for Mozambique completed <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=he_1&x=30374> 14/01/2005 -- A team of Mozambican experts from the ICT Policy Implementation Technical Unit (UTICT) and the Technical Unit of the Public Sector Reform (UTRESP) is finishing the first draft of what will hopefully become the E-Government Strategy. This draft will be submitted for consultation and public debate, involving the public sector, civil society, the private sector and partners of the international community. * The Report of the Task Force on Financial Mechanisms for ICT for Development <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=he_1&x=30142> 10/01/2005 -- The World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), the first phase of which was concluded in Geneva in 2003, recommended that “while all existing financial mechanisms should be fully exploited to make available the benefits of information and communication technologies, a thorough review of their adequacy in meeting the challenges of ICT for development should be completed by the end of December 2004. This review shall be conducted by a Task Force under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and submitted for consideration to the second phase of this summit.” The Secretary-General asked UNDP to take the lead in setting up Task Force on Financial Mechanisms, in collaboration with the World Bank and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and other key partners. * Telecommunications Sector Policy Review Executive Summary Draft 1-01-2005 <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=he_1&x=30383> 10/01/2005 -- The current telecommunications policy and regulatory environment in Uganda was established through the telecommunications sector policy framework of 1996, the Uganda Communications Act of 1997 (Laws of Uganda Cap 106), and the licenses that were issued to the two National Operators. Key components of the policy strategy were the creation of an independent regulator, implementation of a limited competition period (specifically in basic telephony services, cellular telecommunications and satellite services) and the unbundling of the Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Corporation. //\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\// RESOURCES *A Guideline for NGOs for active participation in the WSIS 2005 in Tunis <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=re_1&x=30385> The diploma thesis available here studies the impact of civil society on the World Summit on the Information Society. Based on an analysis of the Youth Caucus’ work it describes which practical steps are necessary to feed NGO interests into global summit processes. Produced by: Thomas Biebl * New Handbook on Media Law in Southern Africa <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=he_1&x=29628> The Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) have published a new handbook on media laws in Botswana, Swaziland and Zambia, enabling journalists and press freedom advocates to better understand the conditions under which media function in these countries. //\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\// UPCOMING EVENTS: *26/01/2005* World Social Forum 2005 <http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/home.asp> The World Social Forum for 2005 will be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil between January 26 -31. The World Social Forum has emerged as an important space for dialogue between civil society actors dedicated to alternative globalisation and the idea that "another world is possible". The last Forum in Mumbai, India in January this year was attended by 80,000 people from over 130 countries and 2,660 organisations. *27/01/2005*, Ghana ICT for Government 2005 - An African Regional WSIS PrepCom Pre-Event <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ee_1&x=25851> ICT for Government 2005 is the third working conference on Information and Communications Technology solutions for government operations, egovernment and national development. ICT for Government seeks to promote public/Private sector partnerships for the development of solutions for all levels of government. *28/01/2005*, Ghana Africa Civil Society Forum <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=he_1&x=30316> The African Regional Preparatory Conference for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to be held from 2 to 4 February 2005 in Accra, Ghana is set to kick off with a high level training for Civil Society participants. The Civil Society Forum will take place on the 28th February as one of the pre-Conference workshops from 29 January to 1 February 2005. *02/02/2005*, Ghana WSIS Africa Regional Conference <http://www.wsisaccra2005.gov.gh/> The African Regional Preparatory Conference for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) will be held from 2 to 4 February 2005 in Accra, Ghana. The theme for the conference is: Access, Africa's key to an inclusive Information Society. The conference will be preceded by pre-Conference workshops from 29 January to 1 February 2005. //\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\// FEATURED ORGANIZATIONS: *Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) <http://www.citad.interconnection.org/>* Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization that is committed to the use of information and communication technologies for development and promotion of good governance. It was established first as a single project (Computer Literacy Project) in 1996 but was expanded in 2000 to include other projects. //\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\// ABOUT APC The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an international network of civil society organisations dedicated to empowering and supporting groups and individuals through the strategic use of information and communication technologies, especially internet-related technologies. APC and its members in more than 30 countries pioneer practical and relevant uses of ICTs for civil society. APC is an international facilitator of civil society's engagement with ICTs and related concerns, in both policy and practice. APC: http://www.apc.org. APC and ICT Policy Advocacy in Africa APC's Communications and Information Policy Programme aims to contribute to more enabling ICT policy environments through promoting inclusive policy processes. In Africa APC is doing this through the Africa ICT Policy Monitor project which aims to enable civil society organisations to engage in ICT policy development to promote an information society based on social justice and human rights. APC's Africa ICT Policy Monitor: http://africa.rights.apc.org The APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor is supported by HIVOS and the International Research Development Centre (IDRC). //\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\// To change your subscription (set options like digest and delivery modes, get a reminder of your password, or to stop receiving APC Africa Policy Monitor Website e-Updates and Newsletter), visit the mailing list: http://lists.sn.apc.org/mailman/listinfo/africa-ir-public or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org //\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\// ========== HURIDOCS-Tech listserv ========== Send mail intended for the list to <email@example.com>. 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