International Telecommunication Union   ITU
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Saturday, March 14, 2015

“The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Egypt (NTRA) and the GSMA today announced an agreement to establish a framework of cooperation designed to promote Egypt’s mobile economy, recognising the transformative potential of mobile technology for economic growth, job creation, public services, businesses and wider digital inclusion of Egypt’s citizens.

Under the auspices of His Excellency Eng. Atef Helmy, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at a meeting between Eng. Hesham El Alaily, Executive President of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the GSMA at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona.

His Excellency Atef Helmy, who chaired the meeting, noted: ´Egypt is determined to embrace the significant socio-economic opportunities offered by mobile. Broadband connectivity has become a key competitive differentiator in the global economy and our citizens will welcome the many benefits of greater access to mobile services in their personal and professional lives.´

Eng. Hesham El Alaily commented: ´The Memorandum of Understanding signed with the GSMA at Mobile World Congress this week reflects our intention to develop a supportive regulatory environment that is based on international best practices and aimed at attracting long-term investment in mobile network infrastructure and services in Egypt.´

´The GSMA is very pleased to be working with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Egypt to increase citizens’ access to mobile broadband technologies across the country. It is only through close collaboration between the public and private sectors that we can drive access to affordable and ubiquitous mobile services amongst consumers,´ said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA.

The agreement employs a multi-faceted approach that will address both the supply and demand sides of the Egyptian mobile market. Together, the NTRA and the GSMA will develop best practice recommendations on spectrum licensing and infrastructure sharing and promote mobile-enabled services for digital and financial inclusion, including e-Government and mobile money.“

(Source: GSMA)

Saturday, March 14, 2015 10:42:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“First-of-its-kind strategic partnership to advance shared commitment to gender equality by creating new opportunities for women in technology.

Intel, Rebecca Minkoff, and UN Women announce effort to expand pipeline of female engineers, support positive representations of opportunities for women in technology, and connect women around the world to opportunities to learn and lead through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers.

Rebecca Minkoff, the largest global fashion label helmed by a millennial female, has a long history of creative and innovative uses of emerging technologies.

Intel has a measurable commitment to diversity, having recently announced a groundbreaking US $300 million Diversity & Inclusion initiative, with the goal of full representation for women and under-represented minorities in its United States workforce by 2020.“

(Source: Intel)

Saturday, March 14, 2015 10:06:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 06, 2015

Today at Mobile World Congress, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and Intel announced Challenge Up!, a joint Internet of Things (IoT) accelerator for startups from the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The program aims at helping innovative IoT startups go-to-market faster through joint projects, mentoring, high-value networking and corporate assets. Selected companies may also receive strategic investment and support commercializing their product or service for global markets.

The program unites resources and experience from the startup initiatives of the individual companies, including Cisco® Entrepreneurs in Residence (Cisco EIR), Intel® Business Challenge Europe and hub:raum powered by Deutsche Telekom. Interested startups can apply at The application period ends on May 25th.
´With Challenge Up! we are giving a great signal to the startup world, bringing together the resources and know-how of three corporations. We will use our combined experience for the benefit of the Challenge Up! program and the support of the startup community.´ – said Elias Drakopoulos, Senior Vice President responsible for Europe B2B at Deutsche Telekom.

Challenge Up! is designed for early-stage startups creating solutions for the Internet of Things/Everything (IoT/IoE) and related areas, including connected and smart solutions (smart home, smart city, smart energy, connected cars, wearables, Industry 4.0), information security, big data, analytics, connectivity and cloud computing.

Key elements of the program are Acceleration Week (to be held June 22-26, 2015), which will be sponsored by Cisco EIR, Intel® Business Challenge Europe and hub:raum, and a tailor-made, 4-month incubation program (July to October) taking place in Krakow, Berlin and Vienna supported by Cisco, Intel and Deutsche Telekom. Startups selected for the program participate for free with no equity required and keep their own intellectual property.

´We are looking forward to the creative ideas for new products and services from across the region to improve how we live and work together. By giving startups access to the complimentary resources of our three global companies we can help them accelerate their ideas into commercial success.´ – said Christian Morales, Corporate Vice President and General Manager Europe, Middle East and Africa at Intel.

´With an expected 50 billion things connected to the Internet by 2020, the Internet of Everything opens up great opportunities. To help better address these opportunities, Challenge Up! brings together the best of the technology world in an ecosystem of open innovation.´ - said Mike Flannagan, Vice President of Data & Analytics at Cisco.“

(Source: CISCO)

Friday, March 06, 2015 12:06:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 05, 2015

“This was announced by Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) during the just concluded two day National ICT innovation forum, held at KICC in Nairobi.

Dr. Matiang’i said that they will work with the Ministry of Planning and Devolution, headed by Ms. Ann Waiguru to see that the young techpreneurs also get to benefit from the Uwezo Fund,

The Uwezo Fund exists to expand access to credit for the promotion of youth and women business and enterprises at the constituency level and thereby enhance economic growth towards the realization of the goals of Vision 2030.

In addition to the Uwezo fund, Dr. Matiang’i also said that the after the forum his ministry will work on establishing an Equity Fund to support ICT innovations which could be Quasi Government/Private and that they will focus on creation of ICT Centres of Excellence tied to government ICT spending.

The event was graced by President Uhuru Kenyatta who also asked Government institutions to use locally-developed ICT solutions to promote Kenyan innovators. ´We look to ICT to transform the way we do things in all sectors. Innovation will continue to transform service delivery in agriculture and food production, transportation, health, education, security, fiscal and financial management, justice, law and order among other sectors. The Government therefore, does not have to spend billions on imported innovations while the same could be developed locally,´ he said.

The president also urged all stakeholders to contribute to the addition of more ICT incubation hubs into the existing network as will enable more people to engage in innovative activities throughout Kenya.

“We are determined to expanding our ICT exports by directing our innovations to the regional and global market. I believe the ICT Sector can comfortably generate more than 180,000 jobs between now and 2017,” the president added.

The forum which included a showcase of ICT innovations at their various stages, made a commitment to create 180,000 jobs, contribute to 8 per cent of the GDP, create at least 55 globally competitive companies by 2017 if innovation is given the right environment which included a local content policy and review of procurement laws.

Others deliverables are generation of an upsurge of US$ 500 million, create one billion shillings in IT exports and provide internships to more than 15,000 interns in ICT. The event was also attended by Ms Ann Waiguru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Aidan Muhammed, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialisation and Hon Edwin Yinda, Chairman, ICT Authority among many other dignitaries.

(Source: CIO East Africa)

Thursday, March 05, 2015 10:38:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“IT seems that 2015 is the year for new things at IT Namibia as within a month of a very successful first Python Conference, the Namibian Business Innovation Institute (NBII) and Southern Africa Innovation Support (SAIS), in partnership with 1Billion Africa and Namibia Statistics Agency, hosted Namibia's first Open Data Innovation Hackathon recently.

NBII hosted the two-day programme at the Polytechnic of Namibia and at its Innovation Village.

The programme saw individuals with a passion for development and a desire for progress meeting, learning about open data and developing ideas based on what they had learnt during the course of the week.

Open data is very much what it sounds like - open data. This refers to making information available to the public, with the end goal being that the public uses this data creatively and innovatively to develop business concepts that will not only benefit individuals, but communities and the nation at large.

The first day gave the innovation practitioners a chance to meet the stakeholders and be introduced to the concept of Open Data. The keynote speech was made by Moses Amweelo (chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on ICT).

Other speakers included Steve Bezuidenhout (vice-chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on ICT), Mandela Kapere (chairperson of National Youth Council), Liina Kafidi (acting chief statistician of Namibia Statistics Agencies) and Juha Miettinen (chief technical adviser, SAIS).

The second day saw participants developing ideas based on what they had learnt, with the option of guidance from various leaders. This was especially fruitful, as the participants had the opportunity to immediately birth their fresh ideas.

A review of the ideas and progress was done the following Wednesday at the closing ceremony, where the innovators, young and old, presented their progress. Constructive criticism was given, as well as direction, which would help the concepts become something useful in and around the country.

The entire project was a stellar success, and set the ball off for open data in Namibia. In what the McKinsey Global Institute has referred to as the new 'gold mine' with a potential annual value of approximately US$3 trillion worldwide, Namibia can certainly reap rewards.“

(Source: Namibia News Digest)

Thursday, March 05, 2015 10:30:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 26, 2015

“Premier mobile service provider Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) has donated  K2.8 million to the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) to help set up a disability inclusive environment at Kalambo Primary School in Lilongwe’s Area 25.

The money will be used to transform the school’s environment into an inclusive one for children with disabilities.

Speaking during the cheque presentation ceremony in Blantyre, TNM’s Head of Marketing Sobhuza Ngwenya said the mobile operator is committed to ensuring that children with disabilities access quality education and become self-reliant.

´lt is TNM’s belief that every child despite their physical condition must be given opportunity to access education. Inclusive education as advocated by MACOHA is one key approach to achieve self-reliance for people with disabilities,´ said Ngwenya.

Ngwenya said the donation was in response to request by Macoha during the 2014 MACOHA flag week held under the theme ´inclusiveness is the key to education of children with disabilities´.

´TNM believes that to attain an inclusive society and have people with disabilities that are self-reliant; there is need for inclusiveness to start from children with disabilities being included in the classrooms which should eventually ensure their participation in social economic activities,´ he said.

He appealed to teachers to show love and compassion to children with disabilities so that they feel not to being left out.

´While our donation goes towards the infrastructure and equipment, let me also appeal to the special needs teachers to go out their way to show love and compassion to the physically challenged children to ensure they remain in school,´ said TNM’s Head of Marketing.

In his remarks MACOHA acting executive director Peter Ngomwa described TNM’s donation as timely since the institution is still in fundraising for the same initiatives.

´During the flag week, Macoha sought to raise funds to rehabilitate five primary schools in Lilongwe into disability inclusive facilities and this donation from TNM will really have great impact in our interventions´ said.

The donation will cater for building ramps and rehabilitation of doors, buying assistive devices such as wheelchairs, clutches and hearing aids.

TNM also sponsors 20 visually challenged girls with their secondary school education needs through an NGO, Hope for the Blind.“

(Source: GAATES)

Thursday, February 26, 2015 10:48:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“THERE is room within the Pacific to develop and change mind-sets concerning persons with disabilities using information communication technology (ICT), says Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro, South Pacific Computer Society president.

Speaking at the Youth Regional Conference on Disability yesterday morning, Ms Tamanikaiwaimaro said this would be possible if they synergised initiatives and build effective partnerships in the Pacific region to combat ICT accessibility problems for persons with disabilities.

´Opportunities for partnership include developing working groups that specifically focus on Access for Disabled Persons in ICT that can have further sub working groups for Technical Experts and Users,´ Ms Tamanikaiwaimaro said in a statement.

She said there were also opportunities for partnership with statistics offices to map the ICT state of persons with disabilities, to develop relevant metrics and indicators and work closely with schools to roll out programs to create relevant advocacy for persons with disabilities to access ICT.

Ms Tamanikaiwaimaro, who is also the manager of the Japan Pacific ICT Centre at USP, said being the largest education service provider in the Pacific and forerunner in the use of ICT to proliferate access to education, has been doing their best to reach out to those with disabilities in the community.

She said certain progress towards the accessibility of ICT to persons with disabilities include the installation of software to aid those with visual and hearing impairments at the USP Disability Resource Center.“

(Source: The Fiji Times)

Thursday, February 26, 2015 10:44:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 19, 2015

“Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday launched the Presidential Digital Talent Program (PDTP) aimed at empowering university graduates to master the digital technology.

Kenyatta said the program that brings together leading lights in the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) landscape is expected to mentor, inspire and lead a new wave of digital trailblazers.

´My government has committed itself to expanding and intensifying the development and application of digital technology. We expect this to accelerate our determined drive towards productivity, efficiency, innovation and accountability,´ he said in Nairobi.

The program, which aims at building government's capacity in ICT and digital innovations to enhance efficient and effective service delivery to Kenyans, will provide graduates with an opportunity for a full year of on-the-job training both in public and private institutions.

It also aims to provide a training ground to fresh university graduates in readying them to be the industry leaders and experts in the future.

The president said the first 100 talented ICT professionals will lead the way in Kenya's digital tradition to enhance transparency and accountability in the public sector.
He challenged the beneficiaries of the program to inject into the public service a new sense of integrity and accountability.

´This program is not just about technology and efficiency. We expect you to bring in a new sense of integrity, professionalism, accountability and commitment to public service delivery,´ he added.

Kenyatta stressed the government's commitment to delivering superior public services to citizens, visitors and investors.

He emphasized that Kenya's determination to position itself as the regional and continental hub for education, research and innovation, banking and insurance, manufacturing, healthcare and ICT is already a reality.

Kenyatta said key challenges facing the nation can be resolved through digital solutions that will enhance productivity, efficiency, innovation and accountability in all sectors of the economy.

He said the PDTP will boost the country's hope for a sustainable economic growth beyond the projected 7 percent to more than 10 percent.“

(Source: Global Post)

Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:13:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Partnership Features Initiatives in Institutional Capacity Building and Cooperation in Developing National Broadband Strategies.

The Rwandan Ministry of Youth and ICT and the GSMA today announced an agreement to undertake a series of initiatives to increase citizens’ access to mobile broadband technologies across the country.

This landmark development takes place in the lead-up to the GSMA’s annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, a key gathering for African stakeholders with over 46 African governments attending last year.

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, noted: ´A country’s broadband connectivity has become a key competitive differentiator in the global economy. We have made significant progress already for the widespread adoption of ICT, particularly in sectors such as health, government, education, agriculture, business and finance.´

He added: ´The partnership we are forging with the GSMA will help us to further accelerate this progress, with mobile broadband as a key foundation.´

´The GSMA is very pleased to be working with the Government of Rwanda to support mobile broadband as a key enabler for digital inclusion and economic growth. While there were 7.7 million mobile connections and 4.2 million unique mobile subscribers in Rwanda at the end of 2014, just nine per cent of the population were unique 3G/4G mobile Internet users. We expect this number to almost triple to 24 per cent by 2020,´ said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. ´The collaboration announced today will support Rwanda’s ambitious digitisation agenda, which ranges from pushing a cashless economy and a paperless government to extending broadband to all citizens and enabling digital literacy and innovation.´

Through this partnership, the GSMA and the Government of Rwanda will undertake a range of initiatives including:

Developing joint forums to build institutional capacity, discuss sectoral policies and increase understanding of the socio-economic benefits of mobile; Creating educational and training programmes on mobile regulation to foster socio-economic development, expand financial inclusion through mobile money services and ensure sound spectrum management; Contributing to the development of the Rwandan government’s national broadband strategies for attaining digital inclusion, with a focus on spectrum management as a key enabler for mobile broadband services; and Exploring mobile’s potential across sectors such as energy and water, financial services, agriculture, education and healthcare.

´Real change can only be achieved through close cooperation between the private and public sector,” continued Phillips. ´By collaborating with the Government of Rwanda, the mobile industry can drive tangible benefits for the country’s citizens and businesses alike.´”

 (Source: GSMA)

Thursday, February 19, 2015 9:11:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“UNICEF and Bharti Airtel have entered a partnership agreement to expand their collaboration across 17 countries in Africa. The partnership aims at improving Africa's population access to health and education-related information whilst pushing forward various innovative projects supported by UNICEF.

The agreement allows UNICEF to tap into Airtel's mobile services to make health, education and youth-focused content available to Airtel customers across the 17 African countries. Through improved connectivity, more Africans will have free access to mobile applications and services developed by UNICEF, such as eduTrac, mTrac and U-report.

Speaking on the partnership, Christian de Faria, Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa commented;´Airtel is committed to providing innovative solutions that overcome access and quality challenges around the delivery of services. Our partnership with UNICEF provides an opportunity to deploy mHealth innovations that can support healthcare systems and provide helpful education-related information.´

The partnership covers 17 countries in Africa – in Eastern and Southern Africa: Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia; and in West and Central Africa: Burkina Faso, Chad, DRC, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

´Access to information is a basic human right, and is fundamental to UNICEF's innovation agenda,´ said Sharad Sapara, Director of UNICEF's Innovation Centre based in Nairobi. ´Without access to information children and young people are stifled and cannot make the right decisions on matters concerning them. By improving connectivity, this partnership has the potential to empower millions of African children and youth with information and opportunities to help them become agents of change in their societies.´“

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Thursday, February 19, 2015 9:01:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 12, 2015

“Congo Brazzaville’s Université Marien Ngouabi (UMNG) lecturers and researchers have received one computer each last week as part of the stock of 650 computers donated by the Perspectives d’Avenir Foundation.

The foundation is chaired by Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, the son of Congo Brazzaville President Denis Sassou Nguesso and a Member of Parliament.

´There are no words to describe the joy of all the recipients. This equipment is of a critical importance for their work,´ UMNG vice-chancellor Armand Moyikoua said at the handover ceremony in the capital Brazzaville.

Every lecturer, from the oldest in grade to the new recruits, now have a laptop, which will enable them improve their teaching and research methods, Moyikoua said, adding that the donation put the university to the path of modernism.

The university has also received another valuable gift from Congo Telecom: the connection of the institution to the country’s fibre optic network to empower its internet connection.

The university also said that Wifi zones were about to be set up in and around UMNG premises.

Teaching staff and researchers in many sub-Saharan African institutions of higher learning lack everything from computers to landline telephones, offices and cars.

So, the Perspective d’Avenir Foundation’s donation has come as a surprise and a lifeline for UMNG teaching staff whose working conditions appear not to have considerably improved in the past two decades.

This prompted the vice-chancellor to say: ´You wrote a page of history on the 43-year history of the Marien Ngouabi University.

State-funded UMNG was established in December 1971 on the ashes of Université deBrazzaville, but was renamed Université Marien Ngouabi in July 1977 to honour the country’s late president who was assassinated in the same year.“

(Source:  Biztech Africa)

Thursday, February 12, 2015 4:52:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“Massify Internet to generate equity, promote peace and Internet to improve education were some of the topics discussed during the meeting between President Santos and Mark Zuckeberg, CEO of Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and President of Facebook, praised the results of the massification of Internet in Colombia and the leadership of the national government for making more Colombians access to knowledge.

Zuckerberg met with President Juan Manuel Santos to arrange an alliance that will allow free Internet access via Facebook to over 8 million users of low-end phones.

´With US President, Barack Obama, we agreed a partnership in education and technology and link a group of businessmen from both countries,´ said President Santos. ´This linkage of our country to, project sponsored by Facebook to give access to millions of poor people in the world, is already a reality in Colombia,´ said the President Santos.

During the roundtable discussion, President Santos said that one of the priorities of the Government is to expand Internet as a tool to reduce poverty and create jobs. ´Four years ago we began the greatest revolution of our digital ecosystem and increased investment in technology in the country's history which has allowed us today to achieve 98% of municipalities connected to high speed Internet.´

Mark Zuckerberg said meanwhile that Colombia advances in ICT, spoke of the challenge of making the communications infrastructure to be efficient and motivating content creation. He highlighted the many possibilities of strengthening education leveraging Internet. He said that today is unimaginable a school without computer and Internet. ´If you give people the tools is much that can be done, but you must work in culture.´

President Santos and CEO of Facebook stressed the importance of ICT for peace and equality.

´There are a lot of reasons why people do not have Internet in the world and what we are going to do in Facebook is to break these barriers to access, the first is the physical condition. Once people have connectivity they do not know what to do in Internet. That is why we give free access to here in Colombia, accessing to contents of Facebook, Wikipedia, agribusiness, health, education is a way to generate equality,´ Zuckerberg said.

When President Santos asked how to make education for the peace through Facebook, Mark Zuckeberg said: ´the first thing is to give people connectivity tools to create communication. I think that conflicts occur because there is no understanding. The better communication can help solve problems. If we talk about how to use social networks, I think you President has done a great job in managing the networks and this demonstrates that you communicate with people where you are.´ "

(Source: MINTIC)

Thursday, February 12, 2015 4:18:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 05, 2015

“UNESCO and UNICEF together with national partners launched the first Policy Board and Management Committee meeting for the implementation of a joint project on the use of inclusive technology for persons with disabilities in Uganda on 27 January 2015. The project is funded from the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities funding framework. The major objective of the project is to strengthen the policy environment and build institutional capacities through Inclusive Technology to ensure Inclusive Education and Access to Information in Uganda.

Fifteen participants representing government institutions, Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs), academic institutions and the UN System attended the Policy Board and Management Committee meeting with the aim to provide technical input to the activities of the 2-year project. The implementation of the two year project will be guided by the Policy Board and Management Committee, consisting of all relevant stakeholders in order to ensure that the project is both focused on national priorities and comprehensive in exploring the use of Inclusive Technologies for people with disabilities in Uganda.

In keeping with Uganda’s Vision 2040 and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Articles 9, 21 and 24), this project will be achieved by a two track approach. One track will focus on strengthening the policy environment through the development of relevant policies and guidelines as well as the establishment of an appropriate governance structure. The second track will focus on the development of educational materials in accessible formats. In addition, the programme will engage organizations of persons with disabilities, key government partners (including teachers), information professionals and publishing companies into a multistakeholder coalition to promote the creation and distribution of accessible information, especially educational resources, for persons with visual and hearing impairments in Uganda. The programme will support the coalition in monitoring the implementation of initiatives using of Inclusive technology to advance inclusive education and access to information.

Members of the Policy Board and Management Committee expressed their satisfaction in this initiative as many DPOs and stakeholders working with learners in Uganda, do not know the potential of Inclusive technologies in ensuring Inclusive Education and Access to Information.

The Policy Board and Management Committee will exist for the period corresponding to the duration of the project (2 years). The Policy Board and Management Committee will meet on a quarterly basis in Kampala, Uganda but will allow for remote participation in using new technologies.

The Innovative use of ICTs for persons with disabilities form part of UNESCO’s actions to enhance the full participation of citizens in the knowledge societies.

With a view to empowering persons with disabilities and assuring the inclusion of disability issues into the sustainable development agenda of Member States, UNESCO, in cooperation with the Government of India, with support of The State of Kuwait, and also international, regional and national public and private partners, organized the first international Conference entitled From Exclusion to Empowerment: The Role of Information and Communication Technologies for Persons with Disabilities held in New Delhi from 24 to 26 November 2014.

The Conference was attended by some 700 participants from 80 countries, alongside with the film festival themed around disability issues, an ICT solutions-oriented exhibition and a special workshop. High-level dialogues were held at plenary level and in 15 parallel sessions, divided into three thematic discussions on partnerships and sustainable development, accessibility and technological solutions, and access to information and knowledge ( The Outcome Document – The New Delhi Declaration on Inclusive ICTs for Persons with Disabilities: Making Empowerment a Reality, was developed by the open-ended, multistakeholder and high level drafting group recalling the urgent need for the full and unconditional inclusion of all citizens in the life of societies.“

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, February 05, 2015 10:53:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 23, 2014
“We are excited to announce that we have expanded the Facebook Fellowship Award to cover two years!
The Fellowship Program is open to full-time PhD students (domestic and international) enrolled during the current academic year and studying computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, system architecture, or a related area.

Each Facebook Fellowship includes several benefits:
- Tuition and fees will be paid for the academic year(s)
- $37,000 yearly grant
- Paid visit to Facebook HQ to present your research
- Opportunity for paid internship

Required application materials:
- Research Summary
  1-2 page research summary, which clearly identifies the area of focus and applicability of anticipated research to Facebook.
- Resume or CV
- Two email contacts for a letter of recommendation:
  2.Professional reference (can be from academia or industry)

Application Deadline
Applications open on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 6:00pm
Completed applications are due by Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 8:59am
(Applications may be saved and edited up until application deadline)

Facebook Fellowship Rules
Read the Terms and Conditions for the Facebook Fellowship program“

(Source: OFA)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 2:41:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 15, 2014
The eighteen winners of the contest entitled ´What I want to be when I grow up and why´, held in all provinces of the country, launched this year by the Ministries of Science and Technology and education, were presented Thursday during a award and diplomas distribution ceremony.

Felix Adão Gaspar, from the first cycle school of the secondary school ´Manguxi´ of Bie province, won the national competition, while Loydiana Luís Gonga and Geovana Fausto Gomes from the primary schools of Luanda and Malange got the second and third places respectively.

The ceremony was attended by the Ministers of Education and Science and Technology, namely Pinda Simão and Maria Candida Teixeira and guests.“

(Source: Angola Press)

Monday, December 15, 2014 3:28:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 03, 2014
“The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today announced that Apple, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Google, Microsoft, Microsoft Research, Palantir, Qualcomm, Symantec, and Venmo are supporting NCWIT’s outreach efforts (hosting events and networking opportunities) at the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing in Phoenix, Arizona from October 8-10, 2014. Sponsored events include:

NCWIT Academic Alliance Reception (sponsored by Microsoft Research): Representatives from current and prospective members of NCWIT’s Academic Alliance, comprised of hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide, will gather to network and compare approaches for implementing institutional change for their post-secondary computing programs. Microsoft Research sponsors the NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund, which provides up to $10,000 for implementation of initiatives focused on recruiting or retaining women in computing degree programs. NCWIT is currently accepting proposals through November 2, 2014. (

NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing Networking Meet-ups (separate meet-ups sponsored by Apple, Bank of America, Palantir, and Qualcomm): Executives will meet with Aspirations Award recipients to discuss career opportunities and offer tips for successful technology job searches. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is a multi-tiered award competition (with recognition at national and local levels) open to any U.S. high school woman with computing aspirations. NCWIT is currently accepting applications through November 2, 2014. (

NCWIT Affiliate Award for Aspirations in Computing Breakfast (sponsored by Microsoft): Microsoft, sponsor of the Aspirations Award at the local level, will recognize Aspirations Affiliate Award Coordinators for their extraordinary voluntary contributions, making it possible to serve all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands with the Aspirations Award program. 

NCWIT Student Seed Fund Lunch (sponsored by Symantec): Executives will hear from several student winners of the NCWIT Student Seed Fund, sponsored by Symantec. The Student Seed Fund provides $1,000 to student-run programs and initiatives that promote increased participation of women in higher education computing programs. NCWIT is currently accepting proposals through October 26, 2014. (

NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Reunion Dinner (sponsored by Bloomberg): Aspirations in Computing Community members will reunite and catch up on educational and work experiences since their recognitions. Bloomberg sponsors the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Community, a peer network of technical young women connected to hundreds of NCWIT corporate, academic, and non-profit organizations nationwide.

EngageCSEdu Demo Sessions (sponsored by Google): Representatives will provide interactive demos of EngageCSEdu, a website containing a dynamic collection of high-quality, open course materials for introductory computer science courses contributed by faculty from across the country. (
Sit With Me Photo Booth (sponsored by Venmo): Attendees are invited to take a stand for women in technology by getting their photo taken in the iconic Red Chair of Sit With Me – a national advocacy campaign that provides a gathering place for all people to acknowledge the valuable contributions of women in computing. (

Additional events include: meet-ups and receptions for current and prospective members of NCWIT’s Affinity Group, Entrepreneurial, and Workforce Alliances, as well as NCWIT Pacesetters. Visit for more information about NCWIT’s participation at the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing.´Organizations acting together make a far better impact on expanding diversity in computing than a person or an organization acting alone, said NCWIT CEO and Co-founder Lucy Sanders. ´It’s motivating to see representatives from multiple disciplines and industries come together in support of these promising technical young women.´

NCWIT is also pleased to announce that Chief Strategy and Growth Officer Ruthe Farmer will be honored at the conference with the 2014 Social Impact ABIE Award during the opening plenary session on Wednesday, October 8, 2014. (

´It is such an honor to be recognized by the Grace Hopper community with this award,´said Farmer. ´The Aspirations in Computing program has built an incredible, national network for technical young women, and we are excited to see the impact this incredibly connected group will have on the tech industry.´

The Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing is produced by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and is presented in partnership with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). ”

More Information

Monday, November 03, 2014 11:10:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) and CCI Learning have announced a partnership to provide innovative learning experiences that promote 21st century business, technology and communications skills among Canadian youth.

Through their partnership, ICTC and CCI Learning have identified industry certification ´crosswalks´ within Canada’s Focus on Information Technology (FIT) program. Developed by the ICTC, with top educational specialists and ICT employers, FIT is a nationally-recognized certificate program promoting digital literacy to advance youth skills development, experiential learning and development of effective learning resources for students and teachers. It provides secondary school students with valuable course pathways fostering ICT skills development.

´To identify these crosswalks, we conducted a thorough analysis of learning outcomes within ICTC's FIT certification paths, comparing them to skill sets required for leading IT industry certifications. In many cases, FIT learning outcomes almost completely matched with certification objectives such as those within CompTIA Strata and the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Software Development certification” said Malcolm Knox, CCI Learning President and CEO. ´Many provinces already include the same learning outcomes as the ICTC FIT certification paths.´
´Providing secondary school students with a clear and compelling pathway to further ICT training is a critical part of addressing technology skills shortages´ said Namir Anani, ICTC President and CEO. ´Our partnership with CCI Learning will be a model for achieving this for similar agreements across the country.´
Schools choosing to integrate these systems will provide triple recognition to graduates through national, provincial and industry level certifications. Students can graduate with multiple industry level certifications in addition to their current certification programs, bolstering chances for career success.

CCI Learning and ICTC’s FIT Certification Industry Crosswalk provides the most effective education solution. It ensures Canada’s success in the global digital economy by investing in technology education that is tangible and applicable to the labour market.“

Further details

Monday, November 03, 2014 6:30:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 21, 2014
“The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and the Chief Executive Officer of Alcatel Lucent, Michel Combes, today signed a cooperation agreement designed to promote gender equality.

The agreement, signed at UNESCO’s Headquarters, aims to increase the representation and participation of women in professional life through partnerships with universities, social networks and corporations.

´We are very happy to establish a partnership with a cutting-edge technology company like Alcatel Lucent that has a strong grassroots base, especially in the area of our global priority: gender equality,´ said the Director-General. ´Throughout my travels, I have seen girls and women take leadership. This year’s Nobel Peace Prize sends a wonderful message that education matters and that grassroots level activism makes a difference.´

´Gender diversity is close to our heart, and empowering women with digital technologies is an important part of our work,” said Michel Combes. ´Societies have not encouraged girls to pursue scientific and engineering careers, and we have embarked on many actions in this area, including through m-learning. We are proud to have a strong grassroots movement, created by employees for employees, with a membership of over 1,000 in 50 countries.´

Over two years, the partners will draw on the model provided by StrongHer, a social network created by Alcatel Lucent to improve the participation of women in the group’s decision making process.

UNESCO and Alcatel Lucent have been working together for a long time in the Broadband Commission, notably in the working group on gender.

Since its creation, UNESCO has been at the forefront of efforts to promote the rights of women and their empowerment. In 2008, gender equality became one of the Organization’s two global priorities."

(Source: UNESCO)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:32:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"A public-private partnership among USAID, NetHope, Intel Corporation, World Pulse, World Vision, UN Women, and Women in Technology in Nigeria

The Alliance will create a ‘movement’ that addresses the Internet gender gap by bringing more than 600,000 young women online in Nigeria and Kenya in the next 3 years.

Alliance partners will combine efforts to transform the lives and livelihoods of girls and women in Africa through digital literacy training, relevant content, policy work, and online social networks. The Alliance will introduce girls and women to the transformative benefits of the Internet. All partners share a common interest in increasing access to and use of the Internet to realize the socio-economic benefits for all of bringing more girls and women online. This effort will expand opportunities for young women to generate greater income, receive a quality education, increase their sense of empowerment and equity, extend their support networks, and increase their political participation.


Digital Literacy: The integration of digital literacy training into gender and development programs enables women to access hardware, software, Internet connectivity, and ongoing support. With mobile platforms, individuals can follow different learning paths through a variety of channels, such as a mobile learning platform, and phone and tablet apps.

Knowledge and Voices: The power of digital media connects women and gives them a global voice. Addressing relevancy through women-tailored content and peer networks is critical. The Internet can empower women by providing them with an opportunity to connect with people outside of their communities, which, in turn, creates a strong incentive for women to continue using information and communications technologies (ICTs). This will provide long-term benefits in increased confidence and expression.

Economic opportunities: Internet use can increase the opportunities for women and girls in employment, online work, or improved businesses. ICT-enabled employment opportunities and skills training can generate social and economic opportunities for those employed, their families, and their communities.

The 'movement': System-level collaborations can enhance the inclusion of women and girls in the information society. Together, the Alliance will create a movement to address the challenges of the Internet gender gap by building, fostering, and supporting an ecosystem of partners."

(Source: USAID)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 10:13:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

"The Kenyan ICT Authority has partnered SAP for the second year to train at least 100 young Kenyans with high-end ICT skills to the value of approximately US$6,000 per student.

The SAP Skills for Africa programme, which will be offered on scholarship to unemployed recent university graduates, will be carried out at the Techno Brain offices in Nairobi.
SAP Skills for Africa targets recent graduates interested in finance and business development, in line with Kenya’s ICT Master Plan 2014-17, which recommends developing talent and nurturing a workforce skilled in ICT to meet the needs of the industry.

Cabinet Secretary at the Ministry of ICT Dr Fred Matiang’i commended the achievements of the initiative and called on more companies to design similar projects. 'We churn out thousands of graduates into the market, but they face a challenge in getting jobs as they do not match the skill set that employers are looking for. We are tackling this head on and our goal is to partner with the private sector to increase the capacity of our people in ICT,' he said.

The ICT Authority and SAP have signed a three-year partnership agreement to collaborate on innovation and incubation programmes, general ICT awareness and literacy, skills development and internship programmes, best practice sharing on process improvement and joint research initiatives.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ICT Authority Victor Kyalo said: 'Capacity and literacy is a major component of what the authority is mandated to promote. We are working to achieve this through various partners in the private sector and academia. This is a key ingredient to Kenya success to becoming a hub in ICT excellence.'

'A key component of SAP’s Africa Growth Plan, is the training of 8,000-10,000 new consultants in Africa in the next seven years. These skilled people, in the main economic hubs of Africa, will enable governments and private sector to improve the way they do business across the continent and ultimately the World – driving prosperity through job creation,' said Andrew Waititu, Managing Director of SAP East Africa.

Successful candidates will go through a training programme, certification and internship placements, with the scholarships targeting candidates that graduated between December 2011 and December 2014 for internships to run in the first quarter of next year."

(Source: BizTech Africa)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 10:02:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

"Today the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and Facebook announced a new partnership to support women entrepreneurs around the world by providing them with Facebook business resources and mentor support.

The collaboration will involve Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Mentoring Programme, which connects mentors with women entrepreneurs from developing countries.

Facebook is creating a new online portal designed to support these entrepreneur mentees in growing their businesses, including best-practice guides, how-to videos, and inspiration from other like-minded business owners. The portal includes an ´ask an expert´ function where Foundation mentees can receive assistance from a Facebook expert on creating their Page, acquiring new customers, and building their online presence.

Facebook will hold a business bootcamp webinar for mentees and mentors to launch the portal and walk them through these new resources. In addition, Facebook employees will join the Foundation’s Mentoring Programme as volunteer mentors and work one-on-one with women entrepreneurs to help them take their small and medium enterprises to the next level.

´Facebook is a natural partner for my Foundation,´ said Cherie Blair QC, CBE. ´When women are able to become financially independent, this not only transforms their lives for the better but also positively impacts the lives of their family members and people in their communities.´

´This partnership combines many things Facebook cares about: the power of small businesses to connect to more customers; the power of technology to drive economic growth; and the power of entrepreneurship to help women achieve economic independence,´ commented Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. ´We are thrilled to be teaming up with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women because they, too, are focused on bringing and scaling support to more entrepreneurs around the world.´

Cherie Blair Foundation CEO, Sevi Simavi, said, ´Many of the Foundation’s mentees regularly ask for training on using social media and Facebook, so we are enthusiastic about this partnership and the new learning opportunities it will make available to the women we work with´."

(Source: Cherieblairfoundation)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 9:56:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 19, 2014
More than 500 participants connected with tech entrepreneurs and experts from some of the most exciting names
With a curiosity to find out more about what it’s like to work in tech, more than 500 youth participated in the first-ever Tech Fest on 6 September 2014. Professionals from global tech companies, up-and-coming start-ups and local tech groups shared their experiences and advice with these participants.

Tech Fest seeks to raise awareness of the tech industry among the youth, while providing them the opportunity to network, as well as learn and dabble with some of the latest technologies. The highlights from the afternoon of activities included a live demo of the Red Rhino – a made in Singapore open-top fire-fighting vehicle; exploring a Nanyang Polytechnic student project which uses Microsoft Kinect sensor for infantry training; students writing their first lines of code in Ruby and Python; as well as a mock interview session with Google.

´We are thrilled by the overwhelming response for Tech Fest, especially with it being a totally new event. We were oversubscribed, but that was a happy problem for us.

Some rising and big names in the tech circle supported Tech Fest, and IDA will keep working with the industry to find new ways to inspire young Singaporeans to build and experiment with tech. Singapore is on its way to be the world’s first Smart Nation, and Tech Fest is just one of the many cool events that we will be organising for the tech ecosystem as we move towards that goal,´ said Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman, IDA.

´One of the speakers said nothing is wasting time, so if you are wasting time, then you are doing something that you are passionate about. So it’s not always that you need to get good grades and everything. That was really important. It’s a different perspective I would say´said Benjamin Wu, 25 years old, SMU student.

Tech Fest is organised by the IDA, in collaboration with Autodesk, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PayPal, Red Hat, Garena, GrabTaxi, Razer, Carousell, Hope Technik, Tinkertanker, ViSenze, Zopim, GeekcampSG, Singapore Geek Girls and Kosagi.”

(Source: IDA)

Friday, September 19, 2014 10:11:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“Mobile telephony continues to make its way – slowly but triumphantly – into the rural areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), improving the lives of millions and bringing ICTs at the doorstep of the less fortunate communities, where poverty rate stands at 76%.

To date, Vodacom Congo appears to be leading the pack in this aspect, with more than 1000 cities and villages currently covered by its network in this Central African nation.

One of its recent rural projects is the coverage this year of the village of Basoko, in the Oriental Province, about 1300 km north-east of Kinshasa.

Basoko resident Nafisa Bilinga, currently visiting her extended family in the capital Kinshasa, told Biztechafrica that mobile telephone has changed the lives of many in that city and throughout the province, as communicating with the outside world was no longer a hassle as it is used to be.

´All you need now is a device and a sim card packed with units´, Bilinga said proudly.

However, certain operators have done more than facilitating their rural users to just send SMSes or making phones calls. This is the case of Airtel DRC, which launched a health service called ‘Airtel Santé Info’, an innovative service that helps callers to consult a medical doctor – or put it simply to seek medical advice – over the cellphone.

In an under-equipped country such as the DRC where rural patients have to travel thousands of miles to get to a make-shift clinic, the service is said to have helped many rural folks to know instantly which bug is eating their bodies.

´From now on, the mobile phone will act as a relay in real time between doctors and their patients´, Airtel marketing manager Eddy Kapuku said at the launch.
One only needs to dial 3535 to get access to the service.

In the East’s war-torn areas, mobile telephone is also proving to be an effective tool for helping millions of displaced populations to rebuild their lives.

Care International conducted Umoja Plus and Ujio Yetu, two pilot mobile money projects, in the rural cities of Masisi and Lubero, in association with the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry, UK’s Viiv Health and Airtel DRC.”

(Source: BizTech Africa)

Friday, September 19, 2014 9:21:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 01, 2014

Rwandan tech incubator Think has received over 100 applications from nine countries for a six-month programme beginning in September in Kigali.

Backed by mobile operator Tigo, Think opened applications to startups and developers from Rwanda and the rest of Africa last month, and will pick the best five teams to join the programme.

Tigo said it will offer selected startups seed financing, structured training and coaching programmes, as well as access to product testing resources and potential customers and investors.

The incubator said it has received over 100 applications from a variety of tech startups and early stage companies from Rwanda as well as Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Uganda and Benin.

“We are excited to welcome the first batch of talented entrepreneurs at Think. We are calling on tech entrepreneurs across the continent with solid ideas for digital innovation for Africa. Tigo is looking forward to investing in their skills and ingenuity”, Tigo Rwanda general manager, Tongai Maramba, said.

“Think is part of a large and growing ecosystem to encourage technology development across Africa. In Rwanda, Think is already working closely with The Office RW and kLab to co-host networking and skills-building events”, Think said.

“In addition, both of these co-working spaces have supported the Think incubator in outreach to promising startups in their networks. In the larger ecosystem, Think is seeking to partner with leaders in the tech development, incubation, and business development in the world”.

VC4Africa, GSMA, MEST Ghana, Venture Wave San Francisco, Afrilabs, iHub Nairobi and Carnegie Mellon University have all been assisting  in the application process and have expressed interest in supporting Think tech entrepreneurs.

“Rwanda is becoming a hub for technology innovations, and Think is a great addition to our vibrant ecosystem. We cannot wait to see the next African startups bourgeoning from Rwanda”, Rwanda’s minister for youth and ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, said.

Further details

Monday, September 01, 2014 8:46:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 21, 2014
SMEs can now enjoy broader coverage of technology solutions and a simplified application process through the incorporation of the $500 million IPG programme into "Increase SME Productivity with Infocomm Adoption & Transformation" (iSPRINT). The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced IPG earlier this year in the Singapore Budget 2014 Speech.

The enhanced iSPRINT scheme will boost SMEs' productivity and growth. There are three new elements in the enhanced iSPRINT: piloting of new sector solutions, scaling up of already proven sector solutions and leveraging access to high-speed connectivity to achieve more with technology.

The enhancement was announced today by Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, at the opening of the 16th Annual SMEs Conference & 17th Infocomm Commerce Conference, organized by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Dr. Yaacob said that the enhancements aim to make the adoption of ICT solutions more accessible to SMEs. "Global and technological trends have made the businesses highly competitive and SMEs must make use of technology to compete and succeed. The opportunities and possibilities are there, it is up to you (SMEs) to take advantage of the resources the Government has provided".

Mr. Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman, IDA said, "Tech enables business transformation. To build the world's first Smart Nation, we need pioneers among our SME to innovate with tech and transform their businesses so that they can compete even more effectively in Singapore and reach new markets overseas".

IT vendors and SMEs who wish to pioneer new and scalable solutions that can automate and transform a particular sector may now receive support of up to 80% capped at $1 million. SMEs, on the other hand, that wish to deploy proven sector-specific solutions in their business, may also benefit from this scheme. SMEs can choose solutions from a growing pre-qualified list and may now receive support of up to 70%.

To encourage SMEs to deploy technology into their businesses, SMEs can also enjoy higher speed connectivity with the support from IDA if they adopt selected solutions. These include support for SMEs' fibre subscription plans of at least 100 Mbps and implementation of Wireless@SG services at their business premises.

At the same time, SMEs will also not need to make any claim submissions for the above enhanced iSPRINT support. The enhanced iSPRINT is expected to support up to 10,000 companies over three years. Whilst all sectors with SMEs will benefit from this scheme, 5 sectors that will benefit significantly for productivity and growth are retail, food & beverage, construction, logistics/transport and tourism & attractions.

Further details

Thursday, August 21, 2014 6:43:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has signed a collaborative agreement with Microsoft East Africa to enhance development activities in the area of entrepreneurship.

The two organizations have agreed that Microsoft will provide training and mentorship services to Ethiopia's UNDP - supported Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) for 200,000 entrepreneurs. These services form part of Microsoft's 4Afrika Initiative, which looks to accelerate Africa's economic development and improve its global competitiveness by empowering local entrepreneurs. Microsoft brings this vision, as well as its vast experience in providing ICT skills, education and curriculum for developing countries, to the deal.

As part of this agreement, senior Microsoft executive volunteers will be required to provide support, including mentoring entrepreneurs on strategy and marketing; supporting the best innovators and nominating them for the 4Afrika Innovation Grant Award; providing access to Microsoft BizSpark, a global program that provides free software to startup entrepreneurs and in future; and helping entrepreneurs exchange products and services and gain global recognition through the Microsoft Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) portal.

UNDP's partnership deal with Microsoft also includes a 'Build Your Own Business' training, which is designed to help micro and small businesses empower current and aspiring entrepreneurs.

This is UNDP Ethiopia's first private sector partnership. Commenting on the collaborative agreement, the Resident Representative, Eugene Owusu, says: "The goods and services offered by Microsoft provides a unique opportunity to unleash the potential of young and budding entrepreneurs. This will help them to play a vital role in the economic growth and transformational development of Ethiopia".

Eric Odipo, Country Manager of Microsoft East and Southern Africa, agrees: "It is critical to develop the capacity, knowledge and skills of local entrepreneurs who will stimulate local economies. We look forward to working with the UNDP in taking innovative business models to scale".

UNDP and Microsoft have successfully partnered in the past in numerous countries to promote sustainable development, eradication of poverty, advancement of women, good governance and the rule of law. In this new partnership targeted at Ethiopia, the collaboration will focus on addressing some of the principal challenges faced in building resilient nations by empowering citizens and preparing them to join a dynamic and innovative 21st century workforce.

"Entrepreneurs hold the key in driving innovation and long term competitiveness in the African economy. Microsoft's partnership with UNDP to support 200,000 entrepreneurs in Ethiopia is the first step in driving this growth", noted Amrote Abdella, Director of Startup Engagement & Partnerships, Africa Initiatives, Microsoft.

Further details

Thursday, August 21, 2014 6:30:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore’s (IDA) inaugural Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) conducted its first class on 6 August, receiving an overwhelming response. The data sciences specialization course caters to  Singaporean working professionals and achieved more than 350 registrations, with strong participation from both the private sector and the public sector alike.

With Singapore gearing up to be the world’s first Smart Nation, data sciences and analytics are  becoming increasingly relevant and are  playing a greater role in businesses and government organizations in terms of  handling operational efficiency, engaging customers, as well as anticipating and delivering services. Professionals with training in data sciences and analytics are  expected to be in demand. McKinsey forecasts that there will be a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 data sciences and analytics professionals by 2018 in just the US alone.

In partnership with course provider Coursera, the MOOC pilot offers Singaporeans from different professional backgrounds the opportunity to develop vital skills that respond to this growing demand for data sciences and analytics talent, providing them with opportunities and improving career prospects. An industry recruitment report has shown that data professionals can expect to earn from $80,000 up to $180,000 or even more per year.

The IDA MOOC pilot has attracted a broad base of participants with a good proportion of applicants having five years or less of working experience. However, the course has also attracted experienced professionals with about 60% of the applicants having 5 years or more working experience.

While about 30% of the applicants come from an IT background, 40% are from a wide range of sectors such as healthcare, finance and education, reflecting data sciences and analytics’ ability to be applied across sectors and areas of work. The remaining 20% of applicants come from data-related professions, seeking to build upon their existing skills.

“We want the participants joining IDA MOOC to not only benefit from a high quality of learning that improves career prospects, we also want participants to network with...and learn from... like-minded members of industry”, said Mr. Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman, IDA. “This is an important part of building a data sciences and analytics community in Singapore”.

(Source: IDA)

Thursday, August 21, 2014 6:19:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 11, 2014
KiBO Foundation, a social enterprise focused on developing skills and unleashing the capacity of youth through ICT skills in Uganda, has started a programme in Entebbe to help young people with disabilities attain IT skills.

The KiBO programme is expected to benefit over 350 youth in the municipality.  The program seeks to generate change by  providing schools with content that will open up their students’ minds to becoming great leaders and entrepreneurs.

Abraham Temu, KiBO´s Founder & Managing Director, said: "KiBO Foundation, Cisco and Entebbe Municipality officially launched a Community Knowledge Center (CKC) to provide members of rural communities, and especially the deaf, access to technology, to enable them find jobs, start businesses, gain education, and increase their financial self-sufficiency".

The project is set to help people with hearing difficulties acquire IT knowledge to make them better suited for the job market.

Temu also added that the Entebbe CKC was started two years ago and has trained hundreds of community members to date, including the youth and teachers, who are awarded certificates of accomplishment. He said "this will act as a demonstration centre from which youths will have access to the best technology in the world, unlike the current situation where students find difficulty in research because of lack of information centres".

This programme is part of a commitment by Cisco, a global IT company, to provide useful content and technology to disadvantaged groups in Africa, so that they can have access to what is happening around the globe.

"Through engaging municipalities in developing strategies that affect the young people, challenge their mindsets, we hope this will open up their minds to being great thinkers and pillars of change in their communities", Temu said.

KiBO hopes to set up seven more centres in other parts of Uganda including in Nebbi, Gulu, Amuru, Entebbe, Ntugamo, and Lira. In 2013, Cisco funded six CKCs across Uganda - Entebbe, Gulu, Lira, Nebbi, Ngora and Ntungamo Districts, with KiBO Foundation as the lead implementer; similar centers have been implemented across Africa to enable rural communities have access to Information and Communication Technology.

(Source: All Africa)

Monday, August 11, 2014 12:15:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

World Pulse is honored to join the Women and the Web Alliance, a groundbreaking public-private partnership which aims to create a movement addressing the gendered Internet gap by bringing more than 600,000 young women online in Nigeria and Kenya in the next three years.

World Pulse will collaborate with USAID, NetHope, Intel Corporation, World Vision, UN Women, and Women in Technology in Nigeria to transform the lives and livelihoods of girls and women in Africa through digital literacy training, relevant content, policy work, and online social networks.

World Pulse will provide digital empowerment training and a peer network of support to sustain women’s engagement and empowerment online. Building on its strong networks in sub-Saharan Africa, World Pulse will use its digital platform to unite and amplify young women’s voices, solutions and impact worldwide.

By introducing women to the Internet, sustaining their engagement and use of technology as a tool for social and economic empowerment, World Pulse is building a future where every woman and girl believes in the power of her own voice and uses it to build a free and equitable world where all life thrives.

The Alliance was announced at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit event, Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa, hosted by the White House, the George W. Bush Institute, and the US Department of State. The event convened African First Spouses from more than 35 countries; non-governmental organizations and non-profit leaders; private sector partners; faith-based and grassroots organizations; and other leading experts.

Further information

Monday, August 11, 2014 12:03:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 04, 2014

The first ever Pan-African Women in Tech meet up will take place as a virtual event in August, supported by simultaneous live viewing events in Uganda, South Africa and Ghana.

Organized by Women in Tech Ghana, Women in Tech Zambia, Women in Tech Uganda, and Girls in ICT Rwanda, the event aims to bring together women working in technology across the continent. The organizers note that “some Women in Technology clubs exist already but, to date, no one has attempted to build a pan-African network, allowing us to compare our challenges, learn from other countries and connect across borders to expand our influence”.

They elaborated: “Working in technology can, at times, be an isolating experience for women, especially in Africa. The impact of this can limit women’s professional growth in the sector. Women need mentors, role models and a network to share their experiences, challenges and skills”.

The meet up will be held on 2 August 2014, at 12pm GMT, 2pm CAT, 3pm EAT.

Register for live stream event or viewing parties at

(Further details)

Monday, August 04, 2014 8:57:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 31, 2014
DEMO has released the names of the 40 start-ups that have qualified to launch their products on the DEMO Africa stage in September 2014.

Topping the list is Nigeria with 14 qualifying start-ups, followed by Kenya, Ghana and Egypt. Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa and Ethiopia will each have two representatives at the weekend event, while Tunisia, Benin, Cameroon, Uganda and Zimbabwe had earned their space at the DEMO Africa platform.

DEMO Africa is the flagship initiative of the Liberating Innovation in Opportunity Nations or LIONS@FRICA partnership, an innovative new partnership aimed at enhancing and deepening the start-up and innovation ecosystems of fast-growing African economies.

LIONS@FRICA brings together the US State Department, Microsoft, Nokia, InfoDEV, and the United States Agency for International Development, among others, to support and amplify Africa’s budding start-up and innovation ecosystem.

According to a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Communication Technology on Media in Nigeria, Mrs. Efem Nkanga, more than 400 applications were received for the DEMO Africa 2014, but only 242 met the threshold for the adjudication. Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana submitted  the highest number of entries. Out of 12 categories for application, Nkanga said communication attracted the highest number of applications, with 76 applications received, and the category would have the highest number of representation with 14 projects of the final 40 being in this category. She said that the finance and banking category would also have a good representation of eight out of 18 entries accepted. Other categories that will have high representation on the DEMO Africa stage, according to her, include retail, health and education.

Start-ups, however, shied away from water and sanitation, and waste management and recycling. No entries were recorded for these two categories, an indication that stakeholders still had to work on entrepreneurs’ confidence to encourage homemade solutions across all sectors.

Commending the African entrepreneurs, the Nigerian Minister for Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, said, “This presents another opportunity for African tech start-ups. Africa may have missed out on the industrial revolution, but we surely will not in the ICT revolution. Through innovation, we will put Nigeria and Africa in general on the ICT map.

“Realising the huge potential of the software industry, we have put in place a set of initiatives that will assist the tech start-ups to create successful businesses, which will directly create jobs and wealth”.

The DEMO Africa Executive Producer, Harry Hare, reportedly acknowledged the efforts by all the participating start-ups and called upon the investors to support the work of the young entrepreneurs.

He said, “We had really amazing entries this year, but unfortunately the DEMO Africa team can only accommodate 40 for now. ”Hare said the high number of entries was inspiring, adding, “It only shows that entrepreneurs have risen above the fear of venturing into new waters to create new products”.

He said, “This in itself shows that confidence levels in Africa-made solutions are steadily rising. I am confident that we will get to levels where we can generate solutions that can be applied globally”.

(Source: IT News Africa)

Thursday, July 31, 2014 8:42:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, June 14, 2014

Announced at the World Economic Forum recently, Intel is partnering with the Rockefeller Foundation to further the She Will Connect initiative which aims to promote women in Africa and eventually other emerging markets’ tech scene.

A recent Women and the Web report suggested that, in developing countries, there are 25% fewer women than men online. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the gap rises to 43%. In light of this discovery, Intel launched the She Will Connect programme last year September which will aim to give women greater opportunities in this space.

The initiative strives to halve the digital gender gap in Africa, by empowering five million women through digital literacy programs, with initial pilots in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia.

According to general manager of the Intel World Ahead Program, John Davies, “Technology in general and the internet in particular, has transformed the lives of billions of people. It opens up opportunities and possibilities that never could have been realized before. But women and girls are being left behind – which is why we are investing alongside other organizations to close the gap through Intel She Will Connect”.

As reported by CIO, this recent partnership will further help people from the She Will Connect programme with employment opportunities. Rockefeller Foundation Africa’s managing director, Mamadou Biteye, further explains the philanthropic foundation’s role.

The partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation will seek to connect those trained through the program to employment opportunities. Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Regional Office elaborated on the Foundation’s role:

“We will work together with Intel to connect high potential but disadvantaged young women in our target African countries to online jobs through tools and training that will provide them with best practice guides to assist them in successfully accessing online jobs, earn an income and build their skills and digital work experience”.

Launched in 2013, Digital Jobs Africa is an initiative by Rockefeller Foundation that seeks to connect disadvantaged youth to jobs in the digital economy. “We will seek out more partnerships with pioneering private sector players who have a shared vision around addressing the youth employment challenge”, concludes Biteye.

(Source: Ventureburn)

Saturday, June 14, 2014 1:45:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 16, 2014
The first-ever Accreditation@IDA targeting innovative tech product start-ups launched

IDA Labs, located at IDA's headquarters at Mapletree Business City and the National Design Centre (NDC) were officially opened on April 24. The labs will serve as a place to experiment, collaborate and build innovative products and solutions that address real world challenges. A third lab to be housed in one of the National Library Board's libraries is also being planned.

A new Accreditation@IDA programme was also launched at the opening event. It aims to help innovative technology start-ups build their credentials so that they can be positioned as qualified vendors capable of handling projects by government agencies and large enterprises.

Companies that apply for accreditation will need to undergo technical assessments to ascertain their product's core capabilities and claims. IT service providers HP and Cognizant will provide the software testing tools, along with accreditation best-practices and methodologies, at an accreditation lab set up within IDA Labs@HQ.

The accreditation programme will be open for application in July 2014. Companies' financial performance and operational capabilities will also be taken into account in the process. Successful companies would be awarded an accredited status for 18 months.

To enhance market opportunities for accredited technology start-ups, IDA will be engaging potential buyers in the public and private sectors to support these companies. For example, IDA will facilitate Proof-of-Concepts and product demonstrations to potential buyers and stakeholders. In addition, the Government procurement process is being reviewed to facilitate Government's procurement from accredited companies and enable Accreditation@IDA to be considered in place of financial grading for start-ups.

"At IDA, we are constantly looking at different ways to help grow Singapore-based tech companies that have the vision to build tech products that address big challenges. IDA Labs and the Accreditation@IDA programme are two examples of how we want to help in practical ways to support the building of some great tech-product companies", said Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman, IDA.

As the support of industry partners is instrumental in growing tech talent and building tech companies and products, IDA Labs is partnering Red Hat to provide IDA Labs users with advice from Red Hat experts and the open source community. IDA Labs and Red Hat will also organise an international challenge to discover innovative technology projects that not only meet functional requirements, but also user-friendly and design-centric.

IDA Labs is also working with Intel to provide its latest technologies, R&D resources and technical expertise to IDA Labs users. Intel will also help local ICT companies bring their products to overseas markets via its global platforms.

IDA Labs' partnership efforts also extend to the Singapore Management University (SMU) Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The SMU community can use IDA Labs to test their ideas and eventually translate them into actual products and solutions. IDA Labs and SMU will facilitate the commercialisation of innovations, either through co-development or by adopting solutions to be used in government projects.

With the support of the Ministry of Education, IDA Labs will also be holding the Learn@Labs Day from 27 to 29 May. Students from different schools will have the opportunity to learn about and tinker with various technologies such as Arduino, Robotics and 3D Printing.

More than 150 guests attended the official opening and had the opportunity to view showcases and experiment with technologies brought together by IDA and IDA Labs' partners. Some of the showcases include the accreditation testing tools, Internet of Things (IoT) platforms and innovative tech hardware developed by students.

(Source: IDA)

Friday, May 16, 2014 9:35:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ECWT and E-SCN are pleased to announce a strategic partnership based on their mutual focus of equality and opportunities for youth within the ICT sector. This is specifically in line with the promotion of STEM and in particular CS education to girls, as well as increasing female representation in the ICT workplace.

E-SCN’s project and advocacy activities range from Digital Inclusion initiatives all the way up to workforce development projects, with an overall interest in reducing skills gaps, and youth unemployment. The Danish based network organization also has a strong focus on the recognition and use of the e-Competence Framework, which is a reference framework of competences applied within the ICT sector, that can be used by the individual ICT user, private sector, public sector, academia etc.

In recognition of the launch of this strategic partnership, E-SCN and their existing partners Carnegie Mellon University spin-off company, PROXCER, and Telecentre-Europe are making a donation to provide girls across Europe the opportunity to gain credentials and proof of skills within different areas of ICT.

PROXCER, based in Dublin, Ireland, is the only company in the world to deliver Authentic Examinations. Authentic Examinations are the heart of PROXCER’s method for evaluating the capability of an individual to write software accurately, by measuring the test-takers ability to program realistic problems in a professional environment, using a real programmer’s toolkit. The concept was developed and is used at world renowned Carnegie Mellon University, and spinoff company PROXCER is now bringing this opportunity to academia and private sector globally.

Through collaboration with E-SCN, PROXCER will be donating batches of SDE (Software Developer Examination) vouchers and preparation material to all National Point of Contacts of ECWT, so that a set of girls already engaged in ICT in many countries will have the chance to measure their skills.

Telecentre- Europa collaborating with ECWT already in connection with e-skills events, under mutual understanding of the benefits deriving from collaboration between two different but equal level strong EU umbrella networks, represents the European digital inclusion and digital literacy sector in Europe. Their members are focused on helping individuals get online, teach them basic and advanced digital skills and help individuals benefit from opportunities that the ICT sector can offer.

Telecentre-Europe, Microsoft, and E-SCN are currently engaged in a project which gives young people in formal and informal education, as well as unemployed youth, the opportunity to prepare for and take Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and/or Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certifications. This project is now being extended to ECWT, where 400 girls will now have the opportunity to become certified in either MOS or MTA throughout Europe.

(Source: ECWT)

Friday, May 16, 2014 9:06:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 08, 2014

Hearing the doorbell, the fire alarm or a tap that has not been properly turned off are everyday situations that can become a problem for a person who is hard of hearing. The Tecnalia Centre for Applied Research has developed a tool to pick up and identify ordinary sounds that are produced in the home environment in order to help people with hearing disabilities.

It is a mobile phone app designed to assist people who have limitations of this type in their daily lives.

All the users have to do is download the app onto their Smartphones, which will inform or alert them in real time about the various sounds that are produced around them. The first version of the app is available free of charge at Google Play under the name MyEardroid. Being portable, its advantages are that it is available anywhere at any time and does not depend on fixed installations. What is more, it can be personalized and each user can select the sounds that are relevant to him/her. The alert is made by means of vibration, text or image.

The app could benefit anyone who is severely or deeply hearing disability by supporting them in the home, in a hotel room, at work or anywhere indoors. What is more, it will also benefit the people around them as these alerts will give them peace of mind.

After launching this APP, Tecnalia is aiming to go on adding new sounds and to identify other milieu in which the app could offer its users advantages.

Tecnalia is committed to one of the big future challenges: to improve people’s life quality, and one of its aims is to achieve this in the sphere of ageing and disability. So by applying new technologies, the research center is developing new support products and services that allow people with special needs and their carers to access information and services as well as to carry out their daily activities as independently as possible in order to improve their quality of life.

See the video presentation here:

(Source: GAATES)

Thursday, May 08, 2014 10:02:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Every year, the fourth Thursday in April is celebrated as International Girls In ICT Day, when a spotlight is put on encouraging and mentoring girls and young women to pursue careers in ICT. The day is set aside for events, workshops and classes to be held around the world under the International Girls In ICT Day banner.

In South Africa there’s been a few events, most notably at Intel’s Woodmead offices in Joburg where we dropped by to look in on the Girls Invent Tomorrow again as they hosted a coding workshop for a group of 20 senior high school girls in grades 10 to 12 from Westbury Secondary School.

Each one of these girls has chosen school subjects that fall within STEM, with a handful of them wanting to go into tech and programming in the near future.

The room is filled with excitement and eagerness as the girls are introduced to the basics of coding through a step-by-step tutorial using a coding program called Alice. Their “lecturer” for the day is Lebohang Modise, a developer from Microsoft who offeres talks and coding workshops across the country to young people.

“I’m here today to inspire these young girls to consider going into coding or any ICT related career because there aren’t many females in the industry”, Modise says. “I try to prepare them by telling them about my own experiences because I went into varsity only knowing the dictionary meaning of coding, had I known about programs such as Alice and how to use it, I would’ve been better prepared. So I think we may have started something here and if these girls can continue with this, it would be a plus”.

“Today’s event is about getting girls to understand what coding is about, because the world is changing and being a programmer is becoming a big thing,” explains Thuli Sibeko, co-founder of Girls Invent Tomorrow. “This is the first coding workshop we’re hosting for high school girls, we work with a certain company to identify girls from grade 10 to 12 in certain schools who are interested in STEM. The reason we are hosting these workshops is that we want to expose young girls to other careers and make them see that careers are not just about being a doctor, lawyer, nurse aand so on. The world is their oyster in terms of technology and we don’t want them to limit themselves in terms of what they choose when they leave school”.

Source: htxt Africa)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 4:14:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The European Competition 2.0 asks teachers and educators to share the creative and effective ways they are using online resources or applications in their teaching practice.

How to enter
To enter you need to make a short video showing your teaching practice that involves the internet or mobile app. The video must be a maximum of 2:30 minutes. Then you must register on the Ed2.0Work project website and submit your video. The deadline to enter is 12 September 2014 at 12.00noon. Visit the competition website for more information on how to apply.

Judging and prizes
The winners will be decided by an international panel of judges. The winners will be invited to present their ideas (all expenses paid) at the European Conference in the Applications of Enabling Technologies, 2014 20-21 November 2014, Glasgow, Scotland.

The judging team includes:
Russell Stannard
Shelly Sanchez Terrell
Sylvia Guinan

About Ed2.0Work
Ed2.0Work is a European Union funded education project that has two missions:
- To create a network that spans education and the world of work and is designed to improve the use of Web2.0 tools in both fields.
- To create a set of tools for the empirical evaluation of Web2.0 tools

The project will create a network between stakeholders in the education and work sectors that will examine how both should be using Web2.0 in the education and work environments.

Further details

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:57:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Qatar Friendship Fund ((QFF)) Tunisia, Tunisiana (part of Ooredoo) and Microsoft have announced the launch of Intilaq, a USD18mn incubation programme, to enable young entrepreneurs in Tunisia to launch ICT-related start-ups.

Intilaq is the next stage in the evolution of the Startup Factory, Tunisia’s first end-to-end support programme for start-ups launched by Tunisiana in 2012. Now, with the support of the QFF and Microsoft, the initiative is being expanded to support a comprehensive incubation programme as well as a coaching and nationwide knowledge-sharing approach, with a particular focus on encouraging young people to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions in the ICT sector.

Youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) averages around 27%, with Tunisia seeing unemployment rates of 40% for university graduates and 24% for non-graduates. Ooredoo and its companies across the world are taking a multi-faceted approach to this issue, working with respected national and international partners to support entrepreneurship, employment and education programmes.

The launch of Intilaq is the latest in a series of significant initiatives to enable young people to learn more about starting their own business and provide them with knowledge and financial resources to launch and manage a start-up.

Speaking at the launch event, Abdullah Nassir al-Homidi, Qatar’s ambassador in Tunisia and president of the QFF, said: “The Qatar Friendship Fund strives to give a significant boost to the youth, giving them support and accompanying them step by step into their projects. We hope to have a direct impact on those who will build Tunisia’s tomorrow and therefore enhance its economy in the long term”.

Kenneth Campbell, general manager of Tunisiana, said: “This initiative will have a significant impact as it will establish a unique economic platform for start-ups, enabling the development of the sector. Last year, Startup Factory was a resounding success that discovered significant untapped potential, and today we move into higher gear with larger ambitions”.

Mohamed Bridaa, general manager of Microsoft in Tunisia, said: “Intilaq is a first in Tunisia. It is a pioneering project that works to promote, develop and strengthen the capacity of Tunisian youth to propel innovation and creativity. In this sense, Microsoft will share its expertise notably in the field of information technology”.
Intilaq will also work as an incubator for international enterprises, adding a new dimension to incubation programmes for the region.

(source: Gulf Times)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:20:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Vive Digital Plan Colombia was awarded at the Office of the United Nations in Vienna, as "one of the 15  Innovative Policy 2014" , in view of their impressive contributions to the disabled population for the Zero Project, an international initiative working for a world without barriers .

Vive Digital, program through which the Ministry of ICT is driving the transformation of the digital ecosystem in the country, was highlighted at an international summit on accessibility.

They stressed about the impact of ConVertic , the software that the Ministry put tfree of charge to more than 1.2 million people with visual and hearing disabilities enabling them to use the computer and surf the Internet . And in 2014 more than 800 centers provide technological tools that promote accessibility.

More than 400 experts in accessibility and disability worldwide extolled the work of MinTIC , for its programs for people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.

Vive Digital Plan of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies was shortlisted as one of 68 innovative policies in Project Zero. Globally the company meets and models that improve the quality of daily life and the legal rights of people with disabilities.

The references provided by the Project Zero said: Respecting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities , approval for disability rights , innovation in approach and legal instruments application implementation that delivered measurable and identifiable improvements and easily transferable to other countries.

Recognition also highlighted the achievements of Vive Digital Plan on access to the Internet, and noted that, in contrast to other countries in South America, Colombia makes major investments in information technology .

Similarly, the annual report of Zero Poject , highlighted the commitment and performance of Colombia at work for the rights of people with disabilities.

Under the slogan "No one can enjoy a human right if there is no access to it", the Project Zero has investigated 69 practices and policy solutions that have proven successful in overcoming barriers to access .

The Zero Project

The Zero Project was initiated by the Essl Foundation in 2010. Project Zero 's vision is to work for a world without barriers, in accordance with the principles and provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) . It does so by investigating Innovative Practices and innovative policies worldwide that help improve the lives of people with disabilities, as well as research in social indicators that measure the implementation of the UN CRPD and the current situation in all countries of the world.

(Source: MinTIC)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 4:26:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Conference provided opinion-leaders and decision-makers worldwide with a sense of outstanding best-practices on accessibility – the Innovative Practices and Innovative Policies as selected by the Zero Project network of hundreds of experts – and their potential to make the world more accessible.

Let’s continue…
To jointly continue the good work, let us take this opportunity to encourage you to make use of the Zero Project Website where you can find a lot of additional information from the Conference on accessibility: All presentations are online and free to download. Also a lot of pictures from the Conference can be found here.

But there is a lot more on the website. All selected 54 Innovative Practices and 15 Innovative Policies 2014 on accessibility have been uploaded barrier-free to the website and can be fully searched by keywords, countries or tags. In addition to that, all shortlisted Practices that did not make it into the final selection have been researched by students team from Fachhochschule St. Pölten and are now online and fully searchable – another interesting set of more than 70 best-practices on accessibility worldwide!
And there is still more…

Find the full Zero Project Report 2014 and the Zero Project Worldmaps ready for download, as well as all 32 social indicators that measure the implementation of the UN CRPD in 130 countries. “Drill down” the data on the online map and find also all comments made by experts, and use Google Translate to translate it into your language. And you can download all the social indicators “raw data” as open source to start your own research. Please feel free to contribute to the research and include your own answers and spread the word to others that may want to fill in the questionnaires!

Watch here the Zero Project Video

(Source: Zero Project Website)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 12:21:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 24, 2014

UNESCO is now seeking feedback from stakeholders on how it should design and implement a comprehensive study of Internet-related issues that will present options for future actions within its mandate. Comments are requested before 30 April, after which the draft concept paper and questions will be finalized, and the research will commence.

This wide-ranging Internet study arises from a resolution agreed by UNESCO’s 195 Member States during the Organization’s General Conference in November 2013.

By mandate of Resolution 52 of UNESCO’s 37th General Conference in 2013, the study is required to cover the fields of (i) Access to information and knowledge, (ii) Freedom of expression, (iii) Privacy, and (iv) Ethical dimensions of the information society, and also explore possible options for future actions. The results will inform the Organization’s reporting to the 38th General Conference in 2015.

The resolution requires that the study be done through an inclusive multi-stakeholder process which includes governments, private sector, civil society, international organizations and the technical community.

These consultations will be done through an online questionnaire, meetings with UNESCO Member States, and UNESCO participation in events such as the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance (NETmundial), WSIS High Level Review Events, the Internet Governance Forum, the Freedom Online Conference, and the Stockholm Internet Forum.

The draft concept paper for the study, proposed by UNESCO’s Secretariat, outlines how the fields can be conceptualized and presents related research questions. The guiding framework is the draft concept of “Internet Universality”. By summarizing core Internet principles relevant to UNESCO’s mandate and fields of competence, the notion of “Internet universality” highlights four R-O-A-M principles: (i) that the Internet should be Human Rights-based (ii) “Open”, (iii) “Accessible to All”, and (iv) nurtured by Multi-stakeholder Participation. As part of the consultation, feedback is also sought on this draft concept.

To send your written comments on the Draft Concept Paper and the Draft Concept of Internet Universality, please write to Internetstudy(at)

Further details

Monday, March 24, 2014 6:26:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Ministry of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Postal and Courier Services is organising the e-TECH AFRICA 2014 EXPO conference and exhibition scheduled for 11 – 14 March 2014 in collaboration with its strategic partners.

The theme for this year is “Promoting Competitiveness and Sustainable Growth Through ICTs”.

The conference will run parallel to the exhibition. The event is expected to bring a wide range of ideas, opinions, perspectives, research findings and expertise to expand knowledge frontiers for sustainable growth and development through ICTs. The event is also expected to draw people from the ICT Industry, civil society, academia and government to a discussion platform for national development. The e-TECH Africa 2014 Conference and exhibitions will provide a platform for creating awareness about the opportunities, challenges and benefits derived from the adoption of ICTs in Africa as well as initiate practical measures needed to extend the ICT reach.

The exhibitions and conference will also explore the enabling role of ICTs in the development of African countries.

Objectives of the conference
The general objective of the e-TECH Africa Conference is to arouse the interest of the Zimbabwean population in the use of ICTs for a successful transformation of Africa from an agricultural society to a knowledge society. In line with the African Regional Action Plan on the Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE), the Conference is expected to:

a. Promote the right of all to have equal access to ICT value added services and to experience the advantages of using technological services
b. Develop, maintain and stimulate people’s curiosity, interest and enjoyment in ICTs
c. Promote the acquisition of appropriate technological skills, concepts, principles, methods and vocabulary
d. Leverage ICTs as a tool for socio- economic development especially in developing countries.
e. Attract more and new investments in the ICT sector
f. Bridge the digital divide.
g. Promote business linkages and partnerships.

The thrust of the conference is therefore to explore how ICTs can accelerate Africa’s developmental agenda and in the process transform Zimbabwe into a knowledge based society.

Conference Agenda
The conference will be characterised by key presentations followed by panel debates that will discuss how ICTs can be exploited to support sustainable economic development. Presentations and panel debates will focus on what can be done to sustain or speed up the developmental pace and close the ICT gap still exists particularly at national level and in Africa. It is therefore expected that key presentations will be made in and around the following areas:

• Building a Knowledge and Information Society
• Research and development in ICT’s
• ICT’s in Health and Agriculture
• ICT’s in Tourism and Entertainment
• Building a vibrant ICT industry
• The need for a well regulated ICT environment
• Bridging the digital divide
• The potential of ICT’s for sustainable growth
• Cyber Security & Cyber Ethics
• ICTs for Poverty Alleviation and Community Development
• Impact of e-Government on National Development
• E-learning for a developing economy
• Green Computing
• Cloud Computing

For more information please visit or email: or

(Source: TechZim)

Monday, March 24, 2014 5:55:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kenya’s private schools, in conjunction with technology companies Microsoft, Intel, Safaricom and Mitsumi, have partnered to take affordable gadgets and learning solutions to all private schools across the country.

In the collaboration, Intel East Africa will provide training programs and material, Safaricom Limited will provide the data plan, Equity Bank will be the finance partner and Mitsumi Computer Garage will offer devices.

According to Peter Ndoro, CEO Kenya Private Schools Alliance, schools laptops worth between sh30,000 and sh55,000 bundled with relevant content and e-learning materials will be offered to learners in private schools.

¨We intend to train at least three teachers in all private schools on the use of the gadgets and the e-curriculum by the end of the year… we already have 32 trainer of trainers but we intend to increase that number to 102 so that we can train all the targeted private schools teacher before end of the year¨, said Mr. Ndoro.
There are about 3400 private schools in Kenya.

The alliance aims to ensure all private schools have provisions for cheaper laptops and relevant digital curriculum for learners before end of this year.

In the agreement, every Intel device purchased will come pre-loaded with approved Intel Explore and Learn, a one-stop shop for digital education content.

Specifically tailored finance options will also be provided through loans from Kenya’s Equity Bank and M-Changa, a mobile money-based way to contribute towards the purchase of devices. Special data packages from Safaricom will also be provided, consisting of 5 gigabyte and 10 gigabyte bundles.

“Through this platform, learners can easily access a wide variety of content including text books, set books, revision books, interactive past exam papers, rich multimedia (audio, video and animations)”, said Alex Twinomugisha – Business Development Manager, Intel Corporate East Africa.

“Teachers need proper training and the curriculum needs tweaking to fit the new era of technology in classrooms”, said Twimomugisha. There are over 60 in-built science experiments pre-loaded in the gadgets to be distributed by Mitsuni Computer Garage.

The gadgets, which private schools are expected to buy through a financial plan with Equity bank ranges from the very basic to the advanced depending on learners’ needs.

Better still the laptops, especially those targeting junior learners come bundled with a classroom management system to monitor students’ activity. The laptops for the small children are break-proof to withstand rough handling. The gadgets will also be fitted a theft deterrent software meaning if they are stolen or smuggled out of school they can be remotely locked and rendered unusable.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Monday, March 24, 2014 5:12:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 11, 2014

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, Foundation (TCF) is happy to announce that, as of January 2014, over 1 million women from different parts of the world have been trained and acquired new ICT skills under its Telecentre Women Digital Literacy Campaign.

The campaign, which kicked off in 2011, is a joint undertaking of TCF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialized agency for ICTs. With a total of 1,014,096 women trained, the original 1 million target was surpassed through the combined efforts of 153 participating organizations in 79 countries.

“Partnership is key in any undertaking, and what we have achieved so far under the Telecentre Women Digital Literacy Campaign is a testament to this. I, therefore, take this opportunity to thank ITU and all our partners in this campaign for accepting the challenge and for embracing this cause with so much fervor", says Miguel Raimilla, TCF’s Executive Director. “We may have already reached our target, but the work doesn’t stop here. There is still so much more to be done out there, and the program will definitely continue to empower women worldwide through ICT, in the hopes of inspiring change and ultimately bringing about the much needed results”, he added.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014 3:02:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, 8 March, UNESCO joins forces with international and regional partners to launch the annual Women Make the News (WMN) initiative. This year’s WMN theme is “Advancing Global Partnerships to Achieving Gender Equality in and through Media.” It is closely linked to the International Women’s Day global theme, “Equality for women is progress for all”.

Research has shown that, on average, only 24% of people questioned, seen, heard or read about in the media are women. Only one quarter of board members governing media organizations are women. The media, as champions of freedom of expression and with their function to promote diversity, should treat this imbalance as a threat to the free expression of half the world’s population. Getting more women in the news needs to be a consistent commitment to achieve evolutionary change.
We are calling on our media partners to commit to ensuring that 30% of all experts interviewed in the news are women as a step towards achieving gender equality in editorial content.

Half the world’s population implies fifty percent of the viewership, listenership and readership of the world’s media. Responding to them is a sure business and development model. It is sure progress for media development and indeed sure progress for all. 

Likewise, UNESCO is inviting editors-in-chief of newspapers, radio, television online and offline to join this initiative, and to entrust women journalists and reporters with editorial responsibility for the newsroom on International Women’s Day or during the WMN initiative.

The WMN 2014 theme this year is connected to the success of the groundbreaking Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) which was launched during the first Global Forum on Media and Gender which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2 to 4 of December 2013. Through GAMAG, constructive dialogue between media partners and civil society will be strengthened, and all stakeholders can collectively work to give momentum to women's access to expression and decision-making by promoting a gender-inclusive media and communication environment.

Gender equality in all levels of decision making in media and in content involves all and has many dimensions as described in the UNESCO Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media resource. The media civil society, governments, private sector and development organizations can contribute. GAMAG and the WMN 2014 initiative unite all stakeholders to take action. Click here to view WMN website and see more about how you can get involved. Commit to this initiative and help to spread the word.

(Source: UNESCO)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 1:27:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Facebook introduced SocialEDU, a pilot initiative that will provide students in Rwanda with free access to a collaborative online education experience. With SocialEDU, students in Rwanda will receive free data plans for accessing free edX MOOCs from some of the world’s leading universities. is about working together to remove barriers to access and give billions of people the power to connect to the knowledge economy,” said Javier Olivan, Vice President of Growth and Analytics at Facebook. “SocialEDU represents this kind of collaboration at its best”.

He noted that “We worked with the Rwandan government, a telecom company, a device manufacturer and an educational content provider to develop a plan to provide students with free, high-quality, localized educational content and create a social learning experience that is accessible via handheld devices. The initiative builds on the success of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) by making it possible to access high-quality educational content affordably”.

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana said, “The Government of Rwanda is excited to partner with Facebook to open up a world full of content and interaction to Rwandan students. The social education experience will accelerate innovation and propel Rwanda into a knowledge-based economy”.

He added that “We are committed to doing our part to make sure SocialEDU has the greatest possible impact in Rwanda. This is fully aligned with the Government’s Broadband for All policy and the Smart Kigali Initiative, a public-private partnership that provides free wi-fi in Kigali’s most popular squares, buses, hotels, and public buildings”.

At its core, SocialEDU addresses five critical barriers to access by bringing together: Free content, Free data, Affordable smartphones, Localized, social educational experience and a government that supports innovation.

In this program, edX ( will work with Facebook to create a social educational experience by building a mobile app that is integrated with Facebook. Airtel will provide free education data for everyone in Rwanda who participates in the program for one year, while Nokia will pitch in with affordable smartphones that will improve the quality and ease of Internet access.

The Government will also expand its Smart Kigali program to provide free wi-fi in campuses throughout the country, enabling students to access high-quality multimedia educational content. Furthermore, the Government will work with edX to adapt course materials for local students. Airtel will lead operations for the phone trade-in program.

Normally these types of apps consume a great deal of bandwidth to work properly. To ensure the success of the app in Rwanda, Facebook is providing engineering support to guarantee that the app creates a social experience that is optimized for a low-bandwidth environment.

Facebook will work closely with Ericsson to test the app’s functionality at Ericsson’s facility, which simulates a 2G environment to provide developers with immediate feedback on the app’s performance in alternative environments. Later this year, Facebook, in partnership with Ericsson, will launch a unique testing facility that simulates alternative environments for developers to use when creating apps for similar markets.

Airtel Africa’s CEO Christian de Faria said, “We are honored to participate in this noble initiative. Education is one of the key engines for economic and social growth across the continent, with Rwanda amongst Africa’s most respected countries for its outstanding development record. We will do everything possible to support this ongoing reform using Airtel’s technological capability in the data and mobile commerce environment, to facilitate Rwanda’s rapid progress”.

Nokia’s Executive Vice President for Mobile Phones, Timo Toikkanen said, “Our affordable smartphones help people make the transition from simple mobility to more sophisticated experiences. Playing a role in helping students get access to these experiences, such as social education, through the SocialEDU initiative is truly an honor”.

Improving global access to high-quality education has been a key edX goal from day one,” said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. “Nearly half of our 2 million students come from developing countries, with 10 percent from Africa. In partnering with Facebook on this innovative pilot, we hope to learn how we can take this concept to the world”.

With SocialEDU, students in Rwanda will receive free data plans for accessing free edX MOOCs from some of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, MIT, U.C. Berkeley, TU Delft, Australian National University and ETH Zurich.

This platform will allow students to ask questions, engage with other students, interact with teachers, and participate in group discussions.

Further details

Wednesday, March 05, 2014 6:50:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 26, 2014
UNPAN online training courses are available to anyone with Internet access and are provided free of charge. The courses are available in English, Russian and Spanish. Please login or register to view and access the courses available listed below:

Courses Available for Registered Users

Electronic and Mobile Government
- Principles of E-Government
- Infrastructure for E-Government Development
- Strategies and Methodologies for E-Government
- E-Government Interoperability (English and Russian)
- Open Government Data for Citizen Engagement (NEW!)

Institution and Human Resources Management
- Decentralized Governance
- Human Resources Managers Capacity Development
- Gestión Presupuestaria Basada en Resultados (Spanish)
- La Calidad en las Organizaciones Públicas (Spanish)
- Strategies for Strengthening Public Sector Human Resources Management for Africa's Development (Coming Soon...)

Knowledge Management in Government
- Knowledge Management in Government Organization
- Strategic Intelligence

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs
- Citizen Engagement and the Millennium Development Goals
- Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation for MDG Implementation
- Play and Learn: MDG Progress Game

(Source: UNPAN)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 12:22:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 19, 2014
A social media site that links Puerto Rican scientists abroad with those at home could be helping to strengthen the science community in a territory that has experienced substantial brain drain, according to its developers.

The founders of CienciaPR (‘Science Puerto Rico’) say the island group has few high-quality scientific institutions and, like other Latin American countries, spends little on research — so brain drain is a problem.

Some 64 per cent of Puerto Rican students studying for PhDs live outside the archipelago, as do 44 per cent of the doctorate workforce, according to a paper reviewing the website’s progress, published last month (31 December) in PLOS Biology.

With so few scientists in Puerto Rico, it is hard to foster local science, say the authors. But CiencaPR may be compensating with a digital community that can help fill the gaps.

Launched in 2006, the network has almost 7,000 members in 48 countries, and includes people in more than 185 universities in the United States.

The authors of the paper say CienciaPR has brought benefits at a local level, enabling students and scientists who leave Puerto Rico to continue to contribute to the local scientific community through science communication, outreach initiatives, research and education.

For example, the platform “has been a resource for teachers [in Puerto Rico] who look to bring scientists to their classrooms or to contextualise their science lessons. It is helping to stimulate students’ interest in science careers”, says Giovanna Guerrero-Medina, CienciaPR’s executive director.

(Source: SciDevNet)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:28:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We are excited to announce the launch of our WWW: Women Weave the Web Campaign! Join World Pulse in supporting women who are using the Internet to transform the world. From the streets of Nairobi to the plazas of Buenos Aires, women are logging on and sparking change. Now is the time to break down the digital divide. Participate in our campaign to make sure that every woman can access the tools that will empower her!

Our newly launched campaign is poised to crowdsource the wisdom of grassroots women leaders like you on issues related to digital inclusion and empowerment. With the launch of the campaign, we're kicking off the Digital Access phase to find out about challenges you have accessing the Internet and the solutions you and your community are developing. In a few months, we'll turn our focus to Digital Literacy and then to Digital Empowerment, to gather your ideas on the tools you need to fully espouse the web, as well as how the Internet empowers you to create real and powerful change on the ground. World Pulse will analyze the submitted testimonies, and, in conjunction with our partners, present your ideas and recommendations to important international forums, policy leaders, media outlets, and technology companies. Together, we can make sure our voices are heard in the halls of power, calling for the digital inclusion and empowerment of all women around the world!

Want to write a story? Take a picture? Connect with other women? There many ways to get involved with the campaign, from writing a journal entry on digital access to uploading a photo of your local library, or mapping internet cafes that are safe for women. Take a look at our How to Participate page to learn about all the ways that you can get your voice heard on this important issue!

This year, we have joined forces with several partners to bring some incredible opportunities and prizes to campaign participants! These opportunities include the $20,000 Lynn Syms prize, to be awarded to an outstanding grassroots woman and visionary voice using digital tools to effect change and advance her community work.

Campaign participants will also be able to apply to become a part of the Beyond Access Community, an initiative aimed at supporting local libraries in implementing community development programs. To be eligible for all the prizes, you first need to submit a journal entry to the campaign, so submit your story now!

(Source: World Pulse)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:53:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
TALENTEDGE, India's premier technology training company, has unveiled plans to boost information technology education in Nigeria through a partnership with local internet company, Linkserve.

A statement by Talentedge, said the company would, through its multiple product lines, offer a bouquet of learning courses like individual learning programmes, campus learning schemes, corporate education programmes and government training projects.

It said the pact will bring to the Nigerian market, a bouquet of technology training applications that had already helped to change IT learning in India and other developing nations.

The statement also added that the agreement would also allow Linkserve to open training centres.

Talentedge said it would also work with other sub-franchisees to increase the educational knowledge base in Nigeria for a better trained workforce.“We are extremely delighted to sign an agreement with Linkserve Group as part of our endeavour to change the landscape of education in Nigeria by introducing affordable and quality education for millions of students.

"Even though we have been operational in Nigeria as KarROX, we are now re-entering the country with a renewed vigour by partnering with a strong player in the IT Industry like Linkserve.

"We hope to replicate the high standards of education set by us in India in Nigeria”, the firm stated.

The chairman of Linkserve, Chima Onyekwere, was quoted as saying the partnership with Talentedge was in line with the company's vision to bring to the Nigerian market quality educational training matched with the innovative spirit of Linkserve.

He hailed Linkserve as a true IT pioneer in Nigeria. Onyekwere, said Talentedge and Linkserve would help the Federal Government improve the quality of ICT education and to ensure that Nigeria benefitted from the increased advancement in the field.

(Source: All Africa)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:47:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in partnership with UNICEF Ghana will this week launch the MEST-UNICEF Hackathon, a three-day product development competition to find new technologies to serve the hard-to-reach in Ghana. Participants will tackle issues ranging from water supply tracking, to access to information, and sanitation.

Over 3 days (from 15th -17th January 2014), participants will work in teams to develop practical web or mobile applications that address a set of problem statements presented by UNICEF Ghana. On 17th January, the teams will pitch their solutions to a panel of judges from UNICEF Ghana and MTN Ghana, and the top three teams will receive GHC5,000, GHC2,500 and GHC1,000 respectively.

“MEST is dedicated to supporting young and bright Africans to start their own software companies to create wealth and jobs in Africa. Our goal is that by setting this pace we can inspire generations that follow to achieve greatness in the continent”. Ekua Odoom, Managing Director - MEST said.

“We know talent is equally distributed but wealth is not and by creating opportunities like this we are showing the world how inspirational, talented and promising the youth in Africa are. And for this reason we are excited to partner with key development players such as UNICEF Ghana, to pursue this common vision of touching the continent in a phenomenal way- by helping find innovative technologies to serve the hard-to-reach in Ghana through this hackathon”, Ms. Odoom said.

Over 100 of Ghana’s brightest tech minds will join the competition at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) at East Legon. Participants will be joined by guests from the technology and business communities, as well as members of the general public.

“New ideas and technologies are needed to serve the hardest to reach communities in Ghana. UNICEF aims to co-develop innovations that are driven by and suited to the needs of the most vulnerable”, UNICEF Ghana Country Representative, Susan Namondo Ngongi, said.

“Partnering with the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology gives UNICEF the opportunity to encourage innovations by Ghanaians, for Ghanaians. This partnership will bring different sets of skills, viewpoints and influence to the table.

“Most of the problem statements presented by UNICEF are around how we, working with our partners, improve our ability to target resources and monitor and manage results. “We believe that this hackathon will come up with innovative concepts that can be further refined to improve the lives of children in Ghana”, Ms Ngongi said. Follow @UNICEFGhana and @MESTGhana on twitter for live updates.

(Source: Ghanaweb)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:43:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2013 played host to a large delegation from the Ugandan government, including the State Minister of ICT, Hon Nyombi Thembo, and the State Minister of Education, Hon Dr Kamanda Bataringaya.

The delegation attended to represent and publicise eLearning Africa 2014, which will be hosted by the Ministry of ICT in Kampala, May 28 – 30. This will be the ninth edition of the conference, which travels to a new African nation each year.

eLearning Africa is the largest and most comprehensive knowledge sharing event for technology-enhanced education and training on the African continent. The annual conference is a forum for everyone with an interest in education and training in Africa. The Call for Proposals is open until January 15, 2014, and the organisers are searching for inspirational, innovative speakers to submit presentation ideas under the theme of ‘Opening Frontiers to the Future’.

Hon Nyombi Thembo, Bob Lyazi, of the Uganda Communications Commission, and Edward Ssebukyu, from the Ministry of Education and Sports, contributed presentations to an interesting session in the OEB programme. The session detailed the efforts within Uganda to create a “knowledge society where ICT is central in all spheres of life” and the speakers shared their enthusiastic anticipation for the coming conference in Kampala.

On Friday morning, Hon Nyombi Thembo made a keynote address, explaining the Ugandan government’s prioritisation of ICT as one of the “priority areas for socio-economic transformation”:
“We are all aware of the increasing importance of ICT in the socio-economic transformation and development of society. The world is steadily moving towards a knowledge-based economy … and as such, we have put in place the enabling policy and regulatory environment to facilitate the integration of ICTs into all social and economic activities”.

Going on to speak about the opportunities that hosting eLearning Africa offered Uganda, Hon Nyombi Thembo explained that the conference “brings together major industrial players who share their expertise through discussions and live projects that have impacted and changed the lives of people in different countries”.
The minister finished by warmly inviting the entire OEB audience to eLearning Africa next May and to enjoy all that Uganda, “a beautiful country … endowed with a diversity of culture, nature and wildlife”, has to offer.

ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN brought together 2,195 experts and practitioners from working in and around technology-supported learning for three days to analyse, collect and create new perspectives on e-learning. The 19th edition of the annual conference was attended by participants from the education, corporate, government and public service sectors.

Further details

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:29:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, December 22, 2013

The deadline to submit your application and all required submission materials is January 22, 2014.

Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) helps women and girls enter and succeed in technical careers, with the goal of enhancing women's talent and skills needed to fuel technological and economic growth. WeTech, a Clinton Global Initiative commitment, is led by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and implemented with a consortium of dedicated partners to support innovative activities, training, build networks and offer professional opportunities for women and girls in tech.


WeTech is launching a Seed Fund in Africa that will provide small grants to support individuals or civil society organizations to play a role in increasing the access for women and girls to computer science-related training, jobs and leadership roles. While new and existing initiatives will be considered, preference will be given to the expansion of current projects.

Seed Fund grant amounts will range from $2,000 - $20,000. Grant applications will be reviewed by a panel of experts knowledgeable of Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) content areas or applicant's countries. Based on the application review, the Seed Fund team may propose modifications to the budget, requested amount and/or scope of the project that the grantee may accept if they so choose. Winners of the WeTech Seed Grants will be required to report quarterly on their progress as well as participate in, and contribute to, a virtual community of fellow grantees.

If you have specific questions throughout the application process, please contact us at

Further details

Sunday, December 22, 2013 8:20:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 19, 2013

Imagine a world where disabled and non-disabled people have equal life opportunities; access to mainstream education, employment and career development opportunities, a world where disabled people are able to freely access buildings, transport and other services.  This is what we aim for.

India has a rich cultural and religious heritage. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and with a population of over one billion, is the largest democracy in the world (World Bank, 2010). India is growing in many aspects, fast becoming a global player with great potential to develop and influence other countries.

There are many changes taking place in relation to Disability Equality in India and around the world; anti-discriminative legislations, ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled people (UNCRPD), CSR initiatives, Disability Equality Practices and many more.

However, whilst India is making rapid progress in addressing disability equality, over 50% of disabled people remain illiterate compared to 35% of the general population (Government of India, 2001). The deep inequalities experienced by disabled people are further exacerbated when combined with existing axes of social difference, such as gender and social status. This shows the greater need for change in attitudes towards, and awareness of disability equality and accessibility. We believe it is you who can initiate this change which will last a lifetime and beyond, that will see our children, grandchildren and generations to come grow up in a country that respects equality and provides opportunities for all.

Choice Internationl (UK) and NGI are bringing together national and international resources to provide an environment for innovation and creativity, through which we aim to initiate change in Disability Equality and Accessibility in India. This jointly organised conference aims to recognise the achievements in Disability Equality in India, whilst analysing the challenges we now face.

So join us at ‘Freedom of choice’- an International Conference on Disability Equality and Accessibility in India, and make a lasting difference!

NGI creates a platform for forward-thinking Indians and friends, connecting them for the betterment of their lives. The aim of this publication and its events are to explore, express, learn, share, and network across the globe, promoting India, Indians and friends globally via debate, discussion and knowledge sharing.

Choice International is a UK based, non-profit, international development organisation promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the UK and overseas focussing specifically on promoting leadership development of disabled people. The current focus on India is via the LEAD-India programme.

This conference aims to:
- Explore Disability Equality within Indian businesses and services to gain an understanding of disability equality relating to accessibility, perception of disability and disability legislation in India.
- Explore the importance of barrier-free design and infrastructure.
- Equip participants to become ambassadors and promoters of Disability Equality
- Create an opportunity for participants to meet and network, share skills, knowledge and experience in Disability Equality and promote the concept of a barrier-free environment in their respective fields.

Help to incorporate effective Disability Equality practices and barrier free design in all infrastructures developed within corporate, public and voluntary sectors.

(Source: Choice International)

Thursday, December 19, 2013 6:03:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Google India aims to help 50 million more women get online by 2014-end by undertaking a variety of initiatives across the country.

Though India is on its way to become the second largest Internet market, with 200 million users, overtaking the U.S., only one-third of the online users are women.

The Internet can play an important role in empowering women in India and help them transform their lives. It can help women achieve self esteem and express their views freely, open up new opportunities and help them gain education. At the macro level, these benefits can translate into lowering maternal and infant mortality rates, a higher GDP of the country and improving standards of living.

But lack of easy access to the Internet and lack of knowledge of how to use the global network and its relevance in their daily lives are the biggest barriers for women to get online. ‘Helping women get online’ is just that initiative which aims to overcome these hurdles. Google India aims to help 50 million more women get online by 2014-end by undertaking a variety of initiatives across the country. “We have already seen many cases of women benefiting greatly by using the Internet and we are really delighted to partner with leading brands in the country in this ambitious project”, said Rajan Anandan, MD and VP Sales & Operations for Google India.

The initiative will focus on creating awareness of the benefits of Internet and educating women to use it to improve their lives, and work with partners to enable easy Internet access points for women. In the first stage, Google will launch a mass media campaign and promote the specially designed website which will host content covering the very basics of the Internet and special content that is relevant to women, available in both Hindi and English. Women can call toll-free helpline number 1800 41 999 77 for answers to any query about the Internet.

The initiative follows the success of a pilot programme that was carried out by Google India at a village in Bhilwara, Rajasthan, where over 100,000 women were trained in the basic applications of the Internet.

Now the programme will be supported by Intel, HUL and Axis Bank through joint outreach efforts including Internet training in digital literacy. Intel is also launching a mobile app, “Easy Step,” for women and it would be available on Android playstore.

Google has partnered with a host of different companies which will create and share content relevant to Indian women on These partners include Johnson & Johnson,, and

The Bhilwara project covered girl students in the age group 13-18, housewives and working women. Basic training content was created in Hindi to help the women understand how they could use the Internet in their day-to-day lives.

(Source: The Hindu)

Thursday, December 19, 2013 5:23:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
As is happening in other areas of society, women already occupies a better posision among the people who are making online computer training. 67% of students are women, compared to 33 % of men, according to data from Internet Academi, the largest Spanish online training platform on Internet.

Currently, they are opting to form a majority (83% ) for short programs, one month, to meet specific needs and improve their qualifications. The other 17% select a deeper or masters programs, which takes six to 10 months. They prefer mainly four areas: Social Media, Browsers, Web Analytics and Community Management.

The "sketch" of women who are doing digital training, according to data from Internet Academi would be: Spanish, around thirty years old, with higher education and who holds a responsible position in the field of Consulting or Internet.

· Age. 48% of the students are between 30 and 39 years old. Behind them, the age group between 20 and 29 accounts for 31 % of the total, and only 19 % are older than 40 years.
· Studying. With higher education level, which, in many cases, represent a Postgraduate. These studies are primarily focused on advertising, marketing, computers or technology.
· Vocational sector of origin. The students interested in the digital ecosystem work primarily in Consulting, Internet, Technology and Distribution. There is a small representation of the world of banking, insurance, textile, hospitality, advertising and marketing.
· Working place. 85% of the students have a position of responsibility as Director or Area Coordinator Department according to Internet Academi. The number of administrative and employees represents 8 %.
· Motivation. The three main reasons why women choose to be formed are: take the push that  Internet has in recent years to get a better job, increase their general knowledge to progress in their current job and complete their resume.
· Preferred courses. The students are mainly inclined to courses related to social networks and the Community Management, search engine optimization , the user experience , analytics and metrics in Internet and mobility. Among women who are enrolled in a Master Program, the chosen discipline is the E -Commerce.

"The data show that women are joining en masse to the knowledge society and their role will grow soon to address the changes that will continue", explains Rodrigo Miranda, director of Internet Academi. "Being off the Internet is similar to being illiterate in the twentieth century, and the woman has understood perfectly. They want to take this area to improve their opportunities in a business world, which is still dominated mostly by men, and they are aware that the Internet is a much more egalitarian environment where the shortage of well-trained professionals opens opportunities where they will not find wage differences like in other sectors".

Rodrigo Miranda recalls that the Network has also broken the geographical barriers. "In the case of Internet Academi, although the vast majority of our students are Spanish, in the last two calls has significantly grown the number of people from America, especially from Mexico and Colombia, and even from Asia, reaching 25% of total".

(Source: Cibersur)

Thursday, December 19, 2013 5:12:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 13, 2013

We are pleased to publish ‘Mobile Phone Network Data for Development’, a primer on how analysis of Call Detail Records (CDRs) can provide valuable information for humanitarian and development purposes.

Earlier this year we produced the Global Pulse “Big Data for Development Primer”, an introductory guide for the global development community, summarizing key terms, concepts, case studies and challenges around big data.

Our new primer, Mobile Phone Network Data for Development, is an accessible synthesis of a growing body of research on mobile phone data analysis in development or humanitarian contexts. For example, de-identified CDRs have allowed researchers to see aggregate geographic trends such as the flow of mass populations during after natural disasters, how malaria can spread via human movement, or the passage of commuters through a city at peak times.

The document explains three types of indicators that can be extracted through analysis of CDRs (mobility, social interaction and economic activity), includes a synthesis of several research examples and a summary of privacy protection considerations.

(Source: United Nations Global Pulse)

Friday, December 13, 2013 5:11:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ICT education to reach 8500 students in 33 provincial schools

ITU has selected Sri Lanka as one of five countries for the ‘Connect a School, Connect a Community’ project. Following the completion of a ‘Connect a school, Connect a Community’ project in Akuressa, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) initiated this project with ITU to extend the scope to cover 33 schools on the entire island.

This project was inaugurated today with the opening of the Computer Laboratory of the Watareka Kanishta Vidyalaya (Primary School), in Homagama, Padukka, Colombo District, by the Sri Lanka Minister of Education Mr Bandula Gunawardena. The ceremony was attended by Mr Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka and Chairman of the TRCSL, and Ms Eun-Ju Kim, Director of the ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, along with participating school principals and officials of the Provincial Education Offices.

The project will benefit over 8500 students in 33 schools located in areas of low ICT development, while also educating children with special needs.

The main objective of the project is to narrow the digital divide between rural and urban areas and provide digital opportunities to their communities. Transforming these schools into community ICT centres is expected to help marginalized and vulnerable groups, such as women, indigenous people, persons with disabilities and those living in rural, remote and underserved areas, and to empower them to contribute to their socio-economic development.

ITU and TRCSL have provided funds for the hardware and software required to equip the computer laboratories in schools. The schools will be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the facilities, while telecommunication operators will provide broadband Internet connectivity to at concessionary rates. “This school and rural community-oriented ICT project will be beneficial to the rural sector”, said Mr Weeratunga. “In the future, these schools will play a key role in the penetration of ICT knowledge into the rural and remote areas of the country”.

“The Ministry of Education is committed to equipping teachers and students in Sri Lanka with digital literacy skills in order to empower them to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the global economy”, said Mr Anura Dissanayake, Secretary in the Ministry of Education. “The project will bring technology into the classroom and allow teachers to teach their students critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration skills”.

“This is a smart initiative which sets a milestone in driving ICT access to rural and remote areas and benefits not only teachers and students but also the communities where they live”, said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. “Such an innovative public-private-peoples’ partnership, which promotes school-based community ICT centres, represents an attractive, affordable, inclusive, scalable and sustainable step forward in providing digital opportunities for the people of Sri Lanka. This is certainly an excellent way forward to realize the Asia-Pacific Vision 2020: Smartly DIGITAL, which was endorsed last month by leaders at the Connect Asia-Pacific Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand”. Dr Touré was represented at the event by Ms Eun-Ju Kim, Director of ITU’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

The ‘Connect a School, Connect a Community’ project in Sri Lanka is a public-private-peoples’ partnership (4P) involving ITU, TRCSL, the Sri Lanka Ministry of Education, UNHCR, ICTA, SLT, Mobitel, Dialog Axiata, Metropolitan Computers, Daisy Lanka Foundation, Jinasena Training and Rehabilitation for ICT Education promotion of the Island.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Friday, December 13, 2013 4:21:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 06, 2013

This paper captures a wide range of initiatives in Bangladesh, Kenya, Egypt, Lebanon, Indonesia, Turkey, Mauritania, Tunisia, Nepal, Nairobi, West Africa, India, Nigeria, Malawi, Uganda, Serbia and South Africa, among others, that illustrate how ICTs embedded in broader communication for development strategies can provide the driving power to change and ensure better outcomes for marginalized adolescent girls. The paper highlights many of the benefits of ICT use for adolescent girls, including access to knowledge and information; connection, engagement and agency; involvement in efforts for improved governance and service delivery; increased opportunities for empowerment and voice; greater participation and inclusion; and efforts to overcome violence, exploitation and abuse. In addition, the authors also recognize existing barriers and risks in using ICTs by marginalized adolescent girls.

The paper also features case studies of C4D strategies developed by Plan International and Women in Cities International (WCI), partner organizations that are using ICTs to empower and improve the lives of adolescent girls. The examples illustrate ways in which voices of adolescent girls are captured, amplified and ‘upstreamed’ from individual or community to higher levels of influence and decision-making. At the same time, they demonstrate the essential elements of effective C4D strategy development.

Initiated in 2008, Plan’s Youth Empowerment through Technology, Arts and the Media (YETAM) programme took place in 6 West and East Africa countries: Cameroon, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda and Senegal. Through this programme, youth engaged in the community development process and beyond. They were trained on different forms of communication, which included verbal communication, performance, visual arts, and social media, in order to help them effectively raise their viewpoints and enter into dialogue with families, peers, community members, decision makers, and the general public. Social media and new technology allowed those who formerly did not have a space at the global table to enter into the dialogue directly.

Download the Full Report here

(Source: Youth Economic Opportunities)

Friday, December 06, 2013 3:57:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Microsoft and The Future Project, a development initiative founded by Red Media Africa, have launched ‘Aiki Nigeria’, a new youth employment programme to help young Nigerians get the skills to set up their own businesses or get jobs.

Citizenship Manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Ugochukwu Nwosu, said: “Microsoft takes its citizenship engagement as primary to its work. In working with organisations, technology enthusiasts and governments at every level, we have emphasised the crucial importance of jobs for a new generation of Nigerians. This programme is a major step in leading a coordinated solution to this urgent problem”.

Aiki Nigeria has been developed closely with employers to ensure it offers employability requirements and later, the youths can take up job openings in these firms or be matched to other firms.

Aiki Nigeria has also launched a free online skills portal and career’s advice service,, to reach those in the rural areas. Aiki has been designed to give secondary and tertiary school students detailed information on how to start businesses, job opportunities, career tips, capacity building and networking. Young Nigerians also access training sessions and courses on personal development, consulting, entrepreneurship and project management, and offers one-on-one tailored advice from personal mentors from different occupational fields and mock interviews.

Executive Director, The Future Project and co-founder of Red Media Africa, Chude Jideonwo, said: "It is our ambition that through the new Aiki Nigeria programme we can help all young Nigerians, no matter where they are, to develop the skills they need to achieve their full potential”.

Launched five years ago, The Future Project invests in enterprise and expanding opportunities for young people. The enterprise support scheme aims to work with Microsoft to better build a community of talented job seekers and help match them to job opportunities and solve unemployment and related evils.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation with over 166 million people and for any nation looking for human resource and a market for its products, this huge population plays the answer.

According to the World Bank, over 22 per cent of this population is unemployed and even worse, the youth unemployment rate stands at 38 per cent.

(Source: This Day Live)

Friday, December 06, 2013 12:29:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
GIZ idea behind this workshop with African hubs was to network with pioneers and practitioners, to share experiences, create new ideas and discover opportunities in Africa which will eventually help promote international cooperations for sustainable development.

The event brought together a dozen of African hubs including, iLab Liberia of Liberia, iHub of Kenya, ActivSpaces of Cameroon, Klab of Rwanda, RLABS of South Africa, iLabAfrica of Kenya, icecairo of Egypt, Wennovation Hub of Nigeria, BongoHive of Zambia, iceaddis of Ethiopia and of course our AfriLabs.

In attendance were representatives from the KAIPTC of Ghana and a hosts of GIZ representatives from head offices in Germany and other African Countries.
During the workshop, we had the opportunity to visit Hubs, (iHub, M:Lab, iLabAfrica, Ushahidi) Incubators like (Nailab & iBizAfrica), and Strathmore University which houses the Safaricom Academy, iBizAfrica and iLabAfrica.

The Impact of hubs:
- Develop skills
- Create jobs
- Serve as implementing partner for both governments and development cooperations
- Serve as a focal point for the community
- Identify skills and bring them together under one roof where their potentials can be utilized effectively not only on the national scene, but globally as well.
- Help with local development since it creates local linkages.
The potential of digital innovation is every country’s business, because it has become the driving force for national economies, infrastructure development, renewable energy, green revolution and a new way for education. Since mobile devices/technology in general, had become one of the world’s potent development tool, it’s eminent that development cooperations look in the direction where mobile devices can be harness to produce a new way for development projects implementation in a mush faster, better and cheaper way. It is in this direction that hubs and incubators come into play. GIZ, from their perspective sees the impact of hubs in one word “CUBE”.

Create Innovation
- Use Knowledge
- Building Network
- Enhance Impact

These are relevant points in development and should therefore be incorporated by institutions in their strive to meet their projects deliverables.

(Source: iLab)

Friday, December 06, 2013 12:24:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
As international conference on family planning concludes, UNFPA calls for a focus on youth in the post-2015 agenda.

Young people are a vital force that must be front and centre in global development efforts, said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, announcing UNFPA’s call for a youth centered goal in the Post-2015 development agenda.

“To achieve genuine development, we must transform our approach with and for young people, and in particular young women and girls. Young people are drivers of change. They must have the choices and tools to fully participate in development, realize their potential, and contribute to their societies”, said Dr. Osotimehin, adding that universal access to rights-based sexual and reproductive health, including contraception, is a key step to empowering young people.

Speaking at the International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, the UNFPA Executive Director highlighted barriers to the full realization of young people’s rights. “Adolescents are subjected to our double standards, and for girls in particular, the consequences are grave: They are not old enough to drive, yet old enough to be a parent? They are not old enough to vote, yet old enough to be married? Old enough to be pregnant, yet not old enough to have full access to sexuality education or contraceptives? Let us be clear: There can be no room for motherhood in childhood and we cannot continue to deprive young people of their rights to sexual and reproductive health”, he said.

Dr. Osotimehin paid tribute to civil society, technical experts and government representatives who are working to achieve significant progress in family planning. Today, countries with the highest unmet need for family planning are at the forefront of global efforts to expand access to contraceptive information, services and supplies, according to a new report released in Addis Ababa this week. Also at the conference, five governments—Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Mauritania and Myanmar—announced major new pledges for family planning.

“The momentum behind this acceleration towards universal access to sexual and reproductive health, including maternal health, is rightly putting family planning at the heart of our combined efforts”, said Dr. Osotimehin. “We congratulate governments and communities that have stepped up to the challenge, here in Africa and elsewhere—especially to the extent that this is protecting and enforcing human rights—and UNFPA is proud of our partnerships that are affirming and accelerating these achievements”.

UNFPA has helped countries develop policies and programmes to ensure availability of sexual and reproductive health information and services, realize gender equality, and expand capabilities that young people require for employment, health, resilience, participation and citizenship.

UNFPA is also assisting countries in harnessing the benefits of the “demographic dividend”— the economic prosperity that can emerge when there is reduction in fertility rates coupled with strategic investments in health, education and job creation for young people.

“Together we are creating the conditions for the realization of the demographic dividend by investing in equitable and high-quality access to rights-based reproductive health and reproductive rights. This will then allow girls to stay in school, to decide if and when they want to marry or have children, and will allow them to develop the skills and capabilities to be active as leaders”, said Dr. Osotimehin.

“By empowering this generation”, he added, “we will be able to bridge the world into a better future”.

(Source: PR Web)

Friday, December 06, 2013 12:10:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 28, 2013
During the Global Forum on Media and Gender which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2 to 4 December 2013, the Organization will facilitate discussions and partnership building on the critical need for increased female representation in media content, management, and push for the implementation of policies to reduce the equality gap.

“Too often still, the media reflects and sustains discriminatory attitudes to gender, failing to represent the voices of women or to report on such crucial concerns as gender-based discrimination, including violence against women. The fact remains also that women still have relatively little decision-making power inside media organizations”, noted UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova.

The Director-General believes this Forum will “give new momentum to global efforts to promote gender equality in and through the media, by strengthening international cooperation through a Global Alliance for Media and Gender”.

She added “the organization and the project aspire to “catalyse deep change for women’s empowerment and gender equality in and through media”, which in turn will also “contribute to shaping an ambitious post-2015 development agenda”.

Click here to read full message from the Director-General.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, November 28, 2013 3:43:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 21, 2013

What exactly is the E-Campus Learning Portal (E-CLP)? In short it is a computerised teacher, examiner, library, course hand book and lesson planner for all school subjects, based on the new Namibian school curriculum. A learner or teacher can thus use the computer to access the same content and resources that any other teacher or learner can access throughout the country. They simply state which grade they are interested in and then select the subject from a list. The E-Campus Learning Portal (E-CLP) will then take the candidate through the course, using a series of slides that are narrated in English.

The E-CLP is an education initiative designed by the Institute of Information Technology (IIT), one of the leading ICT education organisations in Namibia. The content was developed by Namibian teachers and is continuously tested and updated by learners and teachers alike. It is tweaked and customised almost daily to ensure that it successfully addresses necessary areas in a way that is conducive to easy and fun learning, while still being educational. The content is accredited by the Ministry of Education through the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED).

Not only will the E-CLP revolutionise the way in which learners study but it is a powerful tool for teachers, as it provides them with lesson plans, class tests, sample exam papers and a step-by-step guide, which is based on the subject syllabus. Therefore, teachers can be assured that they are covering everything as set out in specific subject syllabus. Teachers can also use the developed lessons to physically teach in class while showing learners the graphics, pictures and animations to explain certain points.

Learners can benefit from using this highly interactive tool to learn in a simple yet productive manner. Animations, pictures and graphics make the learning experience more enjoyable; and audio is also available should the learner wish to listen to an explanation of what they have seen on the screen. The learner is also continuously tested on the subject matter through quizzes, tests and sample exams. These can all be printed out to simulate an actual testing environment. At the end of each module there is a printable summary of the module, allowing the candidate to study before actual exams and tests. Learners can now access the E-CLP at home and use it as a personal teacher at their convenience.

The E-CLP can also be employed as an effective home schooling system based on the Namibian curriculum. Grades 11 and 12 have been completed and new development of Grades 8-10 is underway. The E-CLP is not just an e-school learning programme for students to improve their marks but it also has many other features to prepare learners for life. Among other subjects, it covers computer Skills for ICT literacy and a comprehensive HIV and AIDS education fully covering the sensitive and sometimes uncomfortable topic. Using interactivity as well as practical images, the topic is made easier for teachers and learners who can access the E-CLP to get answers to the questions that they might be reluctant to ask in the classroom or in front of other people.

Another informative section is dedicated to career guidance to assist the learner to choose a suitable career. The learner can access a descriptive database of hundreds of job titles and is exposed to the aspects of studying for and finding a career including: Creating a CV/Resume; Attending Interviews and Job Hunting.

Not only will E-CLP be an important tool in nation building, it has also proven that Namibia is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to local content development.

Further details

Thursday, November 21, 2013 4:11:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

This edition of GISWatch explores women’s rights and gender through the lens of information and communications technologies (ICTs). It includes a series of expert thematic reports on issues such as access to infrastructure, participation, online disobedience, and sexuality online, as well as 46 country reports on topics like the rights of domestic workers, trafficking in women, participation in governance, child brides, and the right to abortion.

GISWatch 2013 shows that gains in women’s rights made online are not always certain or stable. While access to the internet for women has increased their participation in the social, economic and governance spheres, there is another side to these opportunities: online harassment, cyberstalking, and violence against women online all of which are on the increase globally. This GISWatch is a call to action, to the increased participation of women in all forms of technological governance and development, and to a reaffirmation and strengthening of their rights online.

GISWatch is published annually and is a joint initiative by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos).

Download the full report

(Source: GIS Watch)

Thursday, November 21, 2013 4:04:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with Motorola Solutions, has launched an initiative in Rwanda, which aims to link innovators from around the world with ongoing development programmes using mobile technologies.

The initiative, dubbed International Network of Social Innovators for Human Development (INSIHD), will provide a platform where innovators can interact and share their experiences with others on their innovations.

Laminm Manneh, the UNDP representative in Rwanda, said: “ICT has the potential to boost our economies and improve living standards of our people and that is why we want to equip the African youth with these technologies and accelerate our development”.

The launch makes Rwanda the third country in Africa where the network has been introduced after Kenya and Tunisia earlier this year.
Motorola Solutions, through the network, will help come up with initiatives addressing global challenges, as well as coordinate information sharing to enable investors learn and use technology and solutions from other countries across the network.

Travis Heneveld, representing Motorola at the launch, said, “We shall develop incubation labs and come up with financing modules to promote investments in line with the national government programs”.

Jean Nsengimana, Rwanda’s minister of youth and ICT, said: “Information and communication technologies (ICTs) must be an integral part in national development priorities and not be seen in isolation”.

He said ICT enables faster, more efficient and cost effective poverty reduction efforts and the country is ready to share experience of their innovations with other countries.

(Source: Humanipo)

Thursday, November 21, 2013 3:27:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 14, 2013
Leading multinational to co-host sessions at ITU Telecom World 2013 on implementation of e-education

ITU announced today that Intel Corporation, the global leader in silicon chip innovation, will join ITU Telecom World 2013 as a partner, co-hosting sessions on leveraging the power of information and communication technologies (ICT) to transform education.

The leading networking, knowledge-sharing and innovation showcasing platform for the global ICT community, ITU Telecom World 2013 will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, 19-22 November, bringing together an influential audience of private and public sector leaders from across the world.

Intel Education Solutions, created in recognition of the need for quality education to prepare tomorrow's workforce in an increasingly global economy, will host three interactive panel sessions and a ministerial round table at the event, focused on harnessing investment in ICT to accelerate technology adoption, transform education and advance economies and societies:

- Education Transformation: Content that Matters – how traditional educational material must evolve to make the most of broadband delivery and help students acquire 21st century skills.

- Education Transformation: Financing e-Learning Programmes – exploring the role of governments and public private partnerships in funding technology and multidisciplinary education projects.

- Education Transformation: From Vision to Action – learning lessons from current national and regional education transformation projects.

- Ministerial Roundtable on The Importance of ICT in 21st Century Education – bringing together the experiences, best practices and e-education initiatives of ministers from around the world.

“Education is critical to unlocking the power of grey matter, the human brain, the only natural resource distributed equally across the globe”, said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. “Investing in ICT for education can transform outcomes for individuals, economies and societies at an unprecedented pace and scale. I believe that ITU Telecom World 2013 offers the ideal platform for government leaders and private sector innovators to come together, debate and share knowledge to ensure we achieve this common aim”.

“As a proud partner of ITU Telecom World 2013, Intel welcomes the opportunity to meet and learn from other leaders—and to share visions, practical strategies, and best practices from ICT-enabled education transformation initiatives that Intel has supported in more than 100 countries”, said John E. Davies, Vice President and General Manager, World Ahead Group, Intel Corporation.

Intel will also showcase its work on driving broadband adoption and education transformation on the showfloor at ITU Telecom World 2013, including new technologies, integrated solutions and real-life case studies supporting teaching and learning from kindergarten to university and beyond.

Elsewhere on the event programme, Intel executives will contribute to debates on Spectrum for the Future and The Internet of Everything. For full details of the ITU Telecom World 2013 programme, please see

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:02:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Partnership supports ITU-WHO goal to combat non-communicable diseases using mobile services

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has signed a ground-breaking partnership agreement with international healthcare company Bupa, to collaborate on a global ‘m-Health’ initiative called ‘Be Healthy, Be Mobile’. Bupa and ITU will join forces to provide multidisciplinary expertise, health information and mobile technology to fight chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, in low- and middle-income countries. The programme is led by ITU and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Welcoming the partnership, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said: “Non-communicable diseases are the single greatest factor contributing to mortality and the overall disease burden in developed countries and emerging economies alike. Where m-Health is concerned, ITU works with WHO to share our long-standing experience and our competence in mobile technologies and healthcare as well as our network of partners. We are truly excited about the potential of this new partnership with Bupa to help us accelerate the adoption of mobile health interventions worldwide”.

Bupa CEO Stuart Fletcher said: “Of the 36 million people who died from chronic disease in 2008, nine million were under the age of 60; and 90 per cent of these premature deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. m-Health is a cost-effective and accessible way to get health information and tools to people so that they can keep well and we can reduce the impact of chronic diseases worldwide. Through this partnership we will be at the heart of a systemic intervention in healthcare and will help millions of people to live longer, healthier, happier lives, fulfilling our purpose”.

Launched in October 2012, the “Be Healthy, Be Mobile” initiative looks at developing best practices and bringing them to scale and is planned to run for four years initially.
In its first phase, the initiative is focusing on deploying mobile health interventions in areas such as diabetes, smoking cessation, hypertension, wellness and training of health workers. More than 25 countries have already expressed interest in participating. A smoking cessation programme via mobile phones is currently underway in Costa Rica.

Bupa will contribute with expert knowledge, health information and innovative technology to support the adoption of m-Health interventions by governments to address prevention and treatment of NCDs and their common risk factors, including tobacco use, diet, stress and physical inactivity.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:37:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 07, 2013
IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF announced a collaboration with UNICEF Uganda on U-report, a free SMS-based reporting tool that allows Ugandan youth to communicate with their government and community leaders using their cell phones.

Launched in 2011, U-report began as a grassroots text-messaging system that conducts weekly polls for youth to share observations/opinions and speak out on issues affecting their lives. To date, more than 240,000 young adults in Uganda have joined the program. In addition to responding to surveys, U-reporters send in 'unsolicited' text messages, hoping to be heard on topics ranging from health, education and gender-based violence. Today, UNICEF receives an average of 170,000 text messages per month. Approximately 20,000 of these are unsolicited messages and initial analysis suggested that seven percent of these require immediate action from community leaders or the government. As a result of U-report's growth, the volume of diverse data was becoming a challenge for the existing system, making it difficult to identify what emerging issues were trending and which were the most urgent messages. Since February 2013, U-report has been using text analytics and machine learning technologies from IBM Research to help deal with the flood of information by automating the classification of messages. UNICEF Uganda and IBM Research deployed A-Class, a text classification system trained to understand the content of the text messages and analyzes the data much faster, and with much more accuracy.

IBM analytics, working in combination with UNICEF Uganda's existing classification process are being used by UNICEF, partners and community leaders to make more informed decisions about where to place, and how to prioritize, development and relief work efforts.

"This project has the potential to change the lives of young people in Uganda simply by giving them a platform to communicate and be heard", said Dr. Sharad Sapra, Representative, UNICEF Uganda.

"Today we've created a richer U-report that makes sense of streams of data in real-time", he said. "This technology helps us understand the real impact of policies and development programs, the pulse of the nation at any given time and it even provides an early warning system on disease outbreaks or where we need to focus relief work".

(Source: All Africa)

Thursday, November 07, 2013 3:46:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 01, 2013

We, the participants in the second Women With the Wave High Level Forum Series on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Media Inclusion of Women and Girls and Persons with Disabilities, held in Hanoi, Vietnam on the 23rd and 24th October, 2013, make this affirmation of commitment to its goals and outcomes and to the empowering of women and girls and persons with disabilities through media and ICTs.

The first Women With the Wave Forum was held in Seoul, Korea in October 2012.  From that two-day forum the Statement on Empowering Women through Media and ICTs was developed and supported by participants and sponsors.  The statement included a commitment to overarching goals in relation to the empowerment of women and girls to fully participate in, and have access to, the media and information and communication technologies (ICT). It also provided a number of potential initiatives for practical application across the region and a call for participants and sponsors to engage and promote these initiatives. In the second forum 2013 we recognise that another diversity group, persons with disabilities, should be targeted for digital inclusion and employment opportunities in the media and ICT and identified necessary measures to promote their digital inclusion and employment opportunities in media and ICTs.

Therefore, we support a reinforcement of the 2012 Women with the Wave Statement and a call to move forward to implement the updated actions arising from presentations and discussions from the 2013 forum. We also support the additional commitment and relevant activities and outcomes for persons with disabilities.

In thanking the organizers of the 2013 Forum, the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Vietnam Television (VTV) and other partners, we note that women and girls make up 50 per cent of the world’s population and there are one billion people living with some form of disability and that equal rights and opportunity underpin healthy economies and societies.
Further, we recognize that the media has a crucial role to play in promoting women and persons with disabilities’ full participation in every aspect of life and society and, to this end, we invite ITU and ABU to endorse this statement with a view to seeking to assist in the practical implementation of its recommendations.

We also call on intergovernmental agencies, in particular ITU, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN Women (UNW), professional associations of broadcasters, especially the ABU, regional training institutions, such as the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) and the Asian Media and Information Communication Centre (AMIC), commercial businesses and Foundations, relevant NGOs and tertiary education institutions, including University journalism and communication departments, to take note of this statement and to undertake, where applicable, to provide support for its recommendations.


We are committed to promoting widespread and affordable access to media and information and communication technology (ICT) for women and girls and a gender inclusive media and ICT environment that empowers women and girls to fully participate and give access to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication by being able to:

- work in the media and ICT fields across all levels and occupational groups on and off the screen;
- have access to technological and digital platforms including multilingual and localised content;
- achieve a positive, non-stereotypical and balanced portrayal across all forms of media and technological platforms, including the recognition of women with ICT careers and girls who use ICTs for their empowerment.

We are committed to promoting widespread and affordable accessible media and information and communication technology and a more inclusive media and ICT environment for persons with disabilities by being able to:

- work in the media and ICT fields across a range of levels and occupational groups on and off the screen;
- have improved access to technological and digital platforms and use accessible media and  ICT including multilingual and localised content;
- contribute to a positive and balanced portrayal across media and technological platforms.


Specifically, we declare support for the practical application across the region of the following agreed activities and outcomes of the Forum:

-development of a diversity action plan for ABU in 2014;

-implementation of the Broadcasting for All: Focus on Gender guidelines that include strategic and practical applications for use in media and ICT workplaces to promote and implement a gender mainstreaming corporate culture throughout organizations particularly focusing on policies and training that include workplace behaviour, work and family balance conditions of service, positive gender initiatives and career development;

-encouragement for the determining of a framework for the broad provision of training and access to technological and digital media by women and girls and persons with disabilities;

-applying existing research, surveys and findings of the portrayal, stories, faces and voices of the female population as well as persons with disabilities across the region and formulating a broad strategy for the application of fair representations across organizations and platforms and to change stereotypes in media content, language and presentation;

-championing media leaders who promote content and balanced images of girls and women and persons with disabilities;

-piloting UNESCO’s Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM) as a practical tool to assess and encourage gender equality and women’s empowerment in media;

-collaborating with partners, such as the ITU, to promote women and girls in media and ICTs, including developing programming story lines with women and ICT careers, organising events on International Girls in ICT Day, promoting the Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign and supporting the recommendations of the 2013 Broadband Commission Working Group on Broadband and Gender;

-securing industry-wide commitments to take steps towards positive change to promote success stories on radio and television broadcasts;
-sharing existing resources amongst stakeholders, particularly in regard to gender and disability;

-gaining specific attention and assistance, from the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) through its various specialized departments and its member organizations, to the needs of smaller media institutions (such as in island regions and remote areas), thus enabling out-reach to women and girls and persons with disabilities and their empowerment in marginalized societies;

-development and distribution of educational modules for use in secondary schools, tertiary education institutions and other scholastic agencies (and, where applicable, by distance learning modes and techniques) to introduce students to gender and media/ICT issues, and the role of media in society;

-making use of accessible broadcasting tools such as the ITU report, Making Television Accessible and the ITU Standardization Bureau Focus Group on Audio Visual Accessibility toolkit to work toward accessible media and ICTs for persons with disabilities, including by setting targets for introducing accessible broadcasting, accessible emergency communications and supporting a campaign for the accessible broadcasting of the 2016 Paralympic Games.

-adopt measures to ensure the early warning system and disaster risk reduction programs are accessible for persons with disabilities and meet universal design principles and UNCRPD, including provisions for access to alternative communication systems.


We recall the inspirational discourse of the two-day ABU/FES/ITU/UNESCO/VTV sponsored Women With the Wave High Level Forum and, in particular, the successful media and ICT case studies and models shared by speakers from throughout the region. The collegiality of fellow Forum participants, the professionalism of the videos and films they exhibited to the Forum, the commitment of keynote presenters and the atmosphere of optimism expressed by all present have reinforced our belief that affirmative action on the Forum recommendations is vital to ensuring the forward progress of the empowerment of women and girls and people with disabilities through media and ICTs.
To this end, we call on all who can assist to recognize the digital wave now sweeping the world and to join us in supporting the preparation of women and girls and people with disabilities for the opportunities and benefits which the knowledge society is now bringing to families worldwide and which will do so even more in the future.


Friday, November 01, 2013 4:59:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The FCC's Accessibility and Innovation Initiative is pleased to commemorate October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

In recent years and on a global scale, the spread of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices has been dramatic. A driving force behind this has been the revolution in mobile apps. Hundreds of thousands of apps have been developed for various mobile platforms, including Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Nokia, and Windows Phone. From a disability perspective, apps may be subdivided into the categories of accessible apps and assistive apps.

For the disability community, there are two vital kinds of apps: accessible and assistive. An accessible app is designed according to accessibility guidelines for user interfaces so that people with a range of physical or mental capabilities can operate the software successfully, such as people with visual, hearing, dexterity, or cognitive disabilities. An accessible app generally has a mainstream rather than disability-specific purpose. It benefits a broad user base in the accomplishment of human tasks that are commonly pursued.

An assistive app, on the other hand, helps people with particular impairments surmount what might otherwise be experienced as limiting consequences of a disability, (e.g., identifying paper currency to a blind person, facilitating direct sign language communication for a deaf person, inputting text from dictation by someone with a dexterity impairment, or giving reminders to someone with a cognitive disability). Naturally, an assistive app also has to be an accessible app to those who particularly benefit from it.
Mobile apps — both accessible and assistive — are showing great potential for improving the lives of people with disabilities. This is partly because of two other technological trends that enable mobile functionality: cloud computing and broadband connectivity. The convergence of these technologies means that an app can solve complex problems almost instantaneously by quickly delegating the analysis to a specialized computer at a distant location and then returning the result to the user, who is often unaware of what is being done locally or in the cloud. The portability of the mobile device means that a person with a disability can carry a powerful, supportive problem-solving device wherever he or she goes -- at home, at play, or at work.

Raising the level of mobile accessibility tends to raise the level of disability employment. Apps are continually being developed to improve productivity in almost every profession. Many are completely free while most others cost only a nominal amount. Each mobile platform usually makes it easy to search for and install apps from an online store. Commercial apps typically offer a trial version so that evaluating accessibility is possible in advance.

As we close out National Disability Month, here are some related resources:
- The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy promotes National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
- The FCC's Accessibility Clearinghouse contains extensive data on accessibility features of mobile phones and on free, assistive apps.
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act mandates accessibility of information and communication technologies that are produced or purchased by the federal government, including mobile technologies.
- The federal government offers a gallery of free mobile apps produced by various agencies.
- Federal agencies also contribute to a catalog of mobile code snippets and developer tools so that useful apps may be produced more easily.
- The World Wide Web Consortium has published best practices for the design of websites intended to be browsed on mobile devices.
- CTIA has collected links to accessibility guidelines for app developers targeting various mobile platforms.

(Source: Official FCC Blog)

Friday, November 01, 2013 4:04:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 29, 2013 Foundation is partnering with Ashoka Changemakers and General Electric in a brand new initiative called, "Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in MENA". We believe that there is a multiplier effect of investing in women. Empowering women economically not only contributes to economic growth, but also enhances the wellbeing and resilience of societies as a whole.

The Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in MENA online competition is looking for innovations that enable the full economic participation of women. The competition opens for entries on August 21st, 2013, offering three prizes of $25,000 each to the most innovative solutions. Visit the contest online until November 6th to enter your own idea or to nominate a leading social innovator.

On October 22, join us in a special Twitter Chat, which will announce 2 of the early entry prize winners. Details of the chat are as follows:

Follow #womenWork hashtag on Twitter to receive updates about the competition.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:39:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Intel Kenya celebrated the second International Day of the Girl on October 11 by launching a joint initiative targeting Kenyan girls with Akirachix. As a direct result of findings in the groundbreaking “Women and the Web” report released in January, Intel announced She Will Connect, an initiative to reduce the gender and technology gap around the world.

Intel is testing an innovative new model that integrates Internet access with gender and development programming, including a new online gaming platform and digital literacy training with a built-in peer network.

In order to achieve this locally, Intel has announced that it will be collaborating with Akirachix to launch a countrywide initiative that will see more Kenyan girls start to develop technology applications. There will be 2-day free training sessions organized annually for girls interested in coding. The sessions will be limited to 25 girls per class and will be open to all Kenyan girls. The first session will be held on 1-2 November, 2013 at the Akirachix office – ground floor, Bishop Magua Centre.

If you’re a young woman between the ages of 18 and 25, and interested in coding, sign up here to attend the first training on November 1st and 2nd. Spaces are limited, so sign up now!

During a press briefing, Agatha Gikunda, Intel East Africa’s Software and services Lead said, “Diversity is crucial to succeed in new technologies. We are convinced that technology and education have real power to fuel transformative change and hence the reason Intel is collaborating with other industry players such as Akirachix to see as many girls as possible make a mark in the technology world”.

This launch comes after last week’s global announcement by Intel Corporation on a new program dubbed “She Will Connect” that commits to expanding digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries. Intel will begin the initiative in Africa, where the gender gap is the greatest, by aiming to reach 5 million women and reduce the gender gap by 50 percent. To achieve this, Intel will work with a diverse set of partners including global and local NGOs and governments.

Findings from the groundbreaking “Women and the Web” report released by Intel in January this year revealed concrete data on the enormous Internet gender gap in the developing world and the social and economic benefits of securing Internet access for women. The report issued a call to action for stakeholders to double the number of women and girls online in developing countries in three years. She Will Connect demonstrates Intel’s commitment to this action by not only providing digital literacy skills to girls and women, but also by pushing the concept of digital literacy forward through new, innovative and scalable models.

(Source: Akirachix)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:55:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Global prizes will recognize outstanding projects designed to further accessibility and affordability of ICTs.

For the third consecutive year, ITU has launched a competition that recognizes excellence in the implementation of projects and initiatives which further the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) goals of improving connectivity to information and communication technologies (ICTs), particularly within underserved communities.
Organized into four phases which will run until mid-April 2014, the contest comprises 18 categories directly linked to the WSIS Action Lines outlined in the Geneva Plan of Action. Winners for each category will be announced at an award ceremony on 13 April 2014, during the WSIS+10 High-Level Event.

The WSIS Project Prizes provide a high-profile, international platform for recognizing and showcasing success stories and models that could be easily replicated. They are designed to empower communities at the local level, giving all stakeholders working on WSIS projects the opportunity to participate. In particular, they recognize the commitment and efforts of stakeholders – no matter how big or small – to use ICT as a powerful tool improve social inclusiveness and economic development.

Next year’s awarding of the 2014 WSIS Project Prizes takes on a special significance in the light of WSIS+10 Review Process.

“I am pleased to see so many stakeholders making such great achievements in the implementation of the WSIS outcomes, and inspiring others to do the same”, said Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General of ITU. “I hope to see even more countries and stakeholders engaging in the process and sharing their valuable knowledge with others through this platform”.

Submissions can be made online at until 1st November 2013.

Testimonials from past winners
“Receiving the 2013 WSIS Project Prize was a tremendous honour and an important recognition that public libraries are powerful partners in development. Winning such an esteemed prize gave us extra validation that our innovative approach connecting libraries with technology is working”. Rima Kupryte, Director of EIFL.
“The victory of the electronic licensing of Kazakhstan in the international WSIS Project Prizes 2013 competition served as a great incentive and became the pride of the entire project team, including both public authorities and the business community…After receiving the award, experts from several countries visited Kazakhstan to learn more about our experience in introducing the project and our plans for further development. We would be very glad if other Kazakhstan projects would take part in this important competition in future”. Ruslan Ensebayev, Chairman of the Board, NITEC, Kazakhstan.

“Winning the prize means that even small nations can give examples to the world of how to successfully design and execute ICT projects to increase the accessibility of new technologies to poor people, in line with the Millennium Development Goals.Our team has received many congratulations, and other countries have asked us for advice. We are very glad to share our expertise and collaborate with countries to help them to replicate the model”. Patricio Carvajal, Digital Literacy Director, Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society, Ecuador.

“It is important to win this contest because it gives official recognition to your work and confirms that you are doing the right thing”. Thomas Mueller, Deputy Head of Programmes, Child Helpline International.

“It is an incentive for the team to further transform our e-government programmes into a more reachable, available, secure, and seamless service for citizens". Khaled H. Al Ajmi, Ministry of Higher Education, Saudi Arabia.

More information on last year’s winners can be found at WSIS Stocktaking: Success Stories 2013.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:17:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Parliament’s Committees on Legal Affairs (JURI) and Women’s Rights & Gender Equality (FEMM) have today voted (40 for, 9 against and 2 abstentions) to support a proposal by the European Commission to address the gender imbalance on company boards in Europe. With this vote, the European Parliament (which decides with the Council of Ministers on an equal footing on this proposal), paves the way for further progress of the draft law in the EU legislative process.

The vote coincides with a new report on women in decision-making, released by the European Commission today, including figures on women on boards at major publicly listed companies in the EU. The latest figures (from April 2013) show that the share of women on boards has increased to 16.6% (from 15.8% in October 2012). The figures also show the different levels of representation amongst non-executive directors (17.6% women up from 16.7% in October 2012) and senior executives (11% up from 10.2%).

"Regulatory pressure works. The cracks are starting to show on the glass ceiling. More and more companies are competing to attract the best female talent. They know that if they want to remain competitive in a globalised economy they cannot afford to ignore the skills and talent of women", said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner. "The example has been set by countries such as France and Italy, who have adopted legislation and are starting to record significant progress. I would also like to thank the rapporteurs Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou and Evelyn Regner for their tireless efforts and support on the Commission's proposal. We have got the ball rolling. I will continue working with the Parliament and the Council to make swift progress on the draft law which places qualification and merit centre stage".

These are main points from the report voted today by the JURI and FEMM Committees:
   - It confirms the Commission's approach to focus on a transparent and fair selection procedure (so-called "procedural quota") rather than introducing a fixed quantitative quota.
  - Small and medium-sized enterprises remain excluded from the scope of the directive but Member States are invited to support and incentivise them to significantly improve the gender balance at all levels of management and on boards.
  - There will be no possibility for Member States to exempt companies from the Directive where members of the underrepresented sex make up less than 10% of the workforce.
  - It strengthens the provision on sanctions by adding a number of sanctions that should be obligatory, rather than indicative, as the Commission has proposed. Sanctions for failure to respect the provisions concerning selection procedures for board members should include the exclusion from public procurement and the partial exclusion from the award of funding from the European structural funds, the two Committees say.

Next Steps: In order to become law, the Commission's proposal needs to be adopted jointly by the European Parliament and by the EU Member States in the Council (which votes by qualified majority). Todays' decisive vote follows positive opinions on the initiative from three other Parliament committees: the Employment (EMPL), Internal Market (IMCO) and Economic Affairs (ECON) Committees (MEMO/13/672). The JURI and FEMM committees, which are jointly responsible for piloting the proposal through the Parliament, have now adopted their report. This will pass to the European Parliament’s plenary session for a vote expected in November.

The Council, which on this proposal decides on an equal footing with the European Parliament, took stock of progress achieved under the Irish Presidency at the meeting of Employment and Social Affairs ministers (EPSCO Council) on 20 June 2013 (MEMO/13/584). The Lithuanian Presidency is now pursuing the discussions further.

Further Information

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:09:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 10, 2013
Huawei, in partnership with the Angola Ministry of Education and Unitel, has launched phase two of E-Net, a project to connect schools in Angola. 

“The objective of this project is to promote bridging of digital divide among Angola youth, at the same time enhancing research and development in ICT leading to localized innovations’, said Mr. Leon Liu, Director at Huawei Technologies Angola Representative office. He added that Huawei was committed to collaborate with local partners such as the government and Unitel to advance Angola as knowledge based economy.

The digital inclusion project will benefit over 18000 youth, covering the 18 provinces of the country. The first phase has already connected Bie, Cabinda, Luanda, Benguela, Kwanza Norte, Malanje, Huambo, Uige, and Huila. The second phase is expected to cover the provinces of Zaire, Moxico, Kubango, Kwanza Sul, Bengo, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Namibe and Cunene.

Investment in infrastructure, competitive internet pricing, and enabling regulatory environment are key in enhancing Africa’s connectivity. According to Internet World Stats, by end of June 2012 Angola internet users were 2,976,657 forming a 14.8% penetration of the country’s population, translating to Africa’s 1.8% internet users. Initiatives such as the E-net project are key in increasing the country’s connectivity and internet usage.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:27:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The four-year UNESCO-China Funds-in-Trust (CFIT) project, launched in 2012, is starting its second year, enhancing the capacity of local Teacher Training/Education Institutions through information and communication technology (ICT) in 8 African countries.

Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Namibia were the first to join the project. They finished their needs assessment and project planning phase, and are now starting to implement. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Liberia, Tanzania, and Uganda are joining the project in October 2013, and will start their needs assessment and project planning very soon.

For the first time since the commencement of the CFIT, representatives from the 8 countries will gather in Paris and meet with international experts, UNESCO staff, permanent delegates of the 8 countries and China. This meeting, taking place between 9 and 11 October 2013, marks the 1st anniversary of the project. During the meeting, participants will take stock of achievements, review the lessons learnt, and more importantly, pave the way ahead for the 8 target countries.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:14:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

"ICT for inclusion and sustainable development" was the central theme of the quote: From 02 – 04 October , the city of Lima was the home of the Second Meeting of Ministers of Education of South America and Arab Countries (ASPA), which brings together those responsible educational policies of their respective countries.

The central theme was "ICT for inclusion and sustainable development" and the goal is to create a space for dialogue between the Ministers of Education of both continents, to promote bilateral cooperation in educational issues.

For example, it will be on the development of higher education and studies languages (Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese), through the establishment of study centers as a mechanism for the reconciliation of the two regions.

For the Ministry of Education is vital to promote education based on the principles of equity , equality, inclusion, participation , cooperation and respect , to ensure comprehensive development of citizens.

Peru presented at Second Meeting of Ministers of Education of ASPA a set of successful experiences teaching methods , as well as the methodology and pedagogy through the use of information and communication technologies.

It should be noted that the meeting takes place in the framework of the international commitments undertaken by Peru in the "Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of South American and Arab Countries" held last year.

(Source: Educación en Red)

Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:09:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 07, 2013
Intel follows 'Women and the Web' Report with action, furthers Commitment to educating Women and Girls in Developing Countries.

Last week Intel Corporation announced "She Will Connect", a new program that commits to expanding digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries. Intel will begin the initiative in Africa, where the gender gap is the greatest, by aiming to reach 5 million women and reduce the gender gap by 50 percent. To achieve this, Intel will work with a diverse set of partners including global and local NGOs and governments.

Findings from the groundbreaking "Women and the Web" report released by Intel in January revealed concrete data on the enormous Internet gender gap in the developing world and the social and economic benefits of securing Internet access for women. The report issued a call to action for stakeholders to double the number of women and girls online in developing countries in three years. She Will Connect demonstrates Intel's commitment to this action by not only providing digital literacy skills to girls and women, but also by pushing the concept of digital literacy forward through new, innovative and scalable models.

"The Internet has transformed the lives of billions of people", said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel's Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation. "It functions as a gateway to ideas, resources and opportunities that never could have been realized before, but our research shows that girls and women are being left behind. We believe that closing the Internet gender gap has tremendous potential to empower women and enrich their lives as well as all the lives they touch".

In conjunction with She Will Connect, Intel pledged a 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action and is celebrating the United Nations' second International Day of the Girl on October 11. The theme for this year's International Day of the Girl emphasizes the importance of girls' education worldwide.

"When we think about what the world is going to look like in the coming 20 years, we have to do more to make sure that women as well as men, girls as well as boys are empowered to use new technology to further their own aspirations", said Secretary Hillary Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative 2013 annual meeting last week.

"She Will Connect" will test a new model that integrates digital literacy with gender and development programming targeting women and girls:

- Online Gaming Platform – Intel is developing an online gaming platform to innovate the delivery of digital literacy content through an interactive, engaging approach for smartphones and tablets in a game-infused environment. With the gaming platform, learning can take place in a mediated environment, individually, across devices and in the context of a peer network.

-Peer Network – Intel and World Pulse are working together to integrate World Pulse's digital empowerment training into existing digital literacy programs and connect women to a safe and supportive peer network. Through the World Pulse platform, women can exchange ideas, find support and mentorship, and obtain relevant content tailored for women. This innovative approach will push the field of digital literacy so learning can take place not only as an individual in a shared computing environment but also through peers.

Beyond Africa, Intel is expanding on its ongoing commitment to empower girls and women globally, with continued work in India with a goal to reach 1 million women with Intel's Easy Steps digital literacy training program in the next year. In Latin America, Intel is partnering with several governments and organizations providing digital literacy training with a special focus on fostering entrepreneurial skills in Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

In addition to launching "She Will Connect", Intel is celebrating International Day of the Girl by building on its strong culture of employee volunteerism for Global Giveback Day. Championed by leaders from the Intel Network of Executive Women and the Women at Intel Network, employees will collaborate with organizations in support of education and empowerment of girls and women. Intel is also hosting screenings of the transformational film Girl Rising around the world on October 11 to raise global visibility about the importance of educating girls.

(Source: Intel Newsroom)

Monday, October 07, 2013 2:40:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The GSMA has announced last week a ground-breaking cooperation between government partners including the Philippines Department of Education (DepEd) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), along with Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc. (DMPI), Globe Telecom, and Smart Communications.

In a joint collaboration for mEducation, the GSMA will be working with the Philippines government agencies and all mobile network operators across the K-12 spectrum to provide up to one million Filipino out-of-school youths (OSYs) with additional opportunities to access education, including technical vocational (tech-voc) education, via mobile media. The operators are co-operating to complement the efforts of multiple government agencies by extending knowledge to OSYs, especially those in underserved areas and geographically isolated communities, with the support and reach of mobile technology. The National Statistics Office of the Philippines reports that in 2011, there were at least 6.24 million out-of-school youths in the country.

“We are excited to be acting as advisor for this mEducation initiative, providing support to include best practice and business model expertise to the project,” said Irene Ng, Head of Asia, GSMA“. Never before has such an ambitious mEducation collaboration taken place in the Philippines, involving all three mobile network operators and two key government agencies. The Asian mEducation market is projected to reach $6.8 billion by 2017. Initiatives such as this, especially involving multi-stakeholder partnership, will drive even greater growth and help to accelerate achievement of the desired objectives for such programmes”.

Mobile technology is uniquely positioned to help bring education solutions to learners, including OSYs, in the Philippines. The country has a very high adoption of mobile technology and is known as the ‘SMS capital of the world’, with Filipinos sending over two billion messages every day. The mobile penetration rate in the country was 105 per cent by the end of 2012 and the smartphone penetration rate nearly tripled between 2010 and 2011, growing from nine per cent to 24 per cent.
The GSMA’s global mEducation project aims to accelerate the adoption of mobile education solutions, particularly mobile-enabled portable devices, such as e-Readers and tablets. It forms part of the GSMA vision of a ‘Connected Life’, a world where everything intelligently connects via mobile networks, delivering rich services to businesses and consumers in every aspect of their lives.

(Source: GSMA)

Monday, October 07, 2013 2:02:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative is planning to train developers from various innovation hubs and universities in East Africa under its immersion training programme.

The initiative involves training more than 40 developers at hubs, including m:lab East Africa, Uganda’s HiveColab and Outbox, the Microsoft Innovation Centre and DTBI Incubation Centre in Tanzania.

Microsoft also includes a number of universities and institutions of higher education learning including Kigali Institute of Technology, in Rwanda, University of Nairobi, Strathmore, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Baraton University and Egerton University, in Kenya, and Makerere University and Islamic University, in Uganda.

Microsoft 4Afrika said the training will involve a week of “deep dive technical training” on the Windows Azure platform, Windows 8 and the Windows Phone.
“These trainings will be delivered by experienced technical specialists as we value the importance of the Appstars and the role they will play in our ecosystem”, a statement from the software giant reads.

The training will also involve sessions by Nokia and Qualcomm, which will teach on the development process.

Overall Microsoft said the goal of the programme was to equip “a special group of developers” with the skills needed for the creation of relevant, immersive applications and cloud based solutions.

“This group of developers will be able to deliver awareness events, develop applications and can potentially be hired/interned at startups and with our partners and customers”, it said.

Microsoft believes the immersion training programme will empower Africans with great ideas for business or applications that can turn ideas into reality helping the society, country and continent at large.

(Source: Humanipo)

Monday, October 07, 2013 1:47:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 27, 2013
Twenty one new rural telecentres have been opened in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka earlier this week as part of the Information Infrastructure programme of the Sri Lanka’s ICT development strategy, e-Sri Lanka.

These ICT service delivery centres, known as Nenasalas (‘nena’ means ‘knowledge’ and ‘salas’ means ‘shops’), are based on the vision of developing e-societies connecting community members to information and e-services.

Nenasalas serve as ICT hubs, linking the students, farmers and business owners to the internet and providing access to IT knowledge and skills with computer literacy classes. They serve as bases for radio broadcasts of market prices and agricultural information to farmers and telehealth facilities.

Moreoever, they have facilities for visually and hearing impaired individuals with audiobooks and hearing aids.

Chairman of ICT Agency (ICTA), Professor P. W. Epasinghe has said that the aim of the Nenasalas is to accelerate the process of equipping people with IT knowledge and facilities. The e-Sri Lanka strategy states the establishment of a network of 1000 Nenasalas to providing the communities with “affordable access to information and communications technologies”.

Epasinghe said that the opening of the new telecentres “coincides aptly with the economic development taking place in the North with the dawn peace in the country”, as the Northern Province recovers from the end of 25 years of civil strife.

There are currently a total of 699 Nenasalas across the country, with 19 more to be opened in the North.

Further information

Friday, September 27, 2013 4:24:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

International Day of the Girl Child 2013 – Innovating for Girls' Education
“Innovating for Girls’ Education” E-discussion on the World We Want platform
You are invited to participate in this new e-discussion!
Join the conversation by registering at
Go to Week One discussion and participate:

The fulfillment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. There is overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves. While there has been significant progress in improving girls’ access to education over the last two decades, many girls, particularly the most marginalized, continue to be deprived of this basic right. Girls in many countries are still unable to attend school and complete their education due to safety-related, financial, institutional and cultural barriers. When girls are in school, perceived low returns from poor quality of education, low aspirations, or household chores and other responsibilities keep them from attending school or from achieving adequate learning outcomes.

Innovation will be an important strategy in addressing the nature and scale of barriers girls continue to face and in ensuring they receive an education commensurate with the challenges of the 21st century. Smart and creative use of technology is one route to overcoming gender barriers to girls’ learning and achievement, but innovation in partnerships, policies, resource utilization, community mobilization, and most of all, the engagement of young people themselves, can be important catalyzing forces.

International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations in 2011 and celebrated annually on 11 October. In recognition of the importance of fresh and creative perspectives to propel girls’ education forward, the theme of International Day of the Girl Child for 2013 will be: Innovating for Girls’ Education. UNICEF as a leading agency for the coordination of the theme and related events is starting a new e-discussion with a similar theme, on the World We Want online platform. The discussion will be coordinated by the Youth Advocacy Group of the United Nations Global Education First Initiative (GEFI).

The e-discussion aims to gather and learn about innovative approaches, ideas and solutions from different regions, countries and communities that help improve girls' education and their learning outcomes, particularly of those most disadvantaged. The e-discussion will be facilitated by expert moderators and will run for three weeks from 16 September to 6 October, each week covering a new theme. The theme of Week One is Innovation in Education Infrastructure.

How can I participate? After you register online, simply click on the E-Discussion: Innovating for Girls' Education – WEEK ONE (and consecutive weeks). Contribute by leaving your views, ideas and stories of innovative solutions in a new Comment window.
Join the conversation by registering here:

(Source: Women Watch)

Friday, September 27, 2013 4:16:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A new report released today demonstrates how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), have become a positive force of transformation and a crucial element of any personal development, empowerment and institutional framework for inclusive development.

While the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) represent a concerted effort to address global poverty, there is a striking gap in the current MDGs and their inclusion of persons with disabilities. The estimated 1 billion persons with disabilities are still excluded from equitable access to resources (education, healthcare, etc.) and as a result persons with disabilities experience disproportionately high rates of poverty. In spite of the conclusion of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006, disability remains largely invisible in most mainstream development processes.

The High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development (HLMDD) of the sixty eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly, taking place in New York, provides a historic opportunity to rectify this omission and will discuss the issues that should be reflected in the post-2015 framework for development.

“The ICT Opportunity for a Disability-Inclusive Development Framework” contributes to a better understanding of the extent to which ICTs can enable and accelerate the social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities. It lists challenges that are still to be addressed while outlining concrete actions to be undertaken by each group of stakeholders and a set of indicators to help measure progress towards the achievement of a disability-inclusive development agenda.

This report is the result of collaborative input from the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development, the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ICT), the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Microsoft, the Foundation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Launching the report, Secretary General of the ITU, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, said “The use of information and communication technologies should be at the heart of any strategy to promote the social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities. We have the tools at our hands; the remaining challenge is to expand access to these technologies to all and to make ICTs accessible and affordable for persons with disabilities”.

The content is based on feedback from a global consultation on ICT, Disability and Development, carried out from 20 May to 17 June 2013 in support of the preparatory process of the HLMDD. The consultation gathered over 150 expert inputs from relevant organizations and key individuals from over 55 countries and representing multiple stakeholders, including governments, academic institutions, organizations of persons with disabilities, civil society organizations, private sector and regional and international organizations.

The report highlights that when ICT are available, affordable and accessible, they can significantly improve the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society.

- Web services constitute the access technology with the greatest impact in promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all areas of development (e.g. social networking, teleworking, online educational classes, telemedicine).

- Mobile devices and services constituted the second-most valued ICT. In particular, the use of mobile phones is instrumental to enable independent living of persons with disabilities (e.g. SMS, captioned telephone, mobile banking services, and access to emergency services).

-Television is the third-ranked ICT in the assessment, specifically for its use as a tool to access government services and information (e.g. news broadcasts, information and education programmes).

Regarding the challenges to overcome, some barriers are universal while others affect specific areas of development.

- The cost of assistive technologies, which is comprised of the cost of the technology as well as the cost of assistive technology assessment, training and support services, is still one of the main barriers that prevents many persons with disabilities to fully access healthcare services, benefit all educational levels, be competitive in the labour market and to live independently.

- A lack of access to ICT accessibility technologies is a pervasive barrier that is further reinforced by the lack of policies which foster widespread availability of accessible ICTs and the lack of effective policy implementation.

- Limited availability and use of ICT in general greatly constrains the use of ICT as a solution to tackling development challenges.

Addressing these barriers requires the collaboration of the main stakeholders involved in each sector, as well as concrete actions to be undertaken by each group of stakeholders and relevant indicators to monitor progress.

- Governments can play a key role in stimulating the introduction of ICT-enabled solutions adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities, increasing the availability of accessible ICTs and promoting the affordability of assistive technologies in social, educational, economic and other domains. One priority action is the inclusion of accessibility requirements in procurement policies. In addition, governments can foster a greater awareness of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a comprehensive and integral instrument which highlights the importance of ICTs and accessibility for the enjoyment of one’s human rights and fundamental freedoms. This entails updating disability legislation to include ICTs in the legal definition of accessibility. Through regular consultation with organizations of persons with disabilities, they can improve the provision and quality of accessible ICT.

- Private sector entities can contribute by increasing research and development efforts, incorporating universal design principles at the earliest stage possible and recruit persons with disabilities in product development departments to develop accessible ICTs. Another priority action is to address the shortage of IT professionals with ICT accessibility skills (in-house training, industry gatherings and publications). The private sector can further remove attitudinal barriers towards hiring persons with disabilities and promote accessible and inclusive workplaces. Through these contributions, employers can greatly contribute to a society where persons with disabilities can participate in work life, and have increased independence.

- Civil society organizations have a key role in raising policymakers’ awareness of the remaining accessibility barriers, becoming more active in the work conducted by international standards organizations. Furthermore, they also have the ability to bring about social progress and economic growth by raising the awareness and building the capacity of persons with disabilities and their relatives in using ICT to facilitate their own economic and social inclusion. Finally, advocating for the mainstreaming of the use of the universal design principle in all development efforts is crucial for ensuring that the international development framework is disability-inclusive.

- The UN system and other international organizations must implement operational activities to meet disability-inclusive development goals, complemented by the monitoring and evaluation of development efforts at the global, regional and national levels. Also necessary are performance reviews to assess whether development policies, programmes and projects are effective and results-driven. It is imperative to ensure that this analysis is quantitative and supported by consistent data, and that such analysis is designed with the participation of persons with disabilities, in order to make sure that the correct factors are measured. Lastly, the UN must ensure that it keeps implementing awareness-raising activities and mobilization campaigns in order to create a demand for national governmental action.

- International standards organizations can also play a special role in enabling a disability-inclusive development agenda by providing a neutral platform from which to develop and/or harmonize international standards and provide recommendations related to accessible ICTs. To achieve this, standards development bodies must facilitate the participation of relevant experts and delegates with disabilities. Furthermore, these organizations can contribute to the promotion of R&D focused on developing specific ICT-enabled solutions for persons with disabilities. International standards organizations must also raise policy makers’ awareness of accessibility barriers to be addressed.

The report is released during the High-Level side-event to the HLMDD “The UN delivering as one in enabling a disability-inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond”, taking place today, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Download the full version of the new report here.

For more information on ITU, visit:

Follow ITU on Facebook:

Follow ITU on Twitter:

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, September 26, 2013 11:01:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, says global collaboration is imperative in addressing the threatening effects on the moral and physical safety of children by the internet. This is contained in a statement signed by Ayotunde Adesugba, a Director of Information in the Presidency on Tuesday in Abuja.

The statement quotes Jonathan as saying this at the opening ceremony of the "BYND 2015 Global Youth Summit” held in San Jose, Costa Rica.
The First Lady said that as many more people continue to join the growing list of internet users, it has become apparent that it commands global audience with vast benefits.

She described the internet as one of the “greatest inventions of mankind which has changed the way we communicate, conduct business and socialise''. Opinion leaders and policy makers could help to ensure a more safe and secure cyber space.

''Widespread advocacy, youth enlightenment, good mentorship, appropriate parental control, training of youths as online protection ambassadors, as well as regular consultations with young people, should be engaged in guiding the young ones as they surf the net''. The President of Costa Rica, Madam Laura Chinchilla, also speaking at the Summit, called for the ethical use of the Internet to guarantee a better future for all.
''Digital technology must not be seen as a threat, but as a hope'', Chinchilla said.

In his remarks, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, observed that the Summit would send a strong message to world leaders about the power of technology. Toure explained the importance of ''digital inclusion'', noting that there are some communities where young children have no access to the internet. ''Globally, youths are requesting for affordable ICT and ICT innovations that will create more job opportunities for them'', he said.

The UN Secretary General who was represented by his Special Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhindawi, in a goodwill message said that ICT must be used to ''enrich lives''.

(Source: Daily Times, Nigeria)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 10:03:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Nigeria is doing every thing possible to ensure that the divide between women and men in technology is adequately bridged. This has resulted in many organisations, including Women in Technology in Nigeria, WITIN, Women's Technology Empowerment Centre, Girls in ICT, Girls in Technology, among others, which crusade for women and the girl child to get actively involved in ICT.

However, the women's technology empowerment centre recently decided to put action to the crusade by setting up a technology camp for girls in ICT. The camp is meant to provide a two-week technology education and mentoring programme to help girls develop an early interest in computers and other information technology services. Almost immediately after the introduction of the initiative, leading global chip makers, Intel Corporation quickly adopted it.

Intel said it was not hard for it to see prospect in the initiative considering that it has over the years supported several girl-child education initiatives investing in technology-based programmes in education and digital literacy, and has championed the empowerment of women and girls, around the world. Working together with its wide range of partners across Africa and the world, Intel has created and supported innovative solutions to remove gender-based barriers to education and technology, as well as building a flourishing future filled with opportunities for girls and women.

Speaking on the initiative, the Executive Director of the Women's Technology Empowerment Centre Ms Oreoluwa Somolu, explained that the technology camp examines a variety of strategies that enable female students maximize their learning experiences and make them better equipped to pursue careers in technology.
According to her, "In the long term, we hope to achieve a significant increase in the number of technology literate Nigerian women that will ultimately deploy the knowledge they have for productive learning, professional and leadership activities. We also hope to increase the number of women creating and developing new technology and content", She stated.

The camp throws its doors open to secondary school students all over Nigeria and involving them in activities such as graphic design, movie-making, web design and introduction to programming. During the camp, the girls also participate in technology workshops and leadership activities for an all-round experience.
Also, Country Manager, Intel, Olubunmi Ekundare said: "Here at Intel, we believe that girls, when afforded the opportunity, can make more significant impact around the globe through positive leadership and impact in and around their communities and indeed the world".

According to him, Intel believes that access to education and technology must become a global, fundamental right for girls and women. Corroborating him, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Intel West Africa, Adim Isiakpona stated that "here at Intel, we also believe that access to technology education and its opportunities are the keys that will open the doors to profitable careers and an avenue for these girls to give back to their respective fields in Science and Technology”.

(Source: All Africa)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 9:59:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Algeria will host its first TechCamp at the end of this September. The dates are September 28 and 29. This two-days meeting is a first step towards the consolidation of the Internet ecosystem in the country.

According to the organizers: "The TechCamp, is a series of interactive lectures that focus on capacity building of young Algerians through the use of information and communication technologies".

A TechCamp, to reiterate, is a lecture series that takes place in more than 90 countries worldwide. These meetings bring related ICT specialists with civil society and young technology enthusiasts.

These lectures are considered a highly interactive event, inviting participants to work in small groups on local issues and opportunities in technology. TechCamp Algeria is an event organized by World Learning, a non-profit organization which operates in several countries.

For more information, see the event website:

(Source: Afrique IT News)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 9:44:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

We, the participants of the BYND2015 Global Youth Summit, represented here and online, on behalf of  other  young  people  around  the  world,  in  recognition  of  our  unique  place  and  role  in  a  deeply transformed  and  interconnected world,  which will be shaped by the  post-2015  global development agenda declare the following:Youth  are  transforming  our  world.  We  are  a  force  for  progress.  Ensuring  our  full  participation  in decision-making processes is vital to improving democracy.  We urgently require measurable targets to monitor the empowerment of young people at regional, national and international levels.

We call on  member states  to provide more flexible, dynamic, transparent  and open structures  for governance that engages more directly with citizens. We call  for the creation  of open data, information  and technical knowledge, in all  areas  critical to our  lives.  Health,  civic  engagement,  online  protection,  environmental  protection  and  economic success all  depend  on having  unfettered access  to knowledge which  ICTs can  extend  to everyone. The spread of information amongst  young people  can directly  foster empowerment and innovation on a global scale.

The  key  to  a  new  global  development  agenda  is  innovation.  Old  methods  and  systems are  poorly suited  to  the  transformed  and  interconnected  communities  we  live  in  today.  We  call  on  member states, civil society and the private sector to foster innovation to build the future we want. A key  barrier  is  a lack of  universal,  global access to  ICT  technologies, platforms  and devices and the underlying infrastructure to  support them. Youth can act as  both beneficiaries and  ambassadors for wider and improved access.

We  require  equitable  and  universal  access  to  ICTs,  particularly  for  women  and  girls,  and  other groups marginalized by the digital divide, for the following reasons (in order of priority):

To get ahead:
- We call on governments, civil society and the private sector to work together to provide the training and resources young people need to innovate and create the businesses and industries of the future;
-  We seek access to education and knowledge sharing, regardless of where we are or whether we can pay;
-  We need new and innovative methods that lower barriers to youth employment and ensure decent, rewarding and fulfilling work;
-  We want to  ensure  all students  have access to  ICT  skills  and technologies  for  their intellectual, economic and political empowerment ;
-  We  require  education  systems  that equip  students  with  the  theoretical  knowledge and  a  practical  mix  of  marketable,  innovative  and  relevant  skills  to  compete  in  a global digital economy.

To change our world:
- We  demand  a  voice.  We  ask  that  member  states  pursue  methods  to  make  voting, openness  and  accountability  more  feasible  online.  We  believe  this  will  make governments  more  accessible,  open  and  understandable.  We  further  call  for sustained,  youth-driven  mechanisms  by  which  to  make  our  voices  heard  at  local, national and international levels;
- We  are  deeply  concerned  by  the  barriers  between  leaders  and  young  citizens.  We call for innovative use of communication technologies  as  a  means of  engaging  with those who represent us;
-  We seek online spaces where we can share and express the richness and diversity of our cultural heritages and religious practices, and break down barriers of intolerance and  fear,  and  building  communities  based  on  cultural  preservation  and  mutual respect;
-  We seek means to move from social commentary  to social change and become more responsible  and  proactive  global  citizens,  including  through  strong  support  for community-based volunteerism.

To respect our environment:
-  We seek better access to and dissemination of  honest and accurate information  on environmental  issues  and  guidance  on  steps  we  can  take  to  protect  the environment;
-  We  call  on  member  states  to  leverage  innovative  ICT-based  tools  for  warning, information, preparedness and recovery in the face of natural disasters;
-  We  urgently  require  broader  and  more  efficient  use  of  renewable  and  sustainable energy and food sources, as well as means and methods to further expand their use, most noticeably in the agricultural sector;
- We seek a world where we don't have to choose between quality of life and quality of  the  environment,  through  ethically  sourced  products  and  commodities, sustainable resource use, green businesses and proper disposal of e-waste;
-  We  call  for  commitments  from  member  states,  civil  society  and  businesses  to support  those  who  choose  to  be  environmentally  responsible,  through  incentives and rewards.

To be smart and safe:
- We  recognize  the  positive  and  negative  aspects  of  new  technologies  and  call  for information,  education  and  support  to  make  our  online  communities  safe  and secure. We urge educational institutions and  digital content creators to aid us in this process;
-  We  advocate  that  the  same  rights  of  freedom  of  speech,  association  and  privacy granted in the  real world be explicitly extended online;
-  We urge  fellow young people to  act  and present themselves  responsibly online  and for educational and social structures to guide us in this process;
-  We call for policies and appropriate and effective  frameworks that protect the use of private data and intellectual property, and deter online criminal activity.

To be healthy:
-  We seek innovative systems which connect people to information on health services, including mental health services,  to improve issues of accessibility, affordability and acceptability;
-  Geography should not be a barrier to health care. We seek technologies that connect us with health care remotely;
-  We  seek  tools  to  better  inform  us  about  healthy  lifestyles  and  health  concerns, which help us act on that information, especially in areas of sexual and reproductive health,  and  in  dealing  with  issues  of  disability,  including  knowledge  to  reduce problems of stigma and fear associated with many diseases;
-  We  call  for  the  widespread  availability  to  report  and  receive  information,  through ICTs,  of  outbreaks,  disasters,  epidemics  and/or  other  events  which  endanger  our health;
-  We  call  on  member  states  to  empower  young  people  to  develop  ICT  tools  that improve  the  experience  of  health care  while taking into account best practices and bioethics that are currently part of offline healthcare processes.

In Conclusion:
We call on the United Nations, the international community and all member states to consider our words  and  put  them  into  action. We  call  upon  all  young  people  around  the  world,  in  partnership with world leaders,  to treat this document  not as an outcome but  as a starting place  for continued dialogue. Young people  should be included as  full partners  in  the post-2015 process and preserve the world we want for the youth of tomorrow.

Access to the declaration text here:

(Source: BYND 2015 Web)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 9:36:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
- Activity on digital technologies and youth took place from September 9 to 11 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Corobicí .
- More than 500 participants from the member countries of the ITU participated in presence and virtually in this first edition of the Summit.

What will be the new Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations , after 2015? To help to define this to global leaders, young people around the world flocked to Costa Rica under the I World Youth Summit BYND 2015 , organized by the Government of Costa Rica and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU ).

As we approach the deadline for compliance with these objectives, this summit was the ideal, both in person and virtually, for youth aged 18 to 25 years around the world to make their voices heard in this important process and propose possible solutions to meet the present and future challenges.

"This is one one truly exciting and challenging time to be young by the great opportunities offered by information and communication technology (ICT) to meet your goals, but this technological world also brings risks and challenges. The ITU has welcomed our initiative to organize a global forum for young people around the world to come to our country to discuss the opportunities of the Internet and also on how they can promote health, entrepreneurship, safety and freedom . We are eager to welcome hundreds of young people who help advance consensus on global ICT; we want them to be the stars of this digital world , not just using it, but also helping to build a suitable architecture for its governance", said Mrs. Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica.

BYND means Broadband and Youth Networking Dialogues, but BYND 2015 also refers to the English word “Beyond”. This is how the United Nations system is identifying the sustainable development agenda after the Millennium Development Goals, which was remade in 2015. All ideas that will be taken from this activity will facilitate to include ICTs as one of the pillars of the United Nations agenda. In fact, the activity allows youth to ensure their inclusion in the major decisions of this century, and which is likely to manifest their political priorities and decision-making: these will be included in a collective statement to be presented at meetings General Assembly of the United Nations later this month by Mrs. Laura Chinchilla, President of the Republic.

"What is the potential of digital technologies for development? Young people are the new players in this world, and they are the pioneers in the use of new technologies. This is the reason why their voices are essential to define the development priorities for their generations, especially through the use of digital tools at their disposal, and productive ways that empower them", said Alejandro Cruz, Minister of Science, Technology and Telecommunications.
Through a series of workshops, lectures and interactive discussions that revolved around the use of ICT for the common good, these young people discussed on topics defined, which are entrepreneurship, innovation and employment, lifestyles and health; cybersecurity and online protection for children, sustainable development and environment, and processes of governance and civil society.

"This summit will mark a difference between before and after of what is in the minds of the young. It is a matter of pride that the ITU has chosen our country to host the first edition of this event, and this is a evidence that the work we have been doing since years ago in favor of young people is paying off", said Mr. Manuel Obregon , Deputy Minister of Culture and Youth.

In addition to the main topics discussed, at the forum was held the BYND 2015 Hackathon. This was an event where creative young people with skills in programming, graphic design and project management  had 24 hours to develop prototypes of innovative technologies to support the scope of the Millennium Development Goals. Youth participants were accompanied by lectures, short training and relevant mentoring testimony of the industry.

Keynote speakers and guests of this activity were Mrs. Laura Chinchilla, President of the Republic , Mr. Hamadoun Touré , ITU Secretary- General , Mrs. Patience Jonathan, First Lady of Nigeria , Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani , Prince Catarí , Ms. Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the United Nations on Violence against Children, and Mrs. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, vice president of the Dominican Republic, among others.

BYND 2015 was inclusive, because there is not only around 500 participants in the country, as well as there was enabled crouwdsourcing platform, or open collaboration online, available to those unable to participate in person. As of 1 September, this virtual community added 2,500 users and more than 900 individual ideas that have received 13,717 votes with nearly 11,068 comments . Even the tag # BYND2015en microblogging network Twitter has generated comments of 4.5 million people. Also, around 3,000 people from about 60 different countries have participated with hubs or centers of discussion from their cities and sent their comments online.

Links of interest:
· 2015 BYND homepage. See here the brochure of the event.
· 2015 BYND Program is available here, information on sessions and speakers here.
· Videos on BYND 2015 available here.
· Platform for crowdsourcing:
· Community Google+
· YouTube Channel
· Conversations on Twitter # BYND2015

(Source: Presidencia de Costa Rica)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 9:16:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, September 08, 2013

Each issue of ICT Update focuses on a specific theme relevant to ICTs for agricultural and rural development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, and features a selection of commissioned articles. The printed bulletin also contains a Guest editor contribution, Tech Talk, Resources, Dispatches and a ‘Question and Answer’ section.

This issue of ICT Update is about e-Agriculture strategies.

Issue 73- August 2013


- Harnessing ICT strategies for ACP agriculture, Harsha Liyanage and Ken Lohento

- e-agriculture strategies: the case of Ivory Coast, Ken Lohento and Mark Speer, with contributions from Noël Kouable

- A telecom operator in West Africa, Fatoumata Doucoure and Catherine Flouvat

- CARICOM’s e-agriculture strategies, CARICOM

- ICT-triggered knowledge revolution in India, Madaswamy Moni Bookmark

- Bookmark:User-centred mobile app development

-Q&A:Catapulted into the information society, Jackson Miake

- ICT tools for the uneducated, Edward Addo-Dankwa

Further details

Saturday, September 07, 2013 11:46:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

UNESCO’s Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development moves into a second phase in its open consultation with all stakeholders on the new concept of “Internet Universality”, with the release this week of a second version of a concept paper.

This follows a series of internal and external consultations by the Communication and Information Sector, most recently with the sister programmatic sectors at UNESCO. Since the process began at the WSIS+10 review meeting in February 2013, the concept has also been canvassed at eight international fora.

The concept of “Internet Universality” provides an overarching understanding of key elements of the Internet. These are the underlying norms that contribute to shaping the use and development of Internet: (i) free and human rights based; (ii) openness; (iii) accessible to all; and (iv) multi-stakeholder driven participation. The four can be summarized by the mnemonic R – O – A – M (Rights-based, Open, Accessible, Multi-stakeholder driven).

By bringing together UNESCO’s existing positions on the Internet, the concept of “Internet Universality” could help to frame much of UNESCO’s Internet-related work in education, culture, science, social science and communication-information for the strategic period of 2014-2021. It could provide a common point of reference and lead to enhanced synergies between sectors.

In addition, the concept could support UNESCO’s work in facilitating international multi-stakeholder cooperation in regard to the Internet, and it could also highlight what the Organization can bring to the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development thanks all those who have commented on earlier drafts for their valuable suggestions. As part of an evolving discussion, the second version of “Internet Universality: A Means Towards Building Knowledge Societies and the Post-2015 Development Agenda” is offered for further feedback from all stakeholders.

(Source: UNESCO)

Saturday, September 07, 2013 11:10:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 29, 2013

Google is giving $25,000 dollars to each of the five most inspiring stories of how the web has played a pivotal role in transforming lives in Africa. As a nod to encouraging sustainable ventures, the money will be put toward improving winning entries. The competition, dubbed Africa Connected, runs from August 27 through October 31.

The idea of Africa Connected is more than just Google promoting its own products for corporate gain (though Google is undeniably pitching its products to new web users). Instead, the projects highlighted by the initiative will inspire others to change their community. The collection of success stories will also show how the internet can have a social and economic impact on Africa. As Google puts it, one of the most important ways to get people online is to “help increase the visibility of what African people are actually achieving on the web”.

The entry requirements are:
- Be 18 years of older and a resident of an African country (other than Sudan due to economic sanctions)
- Be willing to showcase how the internet, in conjunction with a Google product, has improved African lives
- Have a Google+ account

Individuals, teams, businesses, and NGOs are able to submit. Entrants may submit multiple stories and can vote for their own submissions. The deadline for entries is October 31st.

Judging looks to be a thorough process
Winners, slated to be announced in March 2014, will be selected across five categories and then matched against five criteria:
- originality of concept
- level of social/economic impact
- relevance to country/region
- use of Google products
- potential to scale

After submissions are collected, a shortlist will be narrowed down to 20 semi-finalists of which senior judges will limit to 10 finalists. The online community (those with a Google account) will then pick the five most engaging stories.

Further details

Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:30:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Ejisu -Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Afrifa Yamoah Ponko, in collaboration with the management of Subah Infosolutions Ghana, has launched an Information Communication Technology (ICT) training centre at Ejisu for the youth to build their capacity in the assembling and repairs of computers and mobile phones.
The ICT centre, dubbed SITENPREC Project, is expected to provide opportunity for the youth to acquire entrepreneurial and employable skills to make them more competitive in the job market.

Sobah Infosolutions Ghana assembled 40 computers for the project, which is expected to motivate students from the basic to the tertiary levels to delve into the basics of e-learning and research to broaden their horizon.

In an address during the launching of the project, the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Yaw Adusei, who was the guest of honour, commended the Ejisu-Juaben Municipal Assembly for collaborating with the management of Sobah Infosolutions to initiate the project.

He said the slogan of the project- bringing technology closer to the people- was in line with the government's plans to empower the people through the imparting of knowledge to them.

While urging the youth to take advantage of the project and register in their numbers to enable them access the facility, Mr Adusei advised them to "desist from abusing the facility to pursue cybercrimes and anti-social activities".

For his part, the Ejisu-Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Afrifa Yamoah Ponko, assured the people of the assembly's desire to always engage in productive partnership intended to promote the interest of the citizenry.

He pledged to further collaborate with Sobah Infosolutions to expand the facility for it to accommodate 100 students at a time. In his address, the Managing Director of Subah Infosolutions, Mr Birendra Sasmal, said besides offering opportunity for the youth to use the facility for e-learning, students who registered with them also stood the chance of acquiring entrepreneurial skills in ICT.

According to Mr Sasmal, the company had so far expended GH¢300,000 on the project and assured that with the launching of the e-learning at Ejisu, six more centres would be launched in other parts of the country to motive the youth to nurture their potentials in ICT programmes.

More details

Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:17:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Google has announced a grant offering female journalists and women in computer science, computer engineering or technical fields from Africa, Europe and the Middle East support to attend tech conferences.

The search giant will cater for travel as well as entry to various tech conferences in what the company says is an ongoing programme to encourage women to excel in computing and technology.

“As part of Google’s ongoing commitment to encourage women to excel in computing and technology, we are pleased to offer Women in Tech Conference and Travel Grants for female computer scientists”, read the announcement.

The grants will be paid after the conference and will be up to EUR 1,000 (US$1,300) with eligible conferences including the JSConf to be held in Berlin in September, Grace Hopper conference, set for October in Minneapolis, the Flossie conference to be held in Malta, in September, and Velocity conference, to be held in London, in November.
Google has placed deadlines from when the female journalists must apply, with the deadline for JSConf being August 18, Grace Hopper August 22, Flossie October 4, and Velocity conference October 6.

Google added that all applicants must have a strong academic background with demonstrated leadership ability.

(Source: Humanipo)

Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:11:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The nation’s capital has joined Cape Town and Stellenbosch in the race to roll out fast internet to the public, to the especial benefit of the poor, in a move that signals a newfound understanding of ‘digital rights’.

The idea that access to the internet is something other than a cutting-edge luxury has been slow to filter into South African discourse. Yet the evidence shows that access to the Internet is far from a luxury for the poor. It is better understood as an enabler of existing rights on a large scale, as well as the most powerful means of job creation and business creation currently known. The poor are least likely to receive government services timeously and fully, but also least able to complain about it and hold those responsible accountable. In a South African context in which one’s likelihood of receiving the services one is entitled to, rises exponentially with one’s ability to punish the officials concerned when they fail to provide the services, giving the poor access to advanced information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure can change lives.

Even where this rationale is not understood or accepted, the business case for free public wifi more than stands on its own, and some of the nation’s leading municipalities have duly set about making digital rights real.

The City of Tshwane aims to roll out free wifi to poor neighbourhoods, built-up areas and major centres of learning as early as November this year. The first phase will encompass the venerable Church Square, the University of Pretoria in Hatfield, the Tshwane University of Technology’s Soshanguve campus, a community centre in Mamelodi, one of the nation’s largest townships, and another college.

Next year, Phase Two will focus on schools, with the total connectivity of all government schools and higher learning centres by 2016. This builds on the success of the city’s push to connect 100 municipal offices, libraries, and contact centres, now complete. Most hearteningly, the city’s approach is enlightened about the intersection between public investments and grassroots entrepreneurship: spare capacity on the city network will be sold to private service providers, who will be providing a fast internet service to parts of the city in which there is very little choice in internet provider – or no internet service at all.

(Source: The South African)

Thursday, August 29, 2013 9:49:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 22, 2013

Multilateral Project Co- funded by the European Comission, under LLP Programme / Comenius:
The main goal of the Project is to empowering girls with the knowledge, skills and values to help them be able to create future opportunities for innovation and quality ICT related employment.

Period: 01/11/2012 - 31/10/2014 (24 months).

The experts behind this project belong to 7 institutions from 5 European Contries:
University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), Die Berater (Austria), Spoleczna Akademia Nauk (Poland), Institute Fraunhoffer IAO-Stuttgart Uni (Germany), CVO Antwerpen-Zuid (Belgium) and Donau-Universitat Krems (Austria).

- Produce a methodology and learning toolkit for secondary schools to promote ICT and entrepreneurship among their female students.
- Improve teachers methodologies to promote entrepreneurship and ICT skills among schools girls and deliver them support tools.
- Increase ICT skills for educational issues among schools girls.
- Show the empowerment potential of ICTs to girls in order to face their future choices in studies and work.
- Improve the following cross- curricular skills: Initiative, group work, language learning.
- Encourage cooperation between the worlds of education, training and work.
- Establish a sustainability plan involving business, ICT related institutions.

Look for more information here:
or visit
Any question:
Maria R. Malmierca, coordinator:

(Source: CESGA)

Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:50:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Gauteng MEC for Education, Barbara Creecy urged girl learners to take up careers in Science and Technology when she addressed the Girl Learner Seminar Programme at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, on  August 13, 2013.

As part of Women's Month celebrations, Sci-Bono has brought 1 600 girl learners from schools around Gauteng for a two-day Girl Learner Seminar. The invited learners will interact with women role models from industry and academia. There will be presentations and small group discussions aimed at encouraging and educating the girls on how to set personal goals and tackle some of the obstacles they might face in developing future careers.

Creecy urged girls to plan their post-school careers and to work hard to achieve success in the world of work. Highlighting the importance of science and technology to the economy, she encouraged girls to consider careers in this area.

She also called on girl learners to take advantage of the many opportunities in the science and technical fields in South Africa, because of the serious lack of skills in these sectors of the economy. Creecy promised that the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) would support girl learners who strived to perform well despite their backgrounds.

"There are many examples of women and young girls that have succeeded despite obstacles, because they are focused and determined to beat the challenges. What you achieve depends less on your background than on how hard you are prepared to work to be successful, despite the obstacles you may have to face", Creecy said.
She added: "There are plenty opportunities available for those learners who are prepared to strive for success. The GDE offers bursaries to the top learners in all our priority schools. The Gauteng City Region Academy (GCRA) has many additional bursaries available for learners. So, if you make the effort, we will be ready to support you and assist you to go all the way".

Creecy said that it was worth noting that in 2011, there were 14 316 girls who wrote the physical science exam. Over 57% passed and 653 girls achieved distinctions. In 2012, the number of girls writing physical science increased to 15 297 and the pass rate improved to just under 69% with 600 distinctions.

Creecy said that there should be no doubt about girls' abilities to excel in the sciences. The successful women scientists that were participating in the event were proof of important contribution that South African women are making to science. The next generation of women in science will have the opportunity to do even more.

Further details

Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:41:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tablet-based learning has started taking shape in Malawi with the launch of Tablet-Based Learning project by a United Kingdom based educational software publisher EuroTalk.

The project currently being piloted in some schools in the country is a culmination of partnership between the governments of Scotland and Malawi. Government of Malawi through the ministry of education, science and technology launched the scheme in 2010 piloting the use of tablet technology in 30 schools with the EuroTalk app ‘Masamu’ (a local word for mathematics) which is intended to teach basic numeracy.

EuroTalk said in a statement that one of the leading Universities in the UK, The University of Nottingham will be evaluating the project next month in order to establish if children using EuroTalk’s ‘Masamu’ maths application learn faster than their classmates.

The statement which says the study will take place at Biwi Primary School, Lilongwe, which was selected for the project by the ministry of education, also says up to 300 children aged 5-6 will be involved in the study which will be led by Dr Nicola Pitchford, from the School of Psychology at The University of Nottingham. Children will be tested at the start of the evaluation, in pattern processing, motor co-ordination and simple maths skills before spending 30 minutes each day in the Learning Centre, currently under construction using the Masamu apps on iPad mini tablets.

“They will then be tested again after six weeks later, to examine what learning has taken place among these children compared to other students”, the statement says adding that if the results show significant educational gains, EuroTalk will scale up the project in Malawi. Andrew Ashe, EuroTalk’s managing director observes that in a country like Malawi, where class sizes often exceed 100 pupils, many children don’t get the learning opportunities they so desperately need.

“We believe that high quality, local language, educational applications on tablet technology can be life-changing, and we look forward to seeing what the study reveals”, he said.

The goal, EuroTalk says, is to bring the best possible education to one billion children, and the team sees the forthcoming evaluation as a vital step.
The company is using Malawi as a model and depending on how successful it will be, the project will expand to other countries across the world, producing the applications in each child’s local language.

EuroTalk, which was established in 1991, is a company best known for its range of language learning software in over 130 languages, which has been used by more than 20 million people worldwide.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:35:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Most welcome as the virtual gateway of rural and enclaved areas to the world, the communities of Ako, Misaje, Jakiri, Oku and Ewoh in the North West Region now sound off with multi- purpose community telecentres.

The respective centres officially went functional from August 5-7, 2013 with the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Jean Pierre Biyiti-bi Essam, cris-crossing the communities with prescriptions for the populations to embrace and preserve the facility for posterity.

On -the-spot in the beneficiary Divisions of Bui, Donga Mantung and Momo, Minister Jean Pierre Biyiti-bi Essam said the telecentres are a precious gift of President Paul Biya whose commitment to develop the nation never dims. He said the centres meet standards and were conceived to serve the people without discrimination. He stressed that they are indispensible tools for human existence and development with revelations that more centres will be constructed to cover a majority of localities and lift their level of computer literacy. Conceived to take communication facilities to virtually every community, the telecentres enhance communication without tears. It is a poverty-alleviation project that checks rural exodus, creates indirect jobs, opens chances for competition in business ventures and enhances the government's resolve to decentralise. Each centre carries infrastructure, computers, information equipment and furniture worth about FCFA 70 million. They are open to the general public and cover compartments with opportunities for postal services, ICTs, telecommunications, training, financial services, telephone, internet, e-mail, typing, digitalised printing and video editing. They also have a lot to offer in telephone services, fax, photocopy, scanning, internet, online services, community radio services, research and secretariat works etc.

The commissioning exercise was a rare moment for beneficiary communities to show gratitude with gifts and messages that demonstrated their commitment to stand by the government for peace, progress and development. In Ewoh, the Mayor of Batibo council, Tenoh Lawrence saluted government's efforts to decentralize communications as a prerequisite for development. He prayed for the effective operation of the centres after the fanfare of inaugurals while an elite, Rt. Col Weriwoh Godfred hailed government for efforts to take Ewoh and neighbourhoods out of darkness with the planting of modern day communication facilities.

Further details

Thursday, August 22, 2013 9:44:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 15, 2013
Over 48 girls from different secondary schools across the country received training on the use of ICT's at Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology in a programme dubbed Camp TechKobwa.

The five day training program organized by Peace Corps in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and ICT was closed on Friday last week.
Lyla Fujiwara, head of Camp TechKobwa said that the programme focuses on inspiring young women to become the next generation of Rwandan technology entrepreneurs by developing their skills and creativity in using technology.

"We wanted to inspire girls to have courage to approach technology and also provide access to computers, remove any fear from them of using technology such that they know that they can also participate and become leaders in the ICT sector" Fujiwara explains.

Patrick Rwabidadi, a Senior Technologist at the Ministry of Youth & ICT said that the ministry had embarked on this initiative to bridge the gap between males and females in the ICT sector.

Rwabidadi further said that camp TechKobwa was an ideal way to encourage young women to become active in the ICT sector by building their confidence and self-esteem in the use of technologies.

He called on the girls that had received this training to start media and computer clubs in their schools such that they can share the knowledge acquired with other students.

Acknowledging the gap of women in the ICT field was Akaliza Keza Gara of Shaking Sun Ltd that deals in designing websites and graphics, who said that the ICT sector was clearly male-dominated.

"Having girls in ICT is still a challenge that we are trying to address because most of the professionals in this field are men. So we have been encouraging young women to join the field and study ICT. Even those who are pursuing other careers ought to study it on the side because those skills are transferable in any carrier" Akaliza explains.
Bellis Kizza a student of Gashora Girls' Academy said that she had learnt a lot about computers like how to make video, programming using scratch and how to type faster. She said as a computer student the training had helped improve her knowledge in ICT and was also inspired to become an entrepreneur and technician in the future. The girls participated in several fun and educational activities and were also given an opportunity to interact with women pursuing careers in both media and technology.

Further information

Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:51:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The use of multimedia tools to facilitate broader community participation is enabling some of the more marginalized communities in Peru to share more engaging and relevant local knowledge among their people. “Participatory video is a methodology to reach the deepest emotional action triggers of people”, said Peruvian film-maker and Andean activist Rodrigo Otero.

During a workshop organized by IICD in Cusco, facilitated by Otero who is also an expert on participatory video processes, participants and local organizations agreed that video is a communication technology appropriate for their intervention areas due to its effective way of collecting and transmitting indigenous knowledge, culture and traditions of their communities.

“Participatory video making is related to various experiences in different places worldwide that privilege the role of communities both in the production and diffusion of videos in today’s modern society”, said Otero.

Since 2011, IICD supports the efforts of civil society organizations to integrate ICT in Education through the Connect4Change programme in Peru. Six organizations are currently involved in the implementation of intercultural bilingual education (Educación Intercultural Bilingüe - EIB in Spanish), a nation-wide experimental plan aiming at a more balanced and contextualized education across several Peruvian regions such as Cusco, Huancavelica, Apurímac, Junín and Ayacucho.

A major aspect of EIB is to bring culturally relevant and bilingual education to the classroom by using Spanish and Quechua. Quechua is the mother tongue of 13.2%1 of Peruvians and the language that is widely spoken by some of the most excluded communities in the rural areas where the six Connect4Change-supported organizations intervene. Other aspects of EIB include linking the Andean culture to modern educational practices, for example reintroducing traditional Quechua songs into teachers´ pedagogical methods in the classroom.

During the three-day workshop in May, a group of 20 participants, from technical staff of the six organizations to teachers working in poor communities, explored the basics of participatory video making in a very practical and hands-on training. The first day was dedicated to introduce participants to filming techniques such as “in front of and behind the camera”, “seeking the beauty” or “show and tell” with practical exercises. On the second day, participants learned to write a storyboard using the techniques from day one and shot a 10-minute outdoors interview. The workshop concluded with a round of deliberations regarding the suitability of participatory video methodologies to convey EIB values in the school.

Further information

Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:42:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
This coming September 9-11, the Beyond 2015: Global Youth Summit takes place in San José, Costa Rica, and we want you to be a part of it! How can you join in the discussion? Here are several ways:

1. Share your ideas

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has launched an online consultation platform to “crowdsource” the priorities of youth, which will be channeled into the Summit by the President of Costa Rica, H.E. Laura Chinchilla, who will also take this voice of youth to the General Assembly in New York.

While anyone can participate in the crowdsourcing platform, it’s important to get youth under the age of 25 to participate online at To date, youth have submitted 500 ideas on how to address development challenges using ICTs. These ideas have generated 10,000 votes from peers, as youth select the most promising proposals.

What to do: We want you to join in the discussion! Submit your ideas, vote for the ones you like, and give suggestions in the online consultation platform. To get started, go to, register, and get started! Don’t forget to identify Foundation as your source when asked where you heard about the Summit. Online consultation will remain open until the BYND2015 Summit begins.

What you get: Aside from the chance to make new friends and make an impact on global policy regarding youth and ICT, people who register and participate in the online consultation will automatically become part of the ITU-Youth Global Network and get the chance to win exciting prizes. There are 2 all-expense paid trips to the Summit in Costa Rica to be won, and another 50 Android tablets up for grabs: who knows, the next one might go out to you! Note: The deadline for winning the free trip is August 16.

2. Host/attend a Mini-Summit

Although not everyone will be able to attend the BYND2015 Summit in Costa Rica, we’d like to invite those who can to hold a Mini-Summit in their telecentres. Selected sessions will be streamed live during the days of the Summit and people can join in by watching the sessions, participating virtually, and holding workshops of their own.
What to do: To hold a Mini-Summit of your own, first, check to make sure your telecentre meets the minimum technical requirements:

- Has a stable broadband connection;
- Has a PC or laptop;
- Has, ideally, a projector for all participants to see the video feed properly (not a necessity though)
- Has a webcam;
- Has a good quality headset for those hubs that intend to intervene remotely into the summit

Next, check out the Programme of Sessions that will be streamed live. Once you’ve determined the session(s), you want to follow, send an email to Seuwandi Yapa ( no later than Friday, Aug 23, with the following information:
- Name of your telecentre
- Location of your telecentre (city and country)
- Session(s) you are interested in holding a Mini-Summit on
- Designated contact person (must be available to run a few tests before the conference to check the connection)

Once we hear from you, we’ll email you back with some materials for the Mini-Summit.
What you get: In addition to getting the opportunity to engage with and learn from peers worldwide, telecentres who hold a Mini-Summit will also receive an electronic certificate for their role as a remote hub for the BYND2015 Summit. Participants in your Mini-Summit will also receive an electronic certificate of attendance.
So what are you waiting for? Join the BYND2015 Summit activities now and help us spread the word about this opportunity for youth! You’ll not only get the chance to win exciting prizes and make new friends, you’ll actually get to be part of the solutions to issues affecting youths all over the globe.
For more information on the BYND2015 Summit, download this brochure or visit


Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:17:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The GSMA announced it is partnering with the Generalitat de Catalunya in the “mSchools” programme, a multi-year, multi-faceted mEducation initiative by the Mobile World Capital Barcelona. The mSchools programme is designed to lower dropout rates, improve student attainment in schools across Catalonia and throughout Spain and, ultimately, to better prepare students as they pursue further education and employment in today’s digital world. This new initiative builds on a successful mSchools pilot programme undertaken in Catalonia by the GSMA and the Generalitat earlier this year and could enhance the learning experience for 1 million students in Catalonia alone.

“While dealing with the continued impact of the global economic crisis and educational systems that were designed to address the needs of students in the pre-digital era, educators are being asked to deliver more with far less,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General of the GSMA. “Mobile can help change this dynamic. Mobile enables access to up-to-date materials, improves collaboration and strengthens learner engagement, opening up new ways of teaching and learning that improve achievement and employability. We are pleased to be joining with the Generalitat de Catalunya to bring the power of mEducation to students in the Mobile World Capital”.

The mSchools programme being launched today comprises several elements:
- An App Education Course, a computer science elective that will be offered in Catalan high schools to teach students about application design and prototype development;
- A Supporting Entrepreneurship in mEducation programme designed to help entrepreneurs and support mEducation;
- The Mobile Learning Awards, run by the Generalitat de Catalunya and recognising the integral role of mobile technology in education by Catalan schools, honouring innovative teacher and student-led projects; and
- A Mobile History Map, a pilot to develop a geo-positioning app that allows students to collaboratively create or edit content on relevant points of interest within one kilometre of their schools.

To support the mSchools initiative, the GSMA will contribute €500,000 per year through 2018, funding technology, resources and the delivery and management of the programme. Further, the GSMA will leverage experience gained from mEducation deployments around the world to implement global best practices with educators and administrators participating in the initiative.

The programme brings together public and private institutions; organisations currently participating include A Crowd of Monsters, Barcelona Loves Entrepreneurs, Incubio, King, Social Point and Softonic, who will support the App Education course with expert staff. Mobile operators Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange will also support the mSchools initiative.

“The GSMA is very proud to be partnering with the Mobile World Capital, leading mobile operators and the private sector to help create an educational environment that will enable young people throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain to build important new skills that will prepare them for new opportunities in the future”, added Bouverot.

(Source: GSMA)

Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:07:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 12, 2013

A new ICT incubation centre has been inaugurated in Tinapa, Cross Rivers state, Nigeria, continuing the government support of entrepreneurs in the country.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the governor of the state, Liyel Imoke, said the Information Technology Development Entrepreneurship Acceleration (iDEA) is the first of its kind in the geopolitical zone.

“It will provide young men and women with capacity and intellect to compete globally”, Imoke said. Imoke said the fruition of the project is the actualization of a vision jointly shared by the federal government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Communication Technology and the government of Cross Rivers state.

The centre, which is a part of the Tinapa Knowledge City (TKC), will allow young people to showcase their abilities. Imoke added it could transform the state’s economy and produce products that could compete on the global field.

(Source: Humanipo)

Monday, August 12, 2013 5:30:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 07, 2013
A 21st Century Media Strategy to Promote Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Worldwide

Every era has a moment when the scales begin to tip. For the world’s women and girls, that moment is now. Women and Girls Lead Global combines the power of documentary film, national television broadcasts, local and new media, and engagement activities to impact audiences and support existing NGO efforts to empower women and girls.

- Three-year initiative launches in nine countries in Fall 2012.
- High-quality documentary films profile women and men who inspire hope, awareness, and action.
- Television partners in each country air annual 10-episode series to national audiences.
- Engagement campaigns align with existing local work of NGO and media partners.
- Local “call-to-action” content (PSAs, radio, mobile), live screenings, and social media connect individuals, mobilize communities, and multiply NGO impact.
- Builds on the work of Women and Girls Lead, a 50-documentary public television project to focus, educate, and connect U.S. audiences in support of women and girls everywhere.

Women and Girls Lead Global is a public-private alliance created between USAID, Independent Television Service (ITVS), and Ford Foundation, in cooperation with lead NGO partner CARE.

Download the Women and Girls Lead Global fact sheet.
Read the Impact Blog post "The Power of Storytelling" by CARE's CEO and President, Dr. Helene Gayle.
Visit the Women and Girls Lead Global website.

(Source: USAID and Women and Girls Lead Global website)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 9:56:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 02, 2013

The Computer Society of Zimbabwe hosted on 23 July a discussion on issues affecting women in the information communication technology sector.
The discussion ran under the theme, "Women in ICTs - Challenges and Opportunities".

In a statement, the society said the event was addressed by some of the leading women in the local ICT sector who have also been challenged and inspired by other successful women worldwide.

"The event was facilitated by some of the leading women in the ICT sector in Zimbabwe, among them X-Pert Solutions managing consultant Joyce Benza, Computer Society of Zimbabwe deputy director Viola Dondo, Premier Service Medical Aid Society ICT manager Margareth Ziramba, while lawyer Rumbidzai Dube was the guest speaker", read the statement.

Focus of the event was the challenges being faced by women in making a breakthrough in the field of ICT that has for long been male dominated.
"Considering that the facilitators are women shows that the ICT field is for everyone and much can be done from every angle”.
"Opportunities were also discussed in relation to how the girl child can be better prepared for a career in ICT leadership, software and network engineering and many other facets of ICT", added the statement.

The event came at a time the society is undergoing transformation with a possibility of rebranding to ensure that it operates professionally while achieving its set targets and objectives that include ensuring the ICT person remains relevant.

Further details

Friday, August 02, 2013 11:30:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has so far covered 407 schools across the country. At least 207,026 laptops have been distributed, according to Nkubito Bakuramutsa, the OLPC Coordinator in Rwanda Education Board.

Bakuramutsa told The New Times yesterday that Rwanda has been ranked third globally after Peru and Uruguay in terms of rolling out laptops in primary schools. He added that at least all 30 districts have five OLPC-enabled schools. “The project now focuses on seeing each school in all 416 sectors equipped with laptops”.

The project that was launched in 2008 aims at boosting Rwanda’s goal of becoming a knowledge-based society.

Bakuramutsa said that 2,200 schools have also been equipped with servers, wireless access points and digital content including, e-books, math, science and English courses.
“The server is also equipped with a school management and information system and security features to track laptops in case of theft or loss”.

According to Sergio Romero, OLPC Vice President Africa, Peru tops the list in the world when it comes to OLPC rollout in schools with about 750,000, Uruguay (approximately 475,000) and Rwanda in third position with more than 200,000.

The project has also trained 10,000 teachers with basic ICT skills to enable them to prepare and teach their lessons in digital format.
Bakuramutsa further said that with such a massive deployment, the OLPC programme is looking at establishing a modern call centre that would provide online maintenance support to schools.

(Source: The New Times)

Friday, August 02, 2013 11:19:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Schools are preparing for a seismic shift in the teaching of ICT. Now they have Computing instead of ICT to cope with, and there is a much greater emphasis on computer science under a new curriculum.

While some schools, especially primaries, struggle to prepare for this change, Lancaster Girls' Grammar School has grabbed the bull by the horns. Instead of putting on a course for teachers they are taking 30 students to the hotbed of digital innovation and home of some of the brightest minds in computer science – Silicon Valley, California.
Lancaster headteacher Jackie Cahalin is delighted. “ICT is a very successful subject at LGGS at both GCSE and A level standard", she says, "allowing the girls to be creative as well as learning skills that will assist them in their other studies and future careers.

"We introduced Computing because there was a clear gap in our curriculum for those pupils who wanted to go a step further and learn how to create a tool rather than use it. Computing appeals to girls who enjoy maths, electronics and science; they find it challenging and have had to adapt their mindsets to be able to overcome problems and find solutions.

"We strive to offer our pupils the best opportunities and the visit to San Francisco is no exception and is set to truly inspire LGGS students to see there are opportunities for women in this field."
The children and teachers leave on July 17 for a full itinerary which includes visits to the usual tourist spots such as Golden Gate Park, Sausalito, Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz but also the more computer-focused trips to the History of Computing Museum in Mountain View, Google HQ, Qualcom and a full day on the Stanford University Campus where they will meet some of the women in the faculty of computer science.

The inspiration behind the trip is Joanne Devlin, head of ICT, computing and business. “I never recognized the 'dull and boring' description of ICT [Michael Gove's] from the teaching at Lancaster Girls' Grammar School", she says, "as we have tried to make the teaching of ICT as interesting, engaging and relevant to the needs of pupils and their potential careers in the IT and digital industries.

"This trip, however, will help to raise the girls’ aspirations and make them realize what opportunities a career in computing and IT could offer them.

Further details

Friday, August 02, 2013 11:07:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Over 300 persons from more than 40 countries gathered for the event. Speakers and participants discussed, amended and adopted a framework and a plan of action for the GAPMIL which was prepared in advance through a global call for interest and a three-month online debate. An eleven-person steering committee comprising two people from each region was established. It includes six women (one a youth representative) and five men. Click here to view the details of the GAPMIL Framework and Action Plan.

High quality presentations were made by thirty eloquent speakers, seventeen women and thirteen men, on issues relating to MIL, journalism and intercultural dialogue.
Sessions sought to highlight the link between MIL, intercultural dialogue and journalism education, providing an opportunity for participants to discuss how journalism education and MIL contribute towards intercultural dialogue. Journalism education institutions were encouraged to building MIL and intercultural competencies into its pedagogical framework.

An important aspect of this debate involved a reflection on possible editorial guidelines on intercultural reporting, which will form part of a chapter in the forthcoming book on MIL policy and strategy guidelines. Sessions also served to preview the book recently published by UNESCO, entitled 'Model Curricula for Journalism Education: A Compendium of New Syllabi'. The syllabus on Intercultural Journalism was particularly highlighted for the benefit of the journalism educators present.
With Africa as central focus during the event, the African Chapter of the GAPMIL was also debated and launched by stakeholders from Africa.

Participants also had the opportunity to review and offer recommendations to improve draft model MIL Policy and Strategy Guidelines and the Global MIL Assessment Framework. These will be published later in the year.

Participants called for access to MIL competencies for all citizens and a complementary widening of the landscape especially for more community based media platforms such as radio, television, newspaper, libraries as well as investigative reporting of events so that citizens can be better empowered with information needed to make decisions and engage in intercultural exchange.

The growing influence of social media on societies, especially on our youth was noted. Participants urged authorities to harness these potential positives for civic empowerment and also address the risks by promoting national MIL initiatives. The challenges of basic infrastructures like power and broadband Internet facilities were underscored. As one of the speakers puts it, “…it is a good that we are debating media, media literacy, information literacy and intercultural questions… Sometimes we have the impression that media is different from libraries. I think that we should all sit together and think about how we should educate people to be informed... we should put our experiences/skills together in order to create national programmes that will help citizen’s at all social levels… to avoid being overwhelmed with over-information through social networks, being misinformed, being overwhelmed with advertisement propaganda, which divert attention… and could steer them towards separations and conflicts”. (Cecile Coulibaly, International Association of Francophone Librarians and Documentalists).

The event would not have been a success without the support of the Saudi Arabian, the Nigerian, and the Swedish governments. Practitioners in MIL, librarians, journalists, ICTs specialists, educators, journalism training institutions, civil society organizations, private sector, university professors, and state and UN representatives - who together formed a kaleidoscope of cultures - contributed to the success of the event.

UNESCO is grateful to all local sponsors as well as the experts from all over the world who could not attend in person but contributed to the online debates and the realization of GAPMIL.

Relevant organization can sign-up to be a part of the Global Alliance on MIL through this link: Complete survey to be associate with Global Alliance on MIL.

(Source: UNESCO)

Friday, August 02, 2013 10:45:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 26, 2013
International experts to coach applicants, select finalists amongst 600 entries from 88 countries

A panel of “Challenge Partners” from industry, international organizations, NGOs and academia, including major names such as Carrefour Enterprise Foundation, Ooredoo, Dupont Sustainable Solutions, the International Labour Organization, World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization will select and coach the best applicants from some 600 entries for the ITU Telecom World 2013 Young Innovators’ competition.

The competition, which recently closed its deadline for submissions, reached out to social technopreneurs across the globe aged between 18 and 26 with the aim of identifying projects with demonstrable potential for meaningful impact in addressing one of six crucial Global Challenges.

The Challenge Partners will use their expertise, prominence and experience on the ground to work with the best applicants in each challenge to refine their applications and ensure their innovative solutions are well adapted to meeting specific real-world issues.

At the end of a two-month mentoring period, the Challenge Partners will join the competition Selection Committee in announcing the ten winning finalists on 1 October. Challenge Partners will provide the finalists, who will travel to Bangkok to attend ITU Telecom World 2013, with qualified and informed mentoring before, during and after the event. Winning entries will be showcased during ITU Telecom World 2013 and finalists will also participate in networking, mentoring and pitching sessions, and win up to USD 10,000 in seed funding for their projects.

The Challenge Partners supporting each Global Challenge are:

- International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Ooredoo working to improve employment opportunities for young people and migrant workers

- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Young Professionals' Platform for Agricultural Research Development (YPARD) and Carrefour Enterprise Foundation working to reduce food and water wastage at individual and retail levels

- G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies and Aging 2.0 working to facilitate access to public services for the elderly

- DuPont Sustainable Solutions, Microsoft Lync, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) working to improve natural disaster prediction and response

- World Health Organization (WHO), heading the UN Decade for Road Safety, working to improve road safety for both drivers and pedestrians

- ITU IMPACT working to protect sensitive personal data and inspire the creation of local digital content

More on the Competition Entries:
The 600-plus competition entries came from 88 countries as diverse as Chile, Egypt, France, Lesotho, Nepal, Nigeria, the Philippines, Russia, St Kitts and Nevis, USA, Vanuatu and Yemen.

For the first time, applications were received from Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uzbekistan and Zambia, marking the truly global scope and appeal of the competition. The number of young women applying from around the world reached 20 per cent, including submissions from Afghanistan, China, Great Britain, Qatar, Venezuela and Zambia.

A detailed overview of the selection process and members of the Selection Committee can be found at

For information on ITU Telecom World 2013, please visit or contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
+41 22 730 5046
+41 79 249 4861

For more information on the Young Innovators’ Competition, please visit contact

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Friday, July 26, 2013 10:48:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Start Date: Jul 24, 2013
End Date: Jul 26, 2013
Venue: Geneva, Switzerland


The Division for Public Administration and Development Management of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DPADM/UNDESA in partnership with the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD)) is organizing a joint high-level capacity-development workshop and an expert group meeting on E-Participation: Empowering People through ICTs, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 24 to 26 July 2013.

The objective of the meeting is to bring together policy-makers, experts, and practitioners on e-participation from around the world, with the purpose of enhancing their knowledge on e-participation and contributing through discussions and sharing of experiences to the development of an online e-participation self-assessment tool METEP (Measurement and Evaluation Tool for E-Participation Readiness).

The Aide Memoire provides additional information.

For more information, contact:

- Mr. Vyatcheslav Cherkasov
Senior Governance and Public Administration Officer
Development Management Branch / Division for Public Administration and Development Management
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

-Mr. Deniz Susar
Governance and Public Administration Officer
Development Management Branch / Division for Public Administration and Development Management
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

- Ms. Victoria Ceban
Development Management Branch / Division for Public Administration and Development Management
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

(Source: UNPAN)

Friday, July 26, 2013 10:33:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On 12th/7/2013, MTN Uganda, in partnership with the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) have re – established the Kampala Public Library (KPL) creating a one-stop centre for members of the general public and specific groups such as tourists and investors to utilize the facility to request for and receive information about Kampala city.
With the growing trends in technology, MTN Uganda has bridged the library’s digital divide and increased the utilization of information technology in the acquisition of modern knowledge for lifelong self-learning. The MTN Foundation has provided equipment and internet connectivity solutions to KCCA.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, the CEO MTN Uganda Mazen Mroué reaffirmed MTN’s commitment in providing ICT support to improve service delivery of the library and stated that the connectivity will create online linkages to the centre to increase its usage and visibility. This is also in line with the MTN Foundation’s corporate social responsibility areas for 2013 which include Education, Health and National priority areas.

KCCA’s Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi commended MTN Uganda for their contribution towards the expansion of the facility and stated that the company’s technological support will go a long way in creating a facility that will offer comprehensive and timely information about Kampala City.

KCCA seeks to expand the use of the current facility by introducing new uses for the existing areas and incorporating technological aspects, themes and other elements that will enhance the image of a modern area of information usage and consumption.

The Kampala Public Library fully revamped now boosts full free WiFi connectivity as well as brand new desktop computers to aid users of the facility get access to more online resources during their research or casual reads.

A member of the technical team from KCCA equally pointed to the construction of an Online Library Catalog to boost the full digitization of the library facilities.
MTN’s contribution equally went towards the remodeling of the children’s library, with donation of more reading facilities for children.

(Source: PC Tech)

Friday, July 26, 2013 9:49:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 18, 2013

At the first UNESCO International Conference on Memory of the World in the Digital Age (Vancouver, 2012), the President of the International Council of Archives (ICA), Martin Berendse, argued for an international coalition to realize a Roadmap for the Digital Preservation of the Memory of the World. This idea found its way into the Vancouver Declaration. There is a pressing need to establish a roadmap proposing solutions, agreements and policies that ensure long term access and trustworthy preservation. This roadmap should address issues like open government, open data, open access and electronic government. It should dovetail with national and international priorities and be in full agreement with human rights.

UNESCO, IFLA, ICA, Koninklijke Bibliotheek and DEN Foundation initiated a follow up meeting to prepare an action plan that is planned to take place in The Hague, the Netherlands, on 5 and 6 December 2013. UNESCO National Commissions from Canada, Korea and the Netherlands are cooperating with the UNESCO Secretariat to organize this meeting, at which international experts like Roly Keating (British Library) and Margaret Hedstrom (University of Michigan School of Information) will explain the urgency for closer cooperation between industry, government and heritage institutions, including users. The goal of this meeting is to prepare a platform where key stake holders can meet and discuss issues of long term preservation, and decide on practical measures.

As a preparation for the Hague meeting, the organizers have proposed a two hour preparatory workshop at Digitalheritage2013, in order to collect feedback from the global heritage community on this initiative and to gain up to date information on issues that the platform should tackle.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, July 18, 2013 2:30:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Namibian government aims to embark on a programme to take ICTs to isolated rural schools, and is seeking investment partners to support the plan.
This emerged at the Namibian Investment Seminar staged for potential investors at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg, South Africa,  on July 02.

Education is an important focus area in the Namibian Government’s development plan, said Tuaundamuje Keeja, Deputy Director, Corporate Planning at the Ministry of Education. He highlighted an initiative aiming to deliver ICTs to rural schools not supported by the national power or communications grid.

Keeja cited projects such as the solar-powered container ICT lab concept, which is making ICTs available to underserved schools. “It is difficult for us as a Ministry to provide ICT services to all schools, but we want to connect all schools for the benefit of Namibia’s children”.

The investment seminar also noted that Namibian industry is set to boom on a number of fronts, particularly in light of its major port expansions, new mining potential and ambitious agro-processing goals.

Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Tweya Tjekero, and High Commissioner Marten N. Kapewesha headed a panel of sector authorities to outline the multiple investment opportunities available to South African and international investors.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Thursday, July 18, 2013 2:01:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UN Women is partnering with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media on a global study to analyze the depiction and representation of female characters in family films. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, has commissioned the study from Associate Professor Stacy Smith of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

It will examine the top-grossing international movies in Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom. It is the first such study ever undertaken.

“There is no doubt that gender stereotypes in the media are influential socio-psychological factors in how women and girls are perceived. They also influence their self-esteem and relationships between the sexes”, said Lakshmi Puri, Acting Head of UN Women. “We cannot let the negative depiction of women and girls erode the hard gains that have been made on gender equality and women’s empowerment. We hope that the study will address factors that positively impact the perception of women in society, positive role models of women and girls and men and boys, and the value of respectful relationships that can foster and benefit from women’s empowerment”, she added.

While research into the consequences of media exposure is complex, there is a general consensus among health professionals, researchers and educators that high levels of media exposure to negative imagery are related to negative outcomes for children and adults. These outcomes include effects in the areas of academic performance, body image, early sexual behaviour, and social and cultural behaviours and beliefs. These effects may also affect future life and occupational choices for women.

Previous research by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media revealed that gender parity still does not exist on-screen. In family films, only 28.3 per cent of all speaking characters were female. This translates into 2.53 males to every one female. Not only are girls and women under-represented on-screen, but many are depicted in a stereotypical and sexualized light. Occupationally, few women held positions of power on screen. Only 3.4 per cent of business leader characters and 4.5 per cent of high-level politicians were female.

“By virtue of the dearth of female characters of substance in the media kids see, we are in effect teaching our children that women and girls don’t take up half of the space in the world. We’re teaching them to see that boys are doing the important and interesting things in society”, said Academy-Award -winner Geena Davis, the leading advocate for positive change in gender portrayals in the entertainment industry. “Media images have an enormous impact on children’s self-esteem and aspirations. This is why we decided to launch a global gender in media study: if girls see it, they can be it”.

“The Rockefeller Foundation is pleased to support this important study that is sure to bring a discerning eye to the ways girls and women are portrayed and perceived”, said Rockefeller Foundation Associate Director, International Development, Sundaa Bridgett-Jones. “We hope the findings will be a clear call to resist the culture of casual stereotypes that so negatively impact global achievements in gender equality”.

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media will present the findings of the study during the 2nd Global Symposium on Gender in Media in fall 2014.

(Source: UN Women)

Thursday, July 18, 2013 1:50:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 25, 2013
On Friday 07 June 2013, MTNers officially launched the fund-raising campaign for the education of the girl child and undereducated children of Kousséri and the 10 municipalities of the Logone and Chari. This ceremony that held at the company’s head office in Douala witnessed the massive participation of employees whose kind donations enabled to raise a significant sum of money, given that, each staff is supposed to contribute 1000 F CFA per day, being 21 000 F CFA in 21 days in order to change lives in Kousséri and promote access to education for all. There was also the donation of didactic materials and other school stationery.

On Saturday 08 June 2013, MTNers nationwide carried out various actions. In view of reacting in alignment with the new vision and mission of the enterprise which is that of providing customers a new digital world for a brighter future, MTNers met with people of all works of life and various communities in order to familiarize them with this new world. In the Littoral region, the Government High Schools of Makepe and Japoma respectively played host to this caravan which brought together students, teachers, associations, the elite and residents. More than 350 people were trained on social networks, internet, ICT and computer basics. MTN employees, equipped with computers, tablets, smartphones etc, organized several sessions where several workshops enabled to connect the communities to this new digital world which is that of today and tomorrow.

This MTN multimedia caravan dubbed “Welcome to the New World” equally visited in the North region the towns of Garoua, notably the Roumde Adja and Bibemire neighbourhoods, Maroua, especially Pitoare and Arde quarters, Ngaoundere in Sabongari and Burkinabe in the as well as Bertoua where the training was particularly meant for inmates of the Marie France Orphanage of Nkolbikone.

In the Centre region, MTNers went to Nkolmesseng where a discussion on new information and communication technologies enabled to sensitize the population on the importance of Education for all, in a world where analogy has definitively given way to digitization. Demonstration and experimentation sessions on ICTs enabled to reassure the population who, with regard to their uncertainty, did not already believe that they as well could have access to these tools for their education and development.
Earlier on, in the week, MTNers of the North West region accompanied by the Inspector for Basic Education in Santa, Bamenda visited the village of Baligham in North West region, where an elated population appreciated the training on basic computer skills. The villagers, about 1000 in number, comprised of students, teachers, and traditional authorities.

Focus shall be placed on other localities next week in order to provide a greater majority with access to the new world.

(Source: Africa News)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 5:50:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ericsson and Entel announce the launch of Connect To Learn, an initiative that offers quality education for rural students, in three schools in Chile that previously did not have access to technology in education. Connect To Learn in partnership with Millennium Promise and the Earth Institute at Columbia University is using the latest technology to improve educational opportunities for rural students, especially girls.

Through Connect To Learn, mobile broadband connectivity has been implemented in the Arturo Prat Chacón secondary school as well as two primary schools, all located in rural Ninhue, in the Bío Bío Region of southern Chile. The program in the Arture Prat Chacón school also includes online educational resources, a cloud-computing solution in a low-maintenance and easy-to-use model and relevant training for teachers. The technology deployed gives students and teachers access to 21st-century educational tools and resources, and the ability to connect to other schools around the world to foster collaborative learning, cross-cultural understanding and global awareness.
Manuel Araya, Corporate Affairs Manager, Entel, says: "With Connect To Learn, students and teachers benefit from access to global news, information and the latest educational content, and can collaborate with fellow students and teachers around the world, despite their remote location".

Entel is providing optimized 3G connectivity to the selected schools to ensure good connectivity, as well as free Internet connections.
Carla Belitardo, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson Latin America, says, "This initiative demonstrates our commitment to enabling our vision for a Networked Society in Chile and in Latin America. Mobile broadband is a key enabler for access to a quality education in all communities, even the most rural. Delivering cloud-based computing services and connecting them is a major step toward bringing quality education".

Since 2010, Connect To Learn has been deployed to help students in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Brazil Senegal and Djibouti helping students access quality learning resources for a 21st-century education.

School-To-School Connections
Through Connect To Learn, Entel and Ericsson are also introducing School-To-School Connections, a flagship program, pioneered by co-founders Millennium Promise and the Earth Institute. High school students at the Juan de Mairena Institute in San Sebastian de los Reyes, Spain, created their very own global classroom, connecting through a video call session with students from Arturo Prat Chacón High School, located in Ninhue, southern Chile, as part of the School-To-School Connections partnership program facilitated by the Connect To Learn initiative.

The program connects classrooms in rural and urban communities around the world to foster cross-cultural learning and cultivate global awareness, understanding, and collaboration.

The goal is that the School-To-School Connections program will help create a sense of commonality among young people and a sense of shared responsibility for tackling the global challenges we all face. In 2011, with School-To-School Connections in mind, Connect To Learn commissioned a team from Columbia University Teachers College to create a set of curricular resources based on the Millennium Development Goals in order to support shared lesson planning between teachers at partnered schools and collaborative learning among their students. Video calls and emails help facilitate their work together and build relationships among participants.

(Source: Ericsson)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 5:28:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) in collaboration with Work Bank hosts the Smart Rwanda Days on 17-18th June 2013. The event is part of a co-creation exercise involving global experts and Rwandans running on social media and which aimed to identify possible “Smart” solutions (in this context, meaning “innovative, information-driven, ICT – enabled”). It is a high level meeting which is designed to help stakeholders develop a shared vision for Smart Rwanda.

Smart Rwanda will be a citizen-centric and business-friendly, accessible and sustainable Information and Service Delivery ecosystem, realized through public and private investments, to transform the economy and enhance the well-being of individuals and the community.

In his key note address the Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana said that “Smart Rwanda aims at looking at all innovative ways ICT can drive to achieve socio-economic transformation agenda of our country… Key to the success of Smart Rwanda is sustainability of all our interventions. Our strategy will be to rely on the much needed private sector resources and capabilities”.

Smart Rwanda will harness the transformative powers of ICTs and their cross-cutting nature to help increase the productivity of other sectors, help achieve the targeted 11.5% average GDP and economic transformation hence the ten Smart Rwanda verticals i.e. Smart Education, Smart Healthcare, Smart Governance, Smart Business, Smart Agriculture, Smart Environment, Smart Job Creation, Smart Infrastructure, Smart Girls and Smart Cities.

Smart Rwanda will also contribute to rural development and reduction of poverty to less than 30% through deployment of Smart Villages throughout the country.
Through Smart Rwanda, the ICT sector reaffirms its role as a leader in innovations. The sector aims to do things Smarter, which is to do more with less. To ensure sustainability of development initiatives for example, the sector will deploy Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models, and Green technologies.
Minister Nsengimana said that “Key to the success of Smart Rwanda is sustainability of all our interventions. Our strategy will be to rely on the much needed private sector resources and capabilities”.

“The Government of Rwanda approach will be to intervene in only those indispensable public good projects where it does not make business sense for private sector actors to invest or to invest in early-stage ventures so as to showcase opportunity and stimulate future private sector investment”, stressed Minister Nsengimana.
The global Open Data movement is growing rapidly. Governments at all levels view open data not only as a tool for transparency and accountability, but also a powerful catalyst for innovation, entrepreneurship, and improved public services.

The World Bank's experience partnering with countries across the world has reinforced its conviction that Open Data can be a powerful tool for smarter development and improving the lives of millions of people.

(Source: MYICT)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 5:14:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 20, 2013
The City of Joburg Broadband Project will go live on 1 July 2013 after a 3 year build phase, which BWired will operate for 12 years. The completion of the fibre optic network covers all 7 regions of the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) municipality, and will deliver a live network that will immediately be able to offer key services to all municipal buildings connected to the network. This fibre optic network was designed by Ericsson South Africa and uses world-class technologies utilized in Smart Cities around the world, and marks one of the biggest rollouts of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere in terms of its 1.2Tb core capacity and 940km coverage, giving the City of Johannesburg true Smart City Status.

The Johannesburg Broadband and Network Project (JBNP) is the realisation of the city’s long term vision of developing the city’s economy which will see the positive stimulation of opportunities for the business sector in terms of small to medium enterprises, effective access to public services, the development of the youth in Johannesburg and increased employment opportunities for all.

All civil work was completed at the end of April 2013, with the fibre installation work being at 90% completion at this time.

The network build will be completed at the end of May 2013. When the Network goes live on the 1stJuly 2013, it will offer full WAN accessibility, VPN services, and will bring internet to all of the CoJ buildings in the region. The JBNP will be service ready to transition all of the agreed upon services as of 1 July 2013.

“We support the vision of the CoJ, and the completion of this successful build phase on time and within budget, is testament to our commitment to the project and its objectives”, said Musa Nkosi, BWired CEO. The network was developed by the CoJ in partnership with Ericsson, with the aim of creating a platform for bridging the digital divide within the CoJ. The delivery of the network will allow the CoJ to assume Smart City status, which is supported by a strong broadband backbone. The benefits of broadband to any city are far-reaching – including economic growth, the enhancement of the public service offering through e-government, added capacity and efficiencies for private enterprises, social benefits through e-learning, job creation through community portals, and right though to city wide platforms for emergency services.

“The principle behind this network was to provide ICT communications at a vastly lower cost, not only reducing the CoJ’s communications costs, but enabling the rest of the residents of the city to benefit from the network roll out”, said Nkosi. Although connecting all of its buildings, the CoJ will only use a small percentage of the projected network capacity, meaning other telecoms service providers, and industry at large can plug into the remaining capacity on a wholesale and open access basis. “We are already working with one of country’s largest mobile service providers with over 200 sites connected and operational to date. We are also running a number of POC’s with Tier 1 ISP’s, as well as other network Operators. This shows how BWired is extending its network’s functionality beyond the CoJ Municipality requirements and realizing true inclusion for all within the City of Johannesburg”, added Nkosi.

The CoJ Broadband Project will enable digital inclusion through the provision of affordable broadband to the public.

(Source: IT News Africa)

Thursday, June 20, 2013 3:56:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 14, 2013
Information and communications technology (ICT) is now an indispensable tool in empowering women, an international conference heard.

Participants from 21 countries attending the three-day conference, held this month (1-3 June) in Solan in Himachal Pradesh state (India), were satisfied by the rapid progress of ICT initiatives, but equally concerned at the many divides.

"We are doing a lot to train urban women into experts in information technology, but relatively little is being done to increase use of ICT among rural women", said Vinita Sharma who heads science for equity, empowerment & development at India’s department of science and technology.

Deliberations at the conference, organized by the centre for science & technology of non-aligned and other developing countries (NAM S&T Centre) and Jaypee University of Information Technology, Solan, focused on ways to make ICT more accessible to women.

Marialy Tovar, international analyst, Venezuelan ministry of science, technology and innovation, reported that 'info-centro' machines installed in most villages in her country have increased ICT access for women in her country.

Pushpa Devi Kuppusamy, IT officer in the Malaysian ministry of science, technology and innovation said the '1nita' project in her country encourages women entrepreneurs to use ICT to advantage.

Participants noted the problems of access that women face include lack of training and infrastructure, socio-economic constraints to owning ICT equipment, inconvenient location of community ICT centres and lack of confidence.

While there has been a steady increase in the number of female ICT professionals, a large number of women still fear using ICT tools.
"We need to instill confidence among women so that they can be as good as men in both using and improving the technology", Arun Kulshreshsta, director of the NAM S&T Centre, told SciDev.Net.

Nirupama Prakash, head of the centre for women studies at Jaypee University, said women from the villages in Uttarakhand state had benefited from training in using community radio imparted by her centre.

Among recommendations made by the conference was one concerning the use of ICT to increase women's security and making them better aware of their legal rights.

(Source: SCIDEV)

Friday, June 14, 2013 2:08:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Huawei South Africa has partnered with Khulisani to launch a mobile Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Training Centre Project to provide computer skills training to schools for underprivileged, disabled children, in the South of Johannesburg.

“Huawei South Africa is committed to contributing towards the reduction of unemployment and the alleviation of poverty, through supporting skills development and training initiatives. Whilst our focus is on improving the resources of schools and education in the rural and semi-rural areas, we also invest in special needs schools which are often marginalized due to limited resources”, says Liu Wenjun (Wilson), CEO of Huawei South Africa.

Areas where the mobile ICT Centre will be active in are Meyerton, Vereeniging, Vanderbijlpark, Sasolburg and the surrounding low income residential areas and informal settlements in the South of Johannesburg. The five special needs schools that will benefit from the project will be J.N.S school for children with Cerebral palsy, EUREKA school for mentally disabled, Handhawer School, Sebokeng Technical High school and Thabavuyo School.

Wilson adds, “Statistics show that five percent of the South African population lives with disabilities and that various factors such as poverty, unemployment, insufficient training and education are the most common stumbling blocks for them. In order to overcome this barrier Huawei made the decision to launch a pilot project in partnership with Khulisani, an enterprise development company that focuses on the ongoing upliftment of individuals with disabilities. Together with Khulisani, Huawei has invested in constructing a Mobile ICT Training Centre which supports computer skills training and in the process supports employment of individuals with disabilities. We conducted research into their needs and customized the training accordingly, in order to accommodate the different disabilities which the pupils experience, ensuring a positive outcome for the project”.

The objectives of the ICT Centre are to provide a firm foundation in terms of computer literacy, focusing specifically on basic desktop training, MS Office Suite and internet access. E-learning initiatives have been introduced and two individuals have been trained and are being developed with the knowledge, skills and experience to provide computer literacy training and e-learning.

“Huawei South Africa fully supports the South African Government’s aim to integrate people with disabilities into mainstream society. Huawei aims to make a positive difference by implementing various projects like the Mobile ICT Centre which builds towards a better future and economy for all South Africans”, concludes Wilson.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Friday, June 14, 2013 1:52:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Mauritania’s efforts in improving its telecommunications connectivity through expansion of fiber-optic broadband networks has received a boost after the board of executive directors of the World Bank approved $30 million in International Development Association credits to support the government’s efforts.

The World Bank’s Director for Regional Integration, Colin Bruce, said that they “want to harness Africa’s ongoing ICT revolution to address the development challenges confronting West African states”. He stated that the availability of reliable regional broadband networks will ensure that communications, commerce and trade in services across borders to be done with less hassle. He said that a high capacity network is “the cornerstone of developing a modern regional economic zone in West Africa”.

The expansion of its fiber-optic broadband networks is part of the second phase of a $300 million West Africa Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (WARCIP) aimed at connecting the 16 countries of the region with the world. The program counts on the potentials of the private sector in order to allow a fast roll out of infrastructure and expansion of telecoms services through public-private partnerships.

In a statement released by the bank, there are expectations that the investments being made towards the project will lead to an expansion in accessibility, quality improvement and reliability of voice and internet service communications. The above mentioned are considered as major factors in attracting private sector investment in ICT services and the provision of cheaper services.

Only a little above 100,000 of the 3,5 million of Mauritania’s population are Internet users. This figure is equivalent to 3,3% making it to be among the lowest Internet rates on the continent. Research indicates that a 10% increase in internet broadband penetration leads to about 1% of economic growth.

(Source: The North Africa Post)

Friday, June 14, 2013 1:45:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
On Monday 23 September 2013, the UN General Assembly will hold a meeting in New York (USA) at the level of Heads of States to define the future global roadmap to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all development efforts. The meeting will have the overarching theme “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda”.

To contribute to a successful outcome the Broadband Commission, G3ICT, the International Disability Alliance, ITU, Microsoft, Foundation and UNESCO have launched a global consultation to capture the recommendations from all stakeholders on the contribution of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs), - such as websites, mobile, radio and TV - to achieve the autonomous participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society. Be part of this initiative and contribute to reaching an inclusive development agenda with ICTs!

Further information

Friday, June 14, 2013 1:35:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Costa Rica, 9-11 September 2013
A platform for young people to ensure their inclusion in the most important decisions of the 21st Century. The Global Youth Summit: BYND 2015 will assemble young people from all corners of the globe with a view to highlighting their priorities and capturing their combined voice in crucial national and international policy and decision making processes.

As an ICT focused conference, the talks, sessions and workshops will be webcast and translated into the six official languages of the UN, wherever possible. Workshops will be webcast in their original languages with online conversations happening via social media, curated and facilitated by young participants.
The outcomes of the Summit include a crowdsourced, multimedia statement to be presented to Heads of State at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2013.
Become Summit partner and have an active role in the event’s success in developing a meaningful and engaging content and outcomes for the young participants.

Partnership categories:
Founding Partner: Lead a delegation of young people
Thematic Partner: Shape the outcomes with content and speakers
National Partner: Services to delegations on the ground in San José

Further information

Friday, June 14, 2013 1:25:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 07, 2013
Senior United Nations officials, policymakers, civil society representatives and other stakeholders gathered last  May 13, at UN Headquarters in New York for a special Economic and Social Council forum on mobilizing science, technology and innovation for sustainable development.

“Science, technology and innovation hold great potential as tools and enable to integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo.

“They can be used to promote health, increase productivity, improve the efficiency of resource use, and reduce negative human impacts on the environment. They will be critical to tackling some of the major sustainable development challenges of this century. These include providing food security to a growing population, eradicating poverty and tackling climate change”.

Attended by policymakers, key stakeholders and UN system representatives, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Integration Meeting seeks to follow-up on the commitments made by world leaders at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June last year.
That historic summit recognized ECOSOC’s role in achieving a balanced integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development, and adopted an outcome document, The Future We Want. Following the Conference, ECOSOC held a Ministerial meeting in September, where participants discussed how to strengthen the multilateral system for sustainable development.

Mr. Wu underlined that ensuring food security and universal access to sustainable energy are “complex challenges” that “must be addressed in an integrated way”.
“Some of the technological solutions are simple, as with clean cook stoves. However, social and economic barriers to their broader diffusion can be complex”, he said. “Innovation extends beyond developing hardware, to finding solutions, to the broad social acceptance and economic affordability of improved technologies.

In his opening remarks, Deputy-Secretary General Jan Eliasson stressed the importance of Council in promoting balanced integration of different dimensions to sustainable development in the UN system, and called for cooperation to achieve not just sustainable development objectives but also the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

(Source: UN News Centre)

Friday, June 07, 2013 8:44:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 27, 2013
Four innovative Youth Solutions were selected winners at the Regional Grant Competition, jointly organized by The World Bank, Microsoft Sri Lanka and Sarvodaya-Fusion. The competition titled ‘Youth Solutions! Technology for Skills and Employment’ was held at the Cinnamon Grand, Colombo on 21st May, with youth led NGOs from four nations- Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka participating.

Shilpa Sayura Foundation from Sri Lanka, YPSA from Bangladesh, YUWA from Nepal, Live & Learn Environmental Education from the Maldives were the winners of the competition that sought ideas from youth on how to use innovative and creative methods to promote Information Technology (IT) skills amongst youth, helping them to secure gainful employment.

Eight NGOs, two from each country, presented their shortlisted projects with the aim of being selected for the grant program. A total of 80 project proposals were submitted, all based on using ICT to address present day challenges faced by youth, such as lack of skills development and unemployment.
Each winning project received a grant between $15,000 and $20,000 to carry out a youth-led project for one year in duration, with the possibility of being scaled up via other public or private sector initiatives.

The high profile panel of judges comprised of Gabriela Aguilar, Senior Communications Officer for World Bank, South Asia, Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager of Microsoft Sri Lanka, Anurag Kak, Managing Director, Lafarge Mahaweli Cement (Pvt) Ltd., Ms Moji Akingbade, General Manager of Avery Dennison Lanka (Pvt) Ltd and Gaurav Mishra, Asia Vice President of Insights, Innovation & Social at MSLGROUP. Innovation and creativity of methods to promote Information Technology (IT) skills amongst youth helping them secure gainful employment, capacity to demonstrate solutions to challenges faced by youth and encouraging innovation, learning and sharing were taken into consideration when assessing project proposals.

The project proposal submitted by Sri Lanka’s Shilpa Sayura Foundation, an organization aimed at empowering youth through ICT skills was to empower youth to produce 10 high impact films on current social issues. The project titled “Digital Rainbow” will train at least 100 youth to become film makers, a still developing industry in the country, which will offer great potential for interested youth.

Young Power In Social Action (YPSA), an organization dedicated to support and empower socially marginalized groups in Bangladesh, presented a proposal titled “Empowering Youth with Disabilities through market driven ICT skills. It aimed at supporting the smooth transition to work of people with disabilities through the use of ICT training, internships on ICT, relevant job search support and producing Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) products.

The winner from Maldives was Live & Learn Environmental Education, an organization aimed at reducing poverty and working towards sustainable development with strong partnerships. Their project aims to improve production and marketing of craft through an online portal. Youth will be engaged in training that would equip them with the ICT skills to make profitable employment through linking the segregated handicraft industry with the market.

YUWA, a Youth led organization with a mission mandate of empowering Nepali Youth for gainful employment presented a winning project which would use comprehensive e-learning methodology to equip youth with relevant ICT skills to improve employability. It will use blended technology organized in a comprehensive Learning Management System including new media, such as YouTube and podcasts to educate youth.

Replication of useful ideas throughout the region, improving public awareness on innovation and investment in ICT education for gainful employment, developing sustainable youth partnership for development impact and effectiveness, employment for youth and using ICT as a vehicle for promoting development objectives were important factors in the selection criteria.

(Source: World Bank)

Monday, May 27, 2013 4:03:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The State Government of Andhra Pradesh has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Google India to train engineering students in the state in latest technologies such as mobile development and cloud computing.

Google will work with students of Jawahar Knowledge Centres (JKC), a government initiative that set up training and infrastructure centres at more than 30 colleges in the state, aiming to bridge the gap between industry and academia.

Google training in emerging technologies including cloud computing and mobile will help students meet industry requirements, and position them for better employment opportunities upon graduation.

Trainers and mentors in the Andhra Pradesh Society for Knowledge Networks, the government organization running JKCs in the state, will also receive training and technological support from Google, including software, services, and training material.

Google has set up a research and development centre in the state capital of Hyderabad, on 20 acres of land given by the state government. The company is planning to recruit more than 3000 professionals for this centre.

(Source: FutureGov)

Monday, May 27, 2013 3:54:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

It’s a blockbuster week of workshops and open debates here in Geneva as WTPF and WSIS convene alongside each other to discuss the future of technology and development.

These major events attract nearly 3000 people and many partners took the opportunity to confirm their support for the BYND 2015: Global Youth Summit (#BYND15) to be held in San Jose, Costa Rica, from 9 to 11 September 2013. Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, announced the first partners for the Summit which will gather some 500 youth in addition to engaging millions more online through leveraging our collective community networks.

The Secretary-General gathered everyone at ITU headquarters to thank them for their contributions and review preparations for the Summit, including: UNICEF, Kofi Annan Foundation and One Young  World, Microsoft, America Movil/Claro, Cisco Systems,, Ooredoo, The Walt Disney Company, Azerbaijan, PricewaterhouseCoopers, ICTQatar and Intel.

The Global Youth Summit will not be a typical UN event of speeches and protocol. Youth and mentors will come together on-site in Costa Rica for interactive sessions and workshops, highlighting the work of inspiring youth that are changing their world for the better using ICTs. Key themes include Get Ahead, Be Smart-Be Safe, Be Healthy, Protect Your Environment and Change Your World. The Summit will also feature a “HacktheMDGs”, 48 hour hackathon where young developers will be given the challenge of developing solutions to social and economic problems they face in their communities. But this is just the beginning.

ITU will also be launching a shared online platform with partners to consult and give a voice to millions of youth so they can share their vision for the #post2015 UN development goals. This will be the biggest, most ambitious undertaking of its kind. We will give them a direct channel to world leaders: youth will develop a crowd-sourced message that the President of Costa Rica will deliver to the UN General Assembly in September, directly after the Youth Summit. To help generate momentum and interest, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was  in ITU’s studio last 15 of May to launch a series of online dialogues with youth, in partnership with One Young World, on hot topics around skills, jobs, leadership, political engagement and the environment.

And there is more, much more, to come….
Things are moving fast. If you are interested to get on board or to know more please contact or visit our website at

(Source: ITU4u)

Monday, May 27, 2013 3:29:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 22, 2013
An 18-year-old science student has made an astonishing breakthrough that will enable mobile phones and other batteries to be charged within seconds rather than the hours it takes today’s devices to power back up.

Saratoga, Calif. resident Eesha Khare made the breakthrough by creating a small super capacitor that can fit inside a cell phone battery and enable ultra-fast electricity transfer and storage, delivering a full charge in 20-30 seconds instead of several hours.

The nano-tech device Khare created can supposedly withstand up to 100,000 charges, a 100-fold increase over current technology, and it’s flexible enough to be used in clothing or displays on any non-flat surface.

It could also one day be used in car batteries and charging stations not unlike those used by the Tesla Model S, which includes “supercharger” technology that promises to charge vehicles in 30 minutes or less.

“I’m in a daze,” Khare told CBS San Francisco after being honored among the three finalists at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix over the weekend. “I can’t believe this happened”.

Over 1,600 finalists from around the world competed in the science fair for a $75,000 scholarship grand prize awarded by Intel. Runners-up received $50,000 scholarships.
Khare was the runner-up to 19-year-old Romanian student Gorden E. Moore, who created a low-cost artificial intelligence that can drive vehicles. She tied with Louisiana 17-year-old Henry Wanjune, who figured out new ways to measure dark matter and energy in space.

Further details

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 1:49:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 21, 2013
As part of its efforts to improve the quality of lives through extensive use of digital technology, global technology company, Intel Corporation Nigeria, has entered into a partnership with the African Women Entrepreneurship programme AWEP for the delivery of digital literacy training women entrepreneurs. Intel will conduct the training on a train-the-trainer basis.

Corporate Affairs Manager of Intel West Africa, Osagie Ogunbor said that the initiative would enhance the ability of the women to run more efficient businesses.
The training known, as Intel EASY STEPS is part of the corporation’s educational content for which the chip-making company has become reputable across the world.
Ogunbor noted that the training, which would be provided free of charge was also part of Intel’s “women friendly” corporate social responsibility initiatives.

He explained that digital literacy was pivotal to the improvement of the quality of lives of any individual in today’s contemporary world and that Intel was committed to partnering with like-minded organizations to improve digital literacy the world over.

According to Ogunbor, “you cannot be effective and efficient in the running of any enterprise without digital literacy. This has become a necessity in this digital age, and we are proud to lead in global efforts at digital literacy”.

On her part, the President of AWEP Nigeria Yemisi Iranloye stated that the organization was delighted that Intel was providing the free training for its members and promised that those who receive the training would in turn ensure that they train others.

Iranloye said, “despite the large number of women running very small informal businesses, a number of them are unable to expand the scope and profile of their businesses, because they are unable to take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the digital world”, she said and urged women to embrace online marketing which was a cost effective way of reaching the entire world via the Internet.

The AWEP boss in Nigeria also called on other organizations to emulate Intel’s consistent efforts to address issues of women and girls’ empowerment as well as its trademark education programmes across the world. AWEP representatives from Ghana, Zambia and Cameroun attended the training.

AWEP is an initiative launched by the U.S. Department of State in July 2010. It identifies and builds networks of women entrepreneurs across sub-Saharan Africa who are poised to transform their societies by owning, running, and operating small and medium scale businesses, and by becoming voices for social advocacy in their communities.

(Source: The Guardian Newspaper)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 2:40:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 16, 2013
National Broadcasting and Telecommunications (NBTC), Thailand has last week launched a campaign to boost computer literacy and bridge digital divide in rural areas.

In partnership with Intel Corporation, “Be Amazing” roadshow campaign will travel to 27 provinces to educate the public in the remote areas, particularly first-time users and college students, on the use and benefits of computers especially for education purpose. The roadshow will start from May 14 to the end of December 2013.

Computer makers participating in the campaign are Asus, Acer, Samsung, Lenovo and Toshiba along with the broadband providers TOT and Advanced Info Service.
Affordable prices device to be featured during the roadshow include THB 7,900 (US$ 263) tablets.

“Only 6 million of the 20 million Thai households own computers”, said Accharas Ouysinprasert, Intel Thailand Manager. Computer penetration is 90% of households in some developed countries.

Ouysinprasert said the campaign is expected to reach 550,000 households this year. Thailand’s telecom operators just kicked start official 3G services last week, following last month’s official approval from the government after ending the long complication.

Gen Sukit Khamasundara, NBTC Member said the launch of 3G and 4G service is expected to boost computer use to 80 per cent of total households.
He added that the NBTC is considering trimming down the universal service obligation (USO) fee from 3.75 per cent to 2 – 3 per cent in order to reduce the burden on licensees.

The USO fee is collected from telecom operators with an aim to provide services in rural areas where telecom investment is not commercially justifiable.
Under the USO master plan from 2012-16, the NBTC will spend 20 billion baht to install fibre-optic networks in rural areas to allow as many as 80% of the citizens to access broadband, up from 32% now.

The spending will cover implementation of the networks and community computer centres for 7,000 sub districts, up from 1,000 at present.

(Source: FutureGov)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 8:13:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

University of Computer Studies, Yangon (UCSY), and University of Computer Studies, Mandalay (UCSM) joined forces with Cisco for a channel partner network under the collaborative support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

The establishment of the country’s first two Cisco Networking Academies at the UCSY and the UCSM was announced last week, and the programme is being support through Cisco’s long-term partnership with the USAID.

The project is also a part of the Myanmar government’s initiative to work with private and public organizations in the country to build a “Smart and Connected Myanmar”.
Thought the programme, Cisco will be providing training and development to foster the business partnership in Myanmar. Cisco’s authorized channel partners will be trained to help ensure that network equipment is regularly upgraded and software is up-to-date, and protecting the integrity of the network.

The two training centres will provide students with critical information technology and networking skills to design, build, and maintain the infrastructure highway, while increasing the number of job-ready graduates for the country’s ICT sector.

Under the agreement, Cisco will be donating networking equipment for labs and providing 21st century career skills training for up to 15 faculty staff from the two universities to support the programme.

Chris Milligan, USAID/Myanmar Mission Director, said technology is a powerful tool to advance Myanmar’s development while contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

“This collaboration with Cisco brings innovative technology and education to build on the strengths and capacity of the country. The initiative will provide ICT skills training and increase the number of job-ready graduates for the country’s emerging ICT sector”, he said.

Not only Cisco showed interest in moving into one of the least-connected places like Myanmar, USAID-sponsored delegation also included Google, HP, Intel, and Microsoft.
The USAID technology delegation aimed toward improving technology education as the first step towards commercial engagement.

Further details

Thursday, May 16, 2013 8:08:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

What are the implications of the ICT revolution for TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training)?

New technologies allow for better and easier access to education, nationally and across borders. The availability of broadband internet is increasing in all parts of the world. While access to learning resources used to be very restricted, more and more high-quality resources become available for free, anytime, almost anywhere. At the learner’s end mobile digital devices become cheaper and more easily available and are being introduced increasingly in educational contexts. Around the world, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) enable the implementation of education and training, the provision of learning content, and communication between teachers and learners. For that purpose, ICT should be harnessed with the purpose of providing more widespread access to TVET.

In 2008, UNESCO defined its vision for ICT in education: “A world without boundaries where technologies support education to build inclusive knowledge societies”. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are fostered by UNESCO-UNEVOC by using its online services as a tool to communicate with the UNEVOC Network and facilitate knowledge exchange in the global TVET community.

To explore the role ICT plays in access to and quality of TVET, UNESCO-UNEVOC is organizing a virtual conference on ICT and TVET from 14 to 28 May 2013 on the UNEVOC e-Forum. The discussion will be moderated by Nik Kafka, CEO & founder of Teach A Man To Fish, an international NGO supporting schools across the developing world to use enterprise initiatives as means of improving their financial sustainability and broadening access for the poorest children to a quality education. From a career in banking an interest in social change led him to Paraguay where he worked on a pioneering model for self-sufficient vocational schools; laying the basis to create Teach A Man To Fish on his return. He is an active member of several boards as well the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader community and has been an active member of the UNEVOC e-Forum since 2006.

The 2-week discussion will aim to explore ICT as a tool for increasing the reach and effectiveness of TVET worldwide, and will look to identify how mobile, online and multimedia learning can best be used to complement or even replace traditional TVET Centre based education. What are the implications of the digital learning revolution for TVET around the world? UNESCO-UNEVOC is calling for e-Forum members and the global TVET community to share their experiences and promising practices in utilizing ICT in TVET.

The input to the discussion will be synthesized and summarized into a report, which will provide directions for future research and programme work in this field. To sign up for the discussion, click here.

Further information

Thursday, May 16, 2013 7:59:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The annual meeting to review and measure progress towards targets set in Tunis in 2005 at the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) opened on 13th May. This meeting of the WSIS Forum also marks ten years since the first phase of the Summit was held in Geneva in 2003.

In the coming week, the WSIS Forum will focus on the future of information and communication technologies (ICT), particularly as an engine of growth in a post-2015 development environment. Participants will engage in discussions on a number of diverse topics, such as ICT infrastructure, cybersecurity, enabling environment, e-learning, e-health, e-agriculture, media, accessibility, and ethics. High level dialogues with government ministers and representatives from business and civil society will examine:

- Women's empowerment in the information Society: systematic, scalable strategies
- Smart climate change monitoring: Expanding access to information on weather, climate and water
- ICT innovations and standards: Creating technology for the next three billion
- Securing cyberspace in a borderless world: Vision 2015 and beyond
- ICTs and post 2015 goals
- Youth and ICTs

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said, “This year’s WSIS Forum is a unique opportunity to develop multi-stakeholder consensus on what is needed for the WSIS process in the future, to ensure that the bottom-up approach of the WSIS process is preserved and that the decisions concerning modalities also respect the real requirements of the use of ICTs for socio-economic development, while ensuring growth in the ICT ecosystem itself”.

More than 1500 participants from government, private sector, civil society and international organizations are expected to attend the WSIS Forum during the week.
Former UN Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan will address the WSIS Process beyond 2015 as well as his engagement with young people in a webinar to inspire them to contribute to the post-2015 development frameworks currently under negotiation.

Approaching ten years since the Summit in 2005, the WSIS+10 Visioning Track will bring all emerging challenges related to the information society into perspective, ensuring that the new vision for WSIS beyond 2015 builds upon real needs of people at the bottom of the pyramid.

The United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS), consisting of 30 members, will issue a joint statement on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to harness inter-agency expertise and experience in addressing development challenges of the 21st century.

Following the opening ceremony, a high-level session kicked off on Emerging Trends and Innovation in the Ecosystem, attended by over fifty government ministers from around the world as well as industry executives.

An exhibition will showcase global initiatives for a more efficient Information Society.
WSIS Forum 2013 Partners

This year’s WSIS Forum programme has been greatly enhanced through the strategic partnership and contribution of the Sultanate of Oman (government) and Intel Corporation (private sector). Contributions for specific activities have also come in from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Mexico, Poland, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania as well as from Hewlett-Packard. The United Arab Emirates is the WSIS+10 Visioning Partner.
For more information, please see

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:28:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU, the Kofi Annan Foundation and One Young World are working together on a new series of youth-oriented online discussions designed to stimulate debate among young people around the world on challenges central to their lives and prospects, such as unemployment and democratic governance.

Former UN Secretary-General Annan will launch the Kofi Annan Dialogues: LIVE series on Wednesday, 15 May, with the first online discussion to take place over the Google Hangout platform from 11:00 - 12:30 CET.

With the topic of ‘Young People and Leadership’, this first session gives six aspiring young leaders the opportunity to share their views with Mr Annan, watched by a global audience who will be able join the conversation and pose their questions via social media.

The outreach to young audiences will form a key element of a direct youth engagement process building up to ITU’s BEYOND 2015 Youth Summit in Costa Rica and the One Young World Summit in South Africa, to be held in September and October respectively.

ITU will host the first Dialogue from its Geneva studios on the occasion of the WSIS Forum 13 event taking place this week (13-17 May) at the Geneva International Conference Centre. The world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community, WSIS Forum is focused on defining strategies to help countries and organizations more effectively harness the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, now less than two years away.

“I congratulate Kofi Annan on an excellent and much-needed initiative to reach out to youth. These online Dialogues are an excellent example of using the power of ICTs to connect people to influence change”, said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré. “Our young new generation of ‘digital natives’ feel completely at home communicating online – and harnessing today’s social media channels allows us to create a truly global platform that cuts across geographical boundaries and brings in voices from right around the world”.

Participate in the first live Dialogue:

When: 15 May, 11h00 - 12h30 CET
How: Send your questions via Twitter
#kofiannanlive #BYND15 #OYW #WSIS
Follow the Kofi Annan Dialogues: LIVE on Twitter and Facebook at: #kofiannanlive

Learn more about ITU’s forthcoming BEYOND 2015 Youth Summit here.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:19:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 10, 2013
IBM has long held a presence in Africa (for 90+ years). Offices now exist in over 20 African nations. Within the East Africa region, a full subsidiary office opened in Nairobi, Kenya in 2009. Since then, the company has partnered with East African universities in software development, made plans to turn Nairobi into a Smart City, and attempted to reverse the African brain drain. Most recently, in May 2013, IBM opened a research lab in the city amid much fanfare. In particular, IBM was drawn to Kenya for its great long term vision (Vision 2030) and the ability of Kenya to take innovation and use it. The company’s goal in Nairobi is “to help feed the momentum”.

Specifically, the center will house up to 50 researchers within five years. Candidates will come from public and private sectors across Africa. All sorts of ICT projects will be tackled – from water management to traffic management. IBM categorizes the areas as: Next Generation Public Sector, Smarter Cities, and Human Capacity Development. The center will also open opportunities for developers through a tight partnership with iHub Nairobi. Another key component will be the center’s ability to link venture capitalists with local innovators.

IBM also released a video discussing how public-private partnerships (PPPs) are driving East African economic growth. Victor Kyalo, CEO of the Kenya ICT Board, gave insight that can be summarized as:

- Kenya needs need technology to solve problems.
- Kenya needs PPPs to move to the next level.
- In 5 years Kenya will be using IT to enable daily tasks.

See the video presentation

Further details

Friday, May 10, 2013 6:09:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
World Pulse and Foundation (TCF) have recently entered into a partnership agreement that intends to support the digital empowerment of grassroots women worldwide. The agreement, which was finalized last April 22, 2013, aims to equip women with digital literacy skills and enable their participation and leadership at local and global levels.

Specifically, the agreement will focus on introducing World Pulse as a resource to women participating in telecentres via activity cards in Eastern Africa and Central Asia. World Pulse will work with TCF representatives and network coordinators to identify the needs of telecentre women, and hopes to strategize with TCF to scale the pilot and bring digital empowerment to all women participating in telecentres around the world.

Jensine Larsen, CEO of World Pulse says, “TCF is on the cutting edge of empowering women through ICTs, and World Pulse is honored to partner with them to magnify the power of women’s voices worldwide”.

Tess Camba, Director of Operations for TCF also expressed support for the partnership saying, “WorldPulse is one of the foremost action media networks for women globally and TCF is very excited to have them join us as a partner for our Telecentre Women program”.

The agreement between the two organizations will be formally announced at TCF’s Spark13 conference, which takes place this coming May 28-29 in Granada, Spain.

Further information

Friday, May 10, 2013 5:58:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Mobile phones can soon be used to help teachers improve English language literacy skills among primary school students in Nigeria. The project is being launched by UNESCO and Nokia, with support from the British Council and the National Teachers’ Institute of Nigeria.

Participating teachers will sign up for a mobile service called “English Teacher”, which sends teachers educational content and messages with pedagogical advice once a day. The messages are organized into thematic modules and include images and exercises. The service runs on the popular Nokia Life+ platform and is one of the first attempts to employ mobile technology to improve tools for primary school teachers.

On May 2 and 3, UNESCO and Nokia hosted a training seminar with teachers from almost 50 different schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria, where the project is being piloted.

”English Teacher” leverages a technology that is already owned and used by a majority of Nigerian educators. Over 90 percent of Nigerians have access to a mobile network, and mobile phones are fast becoming a major gateway to the internet. This means that the service is available to most people, including teachers in difficult areas such as the northern states, where educational needs are most urgent.

“Our aim from the beginning was to develop a service that teachers working in difficult conditions and without a great deal of support could access quickly”, said Steven Vosloo, the project coordinator for UNESCO. “Mobile technology is a promising avenue and, in some instances, the only option in terms of technology”.
“English Teacher” is available to anyone in Nigeria without a subscription fee. It is hosted on the popular Nokia Life+ platform, which offers an extensive menu of content and covers topics as diverse as education, health, agriculture, and entrepreneurship. When teachers sign up for the service they receive daily messages designed to improve and support their instruction.

The content was developed by the British Council and draws on the organization’s 75 years of experience building resources for English language teachers. Thematically-organized and sequential modules, generally broken across one or two week periods, promote strategies to encourage learner independence, cultivate different learning preferences, and prompt educators to reflect on their teaching practice, while providing links to relevant outside resources.  The programme runs for 72 weeks and begins whenever a user signs up for the service.

“We are delighted to partner with UNESCO in launching the ‘English Teacher’ service and provide high-quality professional development services to primary grade English teachers across Nigeria”, said Jawahar Kanjilal, VP and Global Head of Nokia Life. “English teachers using the service will benefit from the rich learning experiences presented in an engaging manner through the Nokia Life+ web app”.

The mobile technology project in Nigeria reflects UNESCO and Nokia’s commitment to enlist technology in the global effort to promote literacy and equitable access to education.

The educational challenges facing Nigeria are daunting.  Some 42 percent, or roughly 10.5 million primary age children, are out-of-school, and those girls and boys who do attend are struggling to learn basic literacy and numeracy. This has resulted in one of the highest adult illiteracy rates in the world.

(Source: UNESCO)

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:46:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Last month, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ford Foundation, Show of Force, and Games for Change launched the Half the Sky Movement Media and Technology Engagement Initiative. Over the next two years, this initiative will work to create behavior change toward gender issues in India and Kenya through an integrated media campaign. It will use a combination of traditional and social media, which has been demonstrated to be a powerful approach for shifting gender-related norms and behavior.

This new alliance builds on an initiative developed in collaboration with authors of the best-selling book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

The initiative is focused on advancing gender equality, which is increasingly being recognized as a key factor in improving development outcomes. Each additional year of education for women reduces child mortality by 18 per thousand births. When women cannot fully engage in the labor force, either by law or custom, GDP growth can suffer by as much as two percent.

Gender equality makes sense not just for the woman herself, but for her family, community and the economy of her country. Yet in many low- and moderate-income countries, women and girls struggle for equal access to healthcare, education, and professional opportunities.

"Educate girls and you change the future for a nation”, said Maura O'Neill, USAID's Chief Innovation Officer. “Give women all the economic opportunities that men have and within a generation a strong middle class will emerge. It is just that simple".

(Source: USAID)

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:40:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 01, 2013
April 25 2013 is a super day for girls and women in technology and Cisco was very present!  The day commenced with a breakfast session Women2020 platform hosted by DIGITALEUROPE with the topic of Women In Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for Smart Growth of the pillars of the European 2020 Strategy.

The morning session included a panel chaired by Ms. Cheryl Miller, Founder of Women2020, and Dr.Hamadoun Toure’, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union; Ms. Eva Fabry, Director European Centre for Women and Technology; Ms. Marietje Schaake, member of the  European Parliament for the Dutch Democratic Party; Dr. John Higgins, Director-General Digital Europe; Ms. Patricia Reilly Member of the Cabinet-Research, Innovation and Science; Ms. Linda Corugedo Steneberg, Director for Cooperation-DG Connect; Ms. Sabiine Everaet, CIO Europe Group at Coca Cola and a packed room of participants including myself.

Dr.Toure’ appealed to private-public sectors for a 50-50 aspirational target to include women in ICT. There was so much to say in such a short period of time from sustainable STEM education; to pipelining and retaining technical talent most notably women to values from the family that encourage young girls to pursue a technology career track. The group then moved to a location featuring a Brussels youth tech agora with robotics; using technology to create music and so on. European Union Vice President Neeli Kroes along with ITU’s Dr. Hamadoun Toure’ greeted the youth technologists.

Lunch featured the Tech for Girls winners where Cisco and Intel were sponsors. Cisco Belgium and Luxembourg Manager Pol Vanbiervliet presented the awards along with ITU’s Secretary General Hamadoun Toure’.

It should be stated that Cisco is a staunch supporter of Girls in ICT, an initiative of ITU (International Telecommunication Union). In 2010, ITU members agreed to organize Girls in ICT Days on the 4th Thursday of every April. Cisco wants to encourage girls to consider ICT as a valuable career option.

Almost 80 Cisco offices in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas joined initiative this year to run local programs under the global ITU umbrella.
Additionally, Cisco’s Network Academy is doing a fantastic job with its flagship program in training young men and women globally. Cisco Networking Academy is the world’s largest classroom: with more than 1 million students participating in the program at present.

The afternoon session at the EU Parliament included members from the parliament along with EU Vice President Neelie Kroes, ITU’s Dr. Hamadoun Toure’ and participants from private industry.

The first panel was entitled “Women in ICT Careers: How to Explore Female Talent?”  
Other panel members included Ms. Gianna Martinengo, President of DidaelKTS and President of Women and Technology and Ms. Sakia Van Uffelen, CEO at Bull and CSB Consulting, and Digital Champion for Belgium. The emphasis indeed is that we do have a way to go in order to not only attract BUT to retain women in technology.

Why is this topic so important?
The top jobs of the future: What will be the hottest jobs of the 21st century; which jobs will be most in demand in 10, or 15 years time?
Hybrid jobs: combine ICT with business in every imaginable field. Examples for hybrid jobs: bioengineering, power grid informatics, digital media, social and mobile application development, telemedicine, remote learning systems, developing smart applications for buildings, transport, energy or production.
New job profiles: business analyst, data scientist and so on…

The second panel entitled, “Nourishing the Pipeline: ICT Skills for ICT Jobs” included Ms Kicki Stridh, Board Member, the European Association for Women In Science, Engineering and Technology Sweden; Ms Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives, National Centre for Women and IT; Ms. Donna Metzlar, Community Advocate, The Genderchangers, and Ms, Nidhi Tandon, Principal Consultant and Trainer, Networked intelligence. The message was clear: Girls when given the confidence to do so can and do pursue technical careers.

The afternoon ended with a live video exchange with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook and a few members from the Parliament.

(Source: CISCO Blogs)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 12:16:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On Thursday, April 25, 2013; Rwanda celebrates Girls in ICT day where hundreds of girls participated in this event held at Lycée Notre Dame de Citeaux; where young girls learn more from their elders.

This event has been dubbed ’Girls in ICT Career Fair’ to celebrate the International Girls in ICT day and to encourage girls and young women to consider careers in ICT. The occasion aims to inspire girls to consider a future in technology. This year’s theme is “expanding horizons and changing attitudes”.

Girls in ICT Rwanda was born out of the ITUs Girls in ICT day, today, the group consists of girls in ICT including entrepreneurs, professionals and university students whose mission is to inspire girls to consider ICT as a career option as well help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career. Clarisse Ilibagiza from HeHe mobile speaking to the press said that Rwandan girls are able to use ICT tools effectively.

In his remarks The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana advises young girls to embrace the culture of hard working and aim higher; “When you are confident, determined, you’re passionate about what you want, if you have a purpose, if you have a goal, if you have integrity and courage you can be very successful”.

Oda Gasinzigwa, the Minister of Family and Gender Promotion noted that “As you are aware, the government is highly committed to promoting ICT as a key driver for rapid socio-economic development. We have put in place an enabling environment for girls to participate and benefit in ICT along with their brothers”.

International Girls in ICT Day in fact, has the aim to make everyone realize that girls are also able to use the new technologies, and that, due to the fact that girls are good at Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Informatics, they have new technologies which change the world on a daily basis.

Moreover, ICT is the fastest growing industry today and more jobs are created in this industry than any other. The same prospects are for the future. ICT has been identified as the industry that will lead forward world economies, improve lives of families across the globe and make the planet a smaller, more accessible place. Therefore, Women and Girls should take a more prominent role in this process.

Further details

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:49:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU Telecom World 2013, organized by ITU, the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology, is looking for the next generation of social entrepreneurs for its Young Innovators Competition.

Are you brave enough to transform your idea into a successful enterprise?
Can your concept or start up address one of our Global Challenges?

If you are aged between 18 and 26 and feel technology is your second nature, enter the Young Innovators Competition.

You could win a chance to take part in ITU Telecom World 2013 event in Bangkok plus benefits including:

• Up to USD 10,000 in prize money for start-ups and up to USD 5,000 for concepts; both need to address one of the Global Challenges
• High level industry mentorship for a year
• A chance to exhibit on the show floor and network with high level delegates
• Hands-on workshop training focusing on entrepreneurial skills

For details on how to enter the competition, visit: or contact us at

(Source: ITU)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:45:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Digital Talent (Talento Digital) is the ICT Ministry program that seeks to encourage the formation of Colombian in careers related to information and technology. In its first calls 1,336 people benefited with forgivable loans, covering up to 100% of the tuition.

Through 'Digital Talent' the MinTIC bets on the formation of specialized human talent in the use of information technologies, strengthening government online strategy and development of competitiveness, research and innovation.

For the third call, the Ministry allocated a budget of more than $ 17,638 million colombian pesos (aprox. USD 9.6 million) to fund, through ICETEX, technical careers and technological issues related to software development and applications, IT project management, IT services, control and quality assurance in IT Architectures and IT security, marketing, consultative selling, business management and sales management in IT.

The call is now open and will close on June 17th, 2013. Deadline to submit all required documents for accessing ICETEX credit  forgivable.
"We have benefited in the first two calls to 1,336 Colombians, especially in strata 1 and 2, who did not have to worry about money to advance techniques, technologies, and professional degrees in the areas of information technology", said ICT Minister Diego Molano Vega.

Overview of the call:
- Credit 100% forgivable
- Access to credit by ICETEX
- Studies in Technological levels
- Study: Universities, Technical Institutions and Technological Education Institutions for Work and Human Development.

For the forgivable loan is necessary:
- Get relevant diploma or degree
- IT application development for Government Online
- Certificate issued by an entity of public nature
- Transfer of property rights

(Source: MINTIC - Colombia)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 2:43:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 11, 2013
As the International Girls in ICT Day draws near, MainOne Cable Company says it is ready to partner with e-Business Life Communication to ensure the successful hosting of the event in Nigeria.

The International Girls in ICT Day celebration is an initiative of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to bring young girls to the knowledge and active participation in fashioning the ICT landscape of their various countries is billed to hold in Lagos on April 25, 2013 and goes with the theme: “Tech Needs Girls to Invent the Future”.

MainOne Cable Company, the major sponsor at the 2012 edition of the event agreed to partner with eBusiness Life due to the company’s alignment to the vision of the campaign aimed at drawing attention of growing girls to the profession of ICT and how they can contribute their quota to the growth and development of the profession both in their local domain and globally.

CEO of MainOne Cable Company, Ms. Funke Opeke had also called on other companies that have the growth of Nigeria’s ICT industry in mind to join in ensuring that the event is a huge success.

Also joining the growing number of partners, Omatek, a pioneer indigenous integrated IT system builder says the campaign will be a veritable platform to engage young girls and help them actualize their future in a field that was once seen as the exclusive preserve of the male gender.

CEO of Omatek, Mrs Florence Seriki had earlier pointed out the need to have more female IT practitioners to enable the industry grow faster on a balanced scale.
The partnership with MainOne and Omatek is a testimonial to the importance of the campaign in Nigeria, as both companies were also part of the previous edition of the event.

Chief Executive Officer, eBusiness Life Communication, Mrs Ufuoma Emuophedaro, while speaking on preparations for the event further disclosed that special awards will be given to women who have been exceptional in the growth of the ICT industry in Nigeria. She also revealed that prominent Nigerian women, both in the public and private sectors of the industry will grace the occasion.

She applauded the contributions of the CEOs of MainOne and Omatek to the growth and development of the country’s ICT industry, describing the two women as “amazons in the industry”.

Expressing her optimism to the success of the event, Mrs. Emuophedaro noted that corporate organizations are interested in the campaign because they know it is the right thing to do. According to her, “This is the right thing to do, and the right time to do it. If other countries have observed the need to grow this industry through encouraging young girls, then, we should not be left behind. We must make sure that our young girls are given the chance to prove themselves in this all-important field”.
She stated that the Girls in ICT Day workshop and subsequent campaign will further open up opportunities for girls in ICT sector.

(Source: Daily Independent News)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:59:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Government of Costa Rica announced the first week of April an initiative to install Internet in all public schools in the country in order to reduce the digital divide and improve educational tools.

Currently 4800 public schools have Internet and this year will reach 100% coverage with the installation of the service in the 151 missing schools, according to a statement from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), State supplier of electricity and telecommunications services.
Connections, most broadband, are part of a joint project between ICE, the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MICIT), signed last Wednesday.

"We engaged to bridge the digital divide in education" said in the statement the Education Minister Leonardo Garnier, who also highlighted "the importance of this company for the future of education in Costa Rica".

In Costa Rica, a country of 4.5 million people, about 940,000 students began the school last February  in public schools nursery, primary and secondary education.
Costa Rica's investment in education is 7% of gross domestic product and the level of literacy is 97.6%, according to official data. 96% of children attend school, although 2% do not finish primary school, while in the case of high school, 86% of young people are going to school, but the dropout rate is 11%.

(Source: El Carabobeno Newspaper)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:23:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 28, 2013
The Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, was appointed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as a sponsor of an educational project to promote the use of Information and Communication Technologies between children and adolescents through the project "Technology needs girls". In a letter sent by Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General, the body recognizes the work developed by the Vice President of the Republic through the 89 Community Technology Centers located in remote communities of the country, which have changed the lives of thousands of children and adolescents.

The project will allow children and adolescents to participate in local activities that allow them to remove barriers so that girls have the opportunity to explore careers in technology.

This recognition includes the Vice President to continue promoting the celebration on April 25 2013, the Day of  Girls in ICT , date that has been commemorated as the "Day of the Tecnochicas", with the aim of integrating girls from 14 to 19 years old in technology.

The Day of Girls in ICT was established by Resolution 70, which was updated and adopted by the Plenipotentiary Conference of the ITU held in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October 2010. The Resolution "Mainstreaming a gender policy in ITU and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information technologies and communication" provides for the incorporation of a gender policy in all plans and ITU programs.

In May 2007, being the First Lady of the Republic, the Vice president Cedeño de Fernández received the "Award of the ITU World Information Society" for her contribution to ensure that technology services are available to residents of the poorest areas of the Dominican Republic. The ITU Award on Information Society is granted to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the construction of the information society. Personal achievement may take the form of social achievements, mobilizing public opinion or a key technical innovation.

(Source: Newspaper El Nacional)

Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:51:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Institute of Advanced Technology (IAT), based in Kenya, is the leading ICT institute in the East African region. IAT needed to replace the 380 ageing PC desktops used in their training centres and classrooms but had only a small budget. To be successful, IAT would need to provide users with increased computing access while also reducing the high cost of maintenance both on hardware and support personnel.

IAT considered other traditional thin client solutions but found that many solutions were complex, requiring additional third party hardware components and an extra investment in technical support. Fortunately, NComputing’s end-to-end desktop virtualization solution was cost effective and, with the highest user density per dollar compared to any PC or thin client on the market, provided the essential features needed for a good desktop experience. In addition, NComputing virtual desktop access devices were compatible with existing applications, reliable and easy to manage, thereby eliminating the expensive IT support and maintenance costs.
Desktop virtualization, a shared computing strategy that maximizes efficiency by harnessing the computing power of underutilized PCs is an excellent way to bring classrooms into the 21st century, in a simple and cost effective manner.

By implementing NComputing virtual desktops, IAT has realized many benefits:

The NComputing solution has proven to be compatible with existing IT infrastructures and classroom orientations, allowing IAT to re-use and extend the life span of its existing PC desktops while not incurring new hardware capitalization costs.

NComputing virtual desktops are easy to deploy and maintain, drastically reducing the need for technical support and repairs.

IAT has reduced the cost of investment by 40% per seat, offering significant savings in operating and capital costs.

The NComputing solution has created a greener institution for IAT, simultaneously cutting costs and reducing power consumption while achieving environmental goals.

Finally, the most important benefit is that the new desktop virtualization environment has given IAT the means to scale desktop computing to additional users. The current virtualization environment supports approximately 500 virtual desktops, increasing the number of terminal workstations without increasing the number of physical desktops.

Futher details

Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:20:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 22, 2013
Mr Emmanuel Onyeje, Microsoft Country Manager of Anglophone West Africa has said the development of the African continent depends on the youth to make use of the power of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to transform the continent.

He said the willingness of the African youth to exploit the new information and communication technologies would help create a robust continent that would safeguard the future of the younger generations.

“A continent which fails to accept, adapt and make use of ICT is automatically disqualified to see development and forced to remain a marginal player in this world of creativity and innovations”, he said.

Mr Onyeje was speaking to students of the Ghana Technology University College (GTUC) to encourage them to make good use of ICT to foster development and transformation on the continent.

He expressed Microsoft's willingness to support African students in ICT to enable them to contribute towards the transformation and development of the continent.
He said investing in the youth would help build a strong economic and social foundation to secure the future of the continent.

Mr Onyeje noted that Microsoft had put in place measures to discover young and promising ICT experts who were willing to bring about transformation on the continent through ICT.

He said the young people would be trained and given the opportunity to exhibit their creativity, adding that it would also stop them for going outside the continent to seek greener pastures.

“We live in a global knowledge economy where knowledge, learning, and information communication technologies are the engines for social and economic development”, he said.

Dr Robert Baffour, Vice President of the GTUC encouraged the students to be creative and innovative to become ICT "gurus" to help to secure a solid and quality foundation for the African continent.

(Source: Ghanaweb)

Friday, March 22, 2013 4:32:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Ericsson has provided the network infrastructure and services to bring voice and data communications to the Millennium Village Project (MVP) in Koraro located in a remote part of northern Ethiopia. With access to 3G connectivity more than 4,000 students and their teachers at two schools involved in the Connect To Learn initiative will now have access to modern learning and teaching resources through Ericsson's cloud-computing solution. In addition, community health workers in the Millennium Villages will be using mobile phones provided by Sony Mobile and broadband access provided by Ericsson to deliver life-saving health care services directly to households to collect health information for improved monitoring.

Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Vice President and Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson says: "Education is key to ending poverty and ensuring a better life for people. ICT can play a vital role in providing access to quality classroom resources for both teacher and student, and fostering social awareness and global understanding which has become a necessity nowadays in secondary education.

"Many of the residents in this area rely on the community clinic for health care, with otherwise little or no access to the most fundamental aspects of health care. Connecting the health clinic in Koraro is one part of a new joint continent-wide campaign that aims to train, equip and deploy one million community health workers throughout rural sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2015, reaching millions of underserved people", Weidman-Grunewald continues.

The deployment of Ericsson's cloud computing solution in Connect To Learn at Koraro, Masho Secondary School and Megab Secondary School, includes netbooks and wireless terminals that enable both students and teachers to access educational resources on the Internet, along with basic ICT skills training for teachers.
In Koraro, community health workers use the Open MRS (medical record system) and a smartphone-based health-data management system to collect information and report on malaria and other diseases, the number of births, and the incidence of malnutrition and the health status of pregnant women during household visits. Many of these residents would otherwise have little or no access to the most fundamental aspects of health care services.

In all, Ericsson has provided connectivity to Millennium Villages in 11 countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania Uganda and Liberia.

(Source: Ericsson)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 7:19:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
eLimu, an iHub incubated company, is helping change the face of education in Kenya. The company is providing a gateway through which students can access new and innovative ways to learn using a tablet computer.

The eLimu tablet seeks to change the way Kenyans think about education, by making learning interactive and enjoyable for its primary school students. What's unique about this tablet is the focus on creating powerful content versus a technologically advanced device, with applications for students to harness their creativity, including: animations, songs, games, videos, and quizzes. The tablet was designed to enhance Kenya's national curriculum, and most notably, uses culturally relevant themes to relate to students, for example, an app that helps children add and subtract using local snacks.

The eLimu tablet was designed to make both an educational and social impact, educating and arming Kenya's citizens with the tools to work toward a better future for their country. eLimu is in its Beta period, and is currently being tested in non-formal schools in Nairobi: Kawangware and Mathare, where they are monitoring for: test scores, cognitive thinking and focus, social and environmental consciousness and IT literacy.

“I love the idea of using the device as a conveyance of content", says Wayan Vota, an infoDev alumnus and technology expert in utilizing information communication technologies for development. Wayan is critical of the historical impact of technology on education for two reasons: First, the expense of piloting a new technology, and second, the major emphasis on the technology. As he said, there are a myriad of gadgets that engage youth on many different levels, but the challenge is that these gadgets don't automatically emphasize learning. However, eLimu strives to work through these challenges and create a product to spur knowledge and innovation in the minds of Kenya's youth.

(Source: InfoDev)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 6:53:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 07, 2013
Aligned with the Government’s “TI Maior” Strategy, Agreement Supports Research in Energy, Transportation, Education, Software Activities and Plans for Integration of up to 300 Researchers in Intel’s Laboratory Network.

The plan includes direct investments and is aligned with the Federal Government's Strategic Plan for Software and IT Services, the TI Maior (Greater IT), which aims to attract global centers of research and development to the country. The agreement aims to expand Intel and the Federal Government's activities in research, development, software and local innovation in partnership with entrepreneurs, universities and research centers in Brazil. The initiative amounts to an investment of R$ 300 million (USD 152.2 millon) from Intel in Brazil.

Energy, Transportation, and Education will be the priority segments for the research projects. Intel's Software and Services Group expects to hire up to 80 engineers in the country over the next five years looking to support the 70,000 local software companies and 400,000 local software developers.

"The joint efforts we are announcing today create exciting opportunities to develop cutting-edge technology that will create breakthrough innovations in energy, transportation, education and software development and explore new growth markets. We look forward to this new partnership between Intel and Brazil and the opportunity to position Brazil as a global center of IT innovation," said Justin Rattner, Intel's Chief Technology Officer".

The expectation is up to 300 researchers in the country will be connected to the Intel global research network, investigating issues related to cutting-edge technology. The work will be developed through research cells located in various centers of excellence across the country, connected to Intel Labs within a structure known as the "Intel Strategic Research Alliance".

(Source: Intel News)

Thursday, March 07, 2013 3:53:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with partners Qtel Group and AusAID, announced the winners of the GSMA mWomen Design Challenge, which aims to redefine the smartphone user experience for resource-poor women in emerging markets.

The GSMA mWomen Design Challenge was created to simplify the smartphone user interface to help overcome reading and technical literacy barriers for women. Twenty-two per cent of women surveyed in Egypt, India, Papua New Guinea and Uganda who do not use mobile phones say it is because they do not know how to use them.

Qtel Group CEO Dr. Nasser Marafih presented the Grand Prize of $20,000 USD to Jeremy Canfield, Sarah Fathallah and Angel Kittiyachavalit for their design, ‘Sahel Shake’, at a ceremony today at Mobile World Congress 2013. Second place, with a prize of $10,000 USD, was awarded to Aloke Pillai of the York Sheridan Design Program for ‘mpower’. The Emerging Talent Prize of $10,000 USD, which is reserved for an entry from emerging markets to ensure entrepreneurs are able to compete alongside professional design firms, was awarded to Raphael Mutiso, from Kenya for his entry ‘Simplified Grayscale Power Efficient Interface’. See here for a description of the winning programs and finalists.

“The standard of entries was extremely high, but the winning submissions were outstanding and we heartily congratulate them all”, said Chris Locke, Managing Director, GSMA Mobile for Development and member of the GSMA mWomen Design Challenge selection panel. “Designing for the specific needs of resource-poor consumers is vital to increasing access to mobile’s social benefits, as well as increasing commercial value for the mobile industry”.

Dr. Nasser Marafih, Qtel Group CEO, said on presenting the Grand Prize: “We are delighted to be involved in the GSMA mWomen Design Challenge, as it seeks to address technical literacy issues for under-served communities around the world. The energy, creativity and innovation demonstrated by all the entrants are an inspiration and we believe that the winning entries will play a vital role in enriching the lives of women in the near future. Our congratulations go to the winners, and our thanks go to the GSMA and all the partners for their support for this competition. We are looking forward to exploring the opportunity to bring to market those innovations”.

In emerging markets, feature phones with basic voice and SMS capabilities are currently the standard. However, smartphones are forecasted to proliferate in these markets over the next few years, becoming the main way people in developing countries will access information, the internet and its associated benefits. Yet, there is a mobile phone gender gap in low to middle-income countries, where 21 per cent fewer women than men have access to this potentially life-enhancing tool.

Furhter details
(Source: USAID)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:03:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 25, 2013
In celebration of information and communication technology (ICT) careers for women, Cisco is holding a prize draw on 25 April 2013 for girls living in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The draw is being held in partnership with the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union as part of their annual "Girls in ICT Day" campaign.
If you are a female Cisco Networking Academy student, a woman considering a Networking Academy course, or if you have been invited to a 2013 Cisco "Girls in ICT Day" and are over 15 years of age, you are eligible to enter the draw. Five lucky winners from different parts of the world will be randomly selected, lottery style, on the 25 April 2013. There will be one winner for each of the following regions: Western Europe; Eastern Europe; Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); Middle East; Africa.

If you are already an ICT student or are considering a career in this agile, innovative sector, this opportunity is for you. The draw aims attract attention to the diverse career avenues available in ICT and the role that the Internet, in particular, is having on the world around us.

If you are a prize winner, you will be awarded an iPad mini to help you surf the net, learn and network wherever you are. Cisco will also facilitate a mentoring session for you with senior Cisco managers and women in your country of origin and take you on a Cisco site visit. You'll have the chance to experience Cisco technology first hand in their offices and learn both about a career in Internet networking and about working life in a big multi-national company. This is your chance to pose your questions to experts and get some clarity on your study and career choices.

If you don't win they will still enjoy your company and hopefully you theirs at a local Cisco office. The "Girls in ICT Day" event is a brilliant opportunity for you to learn about the breadth and depth of opportunities for women in the dynamic ICT sector. And in particular, with Cisco, you will learn about the life-changing role of the Internet.
They also strongly encourage you to stay tuned to the United Nations International Telecommunication Union's "TechNeedsGirls" Facebook page. Join this vibrant group of girls who, like you, are attracted by the dynamism and potential of the tech sector. Follow the action and learn about ICT careers from working women all over the world.

(Source: Cisco Networking)

Monday, February 25, 2013 10:28:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
This day was established by resolution 70 of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in order to celebrate the interests and opportunities that new technologies can offer to young women and encourage them to choose an education and a career in Information and Communication Technology Technology (ICT).

In 2012, this day was celebrated by about 90 countries member of the ITU, through events involving between 20 and 500 young people each, and a total of 30,000 young people. There were initiatives in schools, universities, organizations aimed at ICT conferences, interviews, among others (see  more)

Portugal also celebrated this day through two initiatives organized by the Portuguese Communications Foundation | Communications Museum: a school competition for primary and secondary education and a roundtable discussion that featured the testimony of women professionally connected with the ICT sector (see more)

This year, the Portuguese Communications Foundation | Museum of Communications, will again join this initiative through a program to be held at its premises (soon to be released). The celebration will be held, according to their agenda on Thursday, 25-April-2013, From 10:00 to 23:30.

(Source: Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações)

Monday, February 25, 2013 10:15:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Under the motto "Good ideas? Don't wait. Start.", Think Big is encouraging young people to realize their own ideas once again this year and to make them big by using digital media. The programme, which is run by Fundación Telefónica and the German Children and Youth Foundation in collaboration with O2, supports 14 to 25-year-olds by providing 400 euros and coaching. An important element of the fourth year of Think Big is that young people make a long-term commitment and take on more responsibility themselves.
There are stories like that of Berlin student Julius Korn, which show just what an idea can become when young people believe in themselves and consistently pursue their projects. Whenever the young football enthusiast wanted to go and kick a ball around, he found that the pitch was already taken or there were not enough other players to have a game. Julius wanted to change that. He applied to Think Big with his idea, built it up step by step and is now about to launch a nationwide online platform where interested individuals can get in touch with others and book pitches.

In 2013, Think Big is offering even more chances to get involved for the long term. This means that 60 projects will receive an additional 1000 euros in funding - three times more projects than the previous year. Think Big is also expanding the "Peer Scout" offering, in which experienced project makers can train to become ambassadors and project coaches for the programme and are responsible for their own budgets in these roles. They offer ideas workshops, for example, or advise other young people as media scouts. After all, one of Think Big's aims is to help young people to make their ideas grow with the help of digital media. The website at is thus both an application and an interaction tool. It now also offers a map of Germany that allows young people to find other projects in their area and to get in touch with one another.

"Think Big shows clearly what young people can do. We believe in their creative potential and their ideas. What's more, we believe that innovative technologies can speed up positive change," says René Schuster, CEO of Telefónica Germany. "That's why we, as a telecommunications company, help young people to make use of opportunities the digitization offers and to realize their own projects. This promotes their innovative thinking, individual responsibility and entrepreneurial spirit".
Dr. Heike Kahl, Managing Director of German Children and Youth Foundation (GCYF): "Everybody talks about the fact that no child, no young person should be left behind. With Think Big, we show how all young people can be reached and not only those who already get involved anyhow".

Anyone with a good idea can upload it at and start their project.

(Source: Telefónica – Germany)

Monday, February 25, 2013 9:22:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 18, 2013
The event, which is billed to hold in Lagos on April 25, 2013, is a brainchild of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and was borne out of the need to encourage young girls to delve into the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) profession as a means of contributing their quota to the development of the industry in their local environment and internationally.

This year’s event, with the theme: “Tech Needs Girls to Invent the Future”, has further received the support of the Minister for Communication Technology, Mrs, Omobola Johnson, who noted that her ministry is ready to work in partnership with eBusiness Life to achieve the aims of the event.

In a mail to the organizer, Mrs Johnson said, “congratulations once again and be assured that the Ministry will support this initiative”. The minister had earlier highlighted on the need to encourage young girls to aspire to co-exist with their male counterparts in the field of ICT, noting that the profession also needs the feminine gender in development.

“It is a known fact that girls are more brilliant at very young ages and evidence abound from nursery and primary schools globally to verify this claim. However, as girls reach the ages of menarche, the pressures and pains of becoming a woman slow us down a little. Early marriages and childcare also contribute to the reduction in young women’s academic achievement. Girls must therefore be exposed to ICT education very early in life. So that the culture, orientation and requisite ICT skills would have been acquired”.

She further enjoined that in order to close the digital divide between the female and male gender in terms of education in, ownership of and access to ICTs, girls must pick interest in ICT and related careers as this will not only prepare them for employment, but will also improve their capacity to compete for jobs with fabulous rewards or ability to start their own businesses and be employers from the word go.

As part of this year’s week-long event, activities will include a one-day seminar, facility tours, essay competition, open quiz sessions, mentorship forum, and awards to deserving female ICT professionals, who have made their marks in the industry.

International Girls’ Day is an initiative launched through ITU Resolution 70 with the idea of creating a global environment that will empower and encourage girls and young women to consider careers in the field of information and communication technologies.

The Union declared the fourth Thursday of April every year as a day of encouragement to girls and young women to consider careers in ICT and society is reminded to support them in their choice.
Pilot projects and campaigns have been launched in a number of countries for more than 20 years, with the aim to change girls’ and young women’s behaviour patterns with regard to their choice of career and to expand their spectrum of career options.

(Source: The Guardian Newspaper Nigeria)

Monday, February 18, 2013 4:55:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 08, 2013
The 10th annual Safer Internet Day -which took place on 5 February 2013 – focused this year’s theme on Online Rights and Responsibilities.

In recognition of Safer Internet Day 2013, ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré spoke of the fundamental role that ICTs have facilitated in driving social and economic progress, as well as opening new frontiers and opportunities for young people to cultivate their inherent creativity, innovation and dynamism in a digital environment.
The Secretary-General also talked passionately about the dramatic changes associated with the proliferation of ICTs, which also potentially brings with it new threats and risks to the safety and security of children – who are the most vulnerable members of society.

Moreover, the President of Costa Rica, H.E. Laura Chinchilla and Child Online Protection (COP) Patron, during her video message, highlighted Costa Rica’s efforts in implementing COP, through the appointment of a National Commission on Cybersecurity.

Under her commitment, Costa Rica has been working hard – jointly with ITU – to create and develop a national model to promote online protection involving not only government, but private sector partners, NGOs, schools, parents and abroad cross section of stakeholders – across Costa Rica.
In addition, Miss Deborah Taylor Tate – ITU COP Special Envoy – also highlighted how COP is empowering children on how to navigate safely and with respect from one and other to achieve their own dreams.

COP aims at building an international security framework for children and young people in relation to online protection and creates an excellent platform, where working together, relevant stakeholders can ensure a harmonized and comprehensive approach and best practices related to online protection of young people.

Finally in September 2013, ITU – under the patronage of H.E. Laura Chinchilla – will be organizing the Global Youth Summit, which will be hosted in Costa Rica.

The Global Youth Summit will provide a global platform to bring youth together to join forces and create solutions for social good, enabled through widespread access to ICTs. This will be a unique occasion for youth to advocate their online rights and demonstrate how ICTs are empowering them to fulfill their own dreams and careers.
Watch the video messages here

(Source: ITU)

Friday, February 08, 2013 10:54:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Uttar Pradesh (UP) state government in India will purchase 1.5 million laptops from HP India and distribute them to twelfth grade students statewide.
The council of ministers on January 23, finalized the purchase of laptops for education valued INR 28.58 billion (US$ 536.32 million), at a unit cost of INR 19.05 (US$ 357.6) inclusive of taxes and duty cost. This deal was given to HP who had proposed the lowest bid.

The state cabinet meeting was attended by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, and the decision came after the recommendations made by the evaluation and technical committee of UP Electronics Corporation were reviewed.

The state government gave an authorization to the UP Electronics Corporation, a civic body, to issue a letter of intent (LOI) to HP India for the purchase.
HP was mandated to supply five per cent of the total order within sixty days after signing the agreement, with an increased quantity to be supplied every subsequent month. It will have to complete the supply of total 1.5 million laptops in seven months after the date of the agreement, said The UP Electronics Corporation, MD, Prabhat Mittal who managed the bidding process.

Mittal added that the laptops would be delivered at the sub-district level in each district by the company, and the distribution of the laptops is expected to start in a month time.

The ruling party also promised to give free tablets for education to grade ten students. The bidding process for supplying the tablets to the UP government is still underway, and is expected to be finalized by end of February.

The UP state is located on the North of India, and is also the most populous state in India, with a population of 199,581,477 people as of 1 March 2011.

Further details

Friday, February 08, 2013 10:50:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 31, 2013
Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Communications, Stella Tembisa Ndabeni-Abrahams said she hoped that this initiative will enhance learner education and help make their lives and their community better.

“In our efforts to provide broadband connectivity to unconnected schools, the department has partnered with Vodacom because we believe that well-resourced and equipped learners will perform better and will improve the matric pass rate. Such partnerships are critical if we are to offer quality education to our learners and to schools, particularly those that have previously not been exposed to such learning opportunities.

“We are delighted to be handing over the computers as it is part of our schools connectivity initiative. We are committed to connecting schools nationwide through both public and private partnerships”, said Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Vodacom’s Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs, Maya Makanjee, said the centre was not only expected to improve learner pass rates, but also ensure that learners have had some exposure to ICTs by the time they reach tertiary level.

School Principal Nombuyiselo Boya said she was humbled by the donation.

“Our school had no computers. We are humbled to be recipients of the mobile computer centre specifically for our learners. This will expose our learners to the internet and will also help improve the quality of education we offer our learners”, she said.

(Source: UNPAN)

Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:34:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Thailand’s Ministry of ICT has set a goal to expand 300,000 additional free Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide in the second quarter of 2013.

ICT Minister Group Captain Anudith Nakornthap said that the expansion of Free Wi-Fi is part of the move to push forward Smart Thailand project to provide the public an access to the internet, as well as a preparation of the country’s ICT network to welcome the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

The Minister spoke during an academic seminar among Thai and Japanese-related agencies on “Wireless Broadband Experience”.

Meanwhile, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications commission (NBTC), Thailand has earlier approved a budget of TH฿ 950 million (USD 31.9 million) to promote the MICT’s free public Wi-Fi project.

The NBTC Secretary-General Thakorn Tanthasit said that the Free Wi-Fi service would be made available at some 30,000 locations across the country including state universities, city halls, district offices, state hospitals, and major tourist destinations.

The installation of 150,000 access points will be set up with five access points per location at the speed of 2Mbps per second. One access point can accommodate up to 15 users at 20 minutes per access, and not more than two hours/ person / day, according to him.

Further details

Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:25:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
We are pleased to participate in Social Media Week 2013, scheduled February 17-22 in Washington to showcase our use of digital space for development. USAID will host several events during the week to contribute to the conversation and highlight how we rely on technology for a multitude of reasons, including program management and reporting, and general educational purposes for a range of projects, funded by USAID.

As our development partners, we’d like to invite you to showcase your work in using social media for development through video at our #Popcorn + International Development event on February 21. This is a special opportunity for you to amplify a program you are proud of, or one which you feel deserves a louder voice in the public.

How to Submit:

Please submit, no later than February 13 at 23:59 EST one two-minute or less YouTube link (per organization) to Your video should highlight a USAID-funded project or projects that use social media to further our collective development goals. Videos, of course, should be kid-friendly.
Be sure to include your organization’s name and your organization’s point of contact.

The top videos will be previewed at “#Popcorn + International Development”, followed by a short Q&A. We hope you will join us!
Non-selected videos may be compiled to a video stream and made available to the public through USAID’s YouTube channel, to encourage ongoing dialogue about social media and its role in international development.

Further information

Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:10:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 24, 2013
An Indian designer is developing a smartphone with tactile text that can be used by blind or visually impaired people. Sumit Dagar's prototype Braille smartphone is expected to be ready by the end of February and the first model could be on the market within a year.

Dagar, who won US$ 50,000 in Rolex Award for Enterprise in November 2012 to develop the smartphone, says that design can help technology bridge the gap between people with disabilities and the rest of the population.

Dagar's partners in the five-year smartphone project, which started in 2009, are the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and eye health centre the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), India.  He is working with a four-member team comprising experts from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, New York University in the United States, India's National Institute of Design and the LVPEI. He says that several other research institutions have expressed interest in collaborating on the project.
"The basic handset I am working on now has words and numbers going up and down in Braille. So a user can touch them and recognize or locate numbers and names", said Dagar. The screen is covered in pins that can rise up from its surface to form Braille words and numbers.

To make phones more affordable for visually impaired people, he says that efficient design may make them cheaper, although the primary goal is to design them to work well. There have been previous attempts to create a Braille smartphone, but no prototype has ever been made, says Dagar.

He adds that most experiments using touch-based - technology have been confined to creating vibrations, so this project is a step forward.
A more sophisticated version of the phone could even make images tactile, he says. But he expects such a phone to emerge only towards the end of the five-year project.
Ravi Bagree, a member of the Braille phone team from the Delft University of Technology, says that Dagar's mix of engineering and design background played a part in this innovative work.
"[A Braille phone] has not been possible so far because not many people think of the disabled and those who do so don't have the [necessary] technological background", says Bagree.

See here the video presentation

(Source: SciDev)

Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:11:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
"JUMP is a program that complements the innovative use of telecommunications through "Cell Phone Tips" which involves to send 105,000 text messages with advice and tips on business management to microentrepreneurs. The contribution of Telefónica will provide technical facilities for sending these messages to further enhance of beneficiaries entrepreneurship.

"We are pleased to invest in the education of women because it has a multiplier effect, which results in more productive, healthier families, better educated, and ultimately prosperous communities. For Telefonica, be part of this innovative project, which promotes the development, improve competitiveness and strengthens social inclusion, makes us proud", said Eduardo Devoto, Corporate Relations Manager of Telefonica.

This initiative, which provides training sessions on finance, marketing and sales, as well as personal skills, with a simple and dynamic, is also supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) , ACP, Thunderbird University (USA) and the Australian Government through AusAID.

"JUMP is a program that seeks to promote the development of women entrepreneurs through micro, small and medium enterprises. The program focuses on strengthening the business capacity of 100,000 entrepreneurs through a series of interventions. The IDB-MIF is focusing much on women as it has been seen that women entrepreneurs have a more rapid and sustainable impact on their family, and their community. By the way, they spend and invest, when a woman entrepreneur grows, it begins to promote the welfare of children and families by providing better education and health. This eventually results in development. Moreover, empirically, we have observed that a woman has a very important trained multiplier - woman enjoys teaching and sharing - and so, what you teach a woman tends to reach its surroundings", noted Fidel Jaramillo, IDB representative in Peru.

Furthermore, the training of the project has three additional elements: personal support financial analysis and identification of business opportunities granted by MBA students at the University Thunderbird, funding for project participants by Mibanco, and advice to women entrepreneurs through the cell.

Further details

Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:36:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 17, 2013
Indigenous communities in the rainforest of Africa's Congo Basin have no legal rights to the land that they and their ancestors have been using for centuries. And with logging, mining, industrial plantation and conservation activities spreading fast in the area, there is a growing urgency to map their hunting and gathering areas and preserve their livelihoods.

The Rainforest Foundation UK has come up with an extraordinary solution: community mapping with GPS technology on cell phones. The forest communities map the land they use for hunting and gathering to record how the land is used and what the rate of dependency on the land is in order to help preserve their access to the forest.

Over the last 10 years, the foundation’s participatory mapping programme has demonstrated that forest communities are capable of accurately defining the lands they occupy and use with the help of geo-technologies in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and the Republic of Congo. It has so far trained over 200 mapping facilitators and 40 GIS technicians from civil society and government in participatory approaches, not to mention over 1,000 local community mappers. To date these have supported over 300 forest communities to produce fully geo-referenced maps of their lands and resources, covering over two million hectares of forest.

GPS and associated technologies help communities express and integrate this knowledge in the context of other data sets such as the presence of logging concessions or mining permits.

This is all about the empowerment of local communities and the promotion of dialogue and communication among different actors. Community ownership and involvement in the mapping process also means that communities learn about their rights and how to defend them. ‘Crowdsourced maps’, says Georges Thierry Handja, mapping coordinator of the London-based foundation, ‘are particularly effective when used in conjunction with national laws or international agreements and treaties that protect the rights of communities in forest areas.

(Source: ICT Update)

Thursday, January 17, 2013 8:49:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and leading network operator Millicom International Cellular S.A., launched an innovative project to bring mobile financial services to women entrepreneurs throughout Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana. Over a period of 18 months, this Global Development Alliance will provide over 4,000 women with business skills training and valuable opportunities to increase their income through mobile retail channels.

In launching this new Global Development Alliance, USAID Chief Innovation Officer, Maura O’Neill, remarked: “Our opportunity to economically empower women through powerful, wide-reaching mobile technologies is more realizable now than ever before. But our ability to succeed requires coordinated and collective action. As such, we value our partnership with the private sector and influential foundations, such as Millicom and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. The components of this partnership are ground-breaking, and we are excited to watch them unfold for the benefit of women and their families in Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana”.

Cherie Blair noted, “Women entrepreneurs stand to gain a great deal from selling mobile money products. With the right business training and working capital available, women entrepreneurs can benefit from being part of a mobile operator's value chain. Setting up mobile sales provides additional household income and the opportunity for these women to be financially independent”.

The women involved will have access to 12-month working capital loans for their mobile money businesses, distributed to the women entrepreneurs through Millicom’s mobile financial services platform. The initiative will deliver financial literacy and business development trainings for the women entrepreneurs, to support them in managing their loan repayments and their mobile money agent business.

Hans-Holger Albrecht, President and CEO for Millicom commented: “I am proud that we at Millicom can be part of financial inclusion in Africa. This public-private initiative with renowned partners such as the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and USAID will foster women’s entrepreneurship to the benefit of all in the local communities. The initiative will deliver financial literacy and business development training for the women entrepreneurs to support them in managing their mobile money agent business.”

This partnership will present opportunities for women mobile money agents to become profitable while at the same time attracting and retaining new customers. By increasing the number of female agents, this project aims to lower the barriers that women face in accessing financial service and to promote the innovative adoption of mobile technology amongst these women. It also aims to design a successful model for mobile operators around the world to replicate, in order to expand mobile money operations and financial inclusion for the unbanked.

(Source: USAID)

Thursday, January 17, 2013 5:05:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Small-scale businesses are drivers for growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. When these businesses succeed, so does the greater economy.

IICD, a non-profit foundation that specializes in information and communication technologies as a tool for development, supports farmers, local entrepreneurs and youth in Africa to improve their business performance and income. Hundreds of Ghanaians in the Northern Region are receiving computer training from IICD to help them reach even more customers. Nearly all have seen great success.

Examples from the video succinctly show the benefits of ICT training. Agatha, a traditional weaver in Northern Ghana, has been trained by IICD to use computers. Her business skills are strong and she buys materials for her weaving online. She makes designs on the computer as well. Her costs have decreased and income has increased. Michael, a carpenter, has also benefited from the ICT training. He now uses computers to communicate with customers and look for jobs. Production has increased rapidly.

Now, imagine the net economic result when hundreds of entrepreneurs utilize ICT to earn a living. What empowerment!

(Source: OAfrica)

Thursday, January 17, 2013 4:54:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The beauty of modern technology is that it has vastly speeded up communication and the transmission of information, helping businesses to become more efficient and productive. But this acceleration poses a real challenge for many small business owners who can get left behind if they aren't "up to speed". It's worse for those entrepreneurs living in rural areas in countries with limited access to the kind of information technology we take for granted, like a computer or a phone landline. But for the women entrepreneurs in these same areas those difficulties are multiplied by cultural traditions that often prevent them from being included in local business networks and markets.

This is the reality for women business owners living in rural Gujarat in India, where a group of them have come together and work for a large cooperative, 'RUDI' , to sell agricultural produce from local farmers. The women, known as 'Rudibens*' act as sales agents for the RUDI distribution network, selling food and goods in their own villages. Demand is often very high for the produce but it also fluctuates from season to season. And in order to fill their local orders for the produce, Rudibens have to travel long distances to bigger towns with RUDI centres, wasting time and money. By the time too that these orders are processed and delivered to the rural villages, the level of demand has often changed and they will have lost money they might otherwise have made. For the many women and families that rely on RUDI sales for their livelihood, the inefficiency of the system is a real problem.

Manjula, for example, started a business selling RUDI products after her husband died, leaving her with three children to support but no income. But because she has to travel to process the orders she receives and finds it a struggle to get childcare, she makes less money. And often the orders that she makes are not delivered until weeks later, by which time demand has changed leaving Manjula with produce she can't dispose of and less income.

To address these difficulties that stunt business growth for women like Manjula and other Rudibens, Cherie Blair Foundation has partnered with the Vodafone Foundation in India and the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), which oversees the RUDI network, to develop a mobile application tailored to their needs. The women already have basic mobile phones but the special app will allow them to engage in real-time communication with the RUDI management, check supply levels and text orders instantaneously. As a result, the burden of time and travel costs for will be reduced and processing efficiency will dramatically increase. This translates directly to higher income and more time for the women to invest as they choose, such as developing their businesses and caring for their families.

(Source: Huffington Post)

Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:24:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The program provides a 3G-enabled tablet powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and free Internet connectivity from Maxis Berhad, the local 3G operator, with which is possible to access information and resources, connect with the dedicated mentor who provides invaluable advice on growing the business of women, and engage with a global community of like-minded business professionals.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report notes a strong correlation between gender equality and a country’s prosperity and economic competitiveness. This is where the Women in Business Mentoring Program comes in. The program is a collaboration between Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, the Foundation for Women’s Education and Vocational Training and Maxis Berhad with the goal of enhancing women’s skills and knowledge in business and information and communication technology, empowering them to obtain a better quality of life.

To date, 80 percent of participating entrepreneurs have reported a positive impact on their businesses and 90 percent have reported improved confidence and increased knowledge of technology.

Qualcomm’s passion has always been to expand the possibilities of mobile technology. By designing programs to accelerate women’s ownership of mobile phones and provide life-changing services for women in the developing world, Wireless Reach is working to help stimulate the economic ecosystem and close the mobile phone gender gap.

After Erin Radzi gave birth to her daughter, she had difficulty going back to work and decided to start a business from home. She thought she might supplement her family’s income by baking cakes and cookies, but she couldn’t afford a course on how to decorate wedding cakes. So she taught herself how to do it through online videos. Erin also sought additional training from the Foundation for Women’s Education and Vocational Training, and is now participating in the Women in Business Mentoring Program.

For more information on Wireless Reach, visit their website.

(Source: Qualcomm)

Thursday, January 17, 2013 9:55:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It will be focused on analyzing and raising awareness about the needs and mobile-based solutions for groups under risk of digital exclusion in Latin America (low-income and isolated communities, chronic patients and people with disabilities). Relevant stakeholders from all over the world will participate providing their expertise from technological, social and politic-economical perspectives.

The M-Inclusion awards for “Apps4Change” Challenge Program 2012, which recognizes groundbreaking mobile solutions for social inclusion, will take place during the conference.

Specific objectives:

    Bring together and facilitate the dialog amongst key actors in mobile technologies for social and digital inclusion in Latin America.

    Analyze the needs of the risk groups in terms of education, health, accessibility and economics needs.

    Identify and analyze the existing mobile technologies and initiatives that can cover the previously mentioned needs.

    Identify the trending mobile solutions relevant for mobile social inclusion.

    Promote awareness about the needs of shortening the gaps of social and digital inclusion in Latin America.

The outcome of this first Open Forum will shape the M-Inclusion Road map for social and digital inclusion in Latin America,  containing needs for social inclusion focused on the disadvantaged groups represented within the project, as well as mobile solutions based on new existing and trending technologies applied to main  scopes for social inclusion (economic, geographic, educational and health inclusion).

The audience of the event will be:

    Mobile Technologies: researchers, developers and technology providers

    End-users associations and communities: Disabled, elderly, low-income, isolated areas, social exclusion groups, chronics, etc

    Political stakeholders: Latin America and European with relevant links to regulatory issues and the market

    Financial and funding actors.

Further details about the location and the schedule in the agenda.

(Source: M-inclusion)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:46:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blue-Ribbon Group of Media Leaders Concludes a Year of Deliberations
With Release of Report and Review of Best Practices

The Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls, consisting of more than 50 leaders from the media industry, creative community, academia, and youth-serving nonprofits, completed more than a year of deliberations today by releasing a report offering a variety of recommendations and best practices to encourage more healthy and realistic portrayals of women and girls across all media.

The Commission Co-Chairs – Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media; and former Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, International Telecommunications Union Special Envoy and Laureate for Child Online Protection – announced the release of the group’s report during the Third Symposium on Gender in Media of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

Recognizing the need for gender balance and positive portrayals of women and girls in the media, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), along with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and The Creative Coalition hosted the Healthy Media for Youth Summit in the U.S. Capitol in October 2010. At that time, a broad cross-section of stakeholders gathered to chart a course to promote healthy media for the benefit of all young people and recommended that a Healthy Media Commission be formed to develop recommendations supporting a more positive and gender-neutral media environment for women, promoting the healthy development of a girl’s social, emotional and physical well-being.

The objective of the report, according to its Executive Summary, is “to develop recommendations supporting a more positive and gender-neutral media environment for women, promoting the healthy development of a girl’s social, emotional and physical well-being”. The report includes a section on “Healthy Elements of Media”, designed to encourage more healthy body images, active and diverse female characters, equal and healthy relationships, and roles for women and girls.

In addition, the report offers wide-ranging recommendations to a variety of key groups, helping media leaders, creators, and consumers “learn” more about healthy media, “choose” to promote healthy media images, and “educate” peers and colleagues about the healthy media issue and its ramifications for the health of girls and women. “Collectively we must lead efforts to raise awareness of, and facilitate greater education outreach around, healthy media, and work towards re-shaping our media landscape, so that it better promotes balanced and positive images of girls, and values their identities and aspirations”, the report says.

The Report and Recommendations of the Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls is available online at

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 10:41:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) initiated a Smart Classroom Project to test the efficiency of tablet PCs with different operating systems in teaching and learning at four pilot schools in the capital.

“This program is aimed at testing the effectiveness of tablet-PCs as learning devices in the classroom”, said Bangkok Deputy Governor Taya Teepsuwan.

The program is as part of the BMA’s strategic plan to enhance ICT management for education. The fourth-grade classes in four different schools across Bangkok are involved in this pilot project. The supplied tablets were equipped with four different operating systems and were given to each of the four schools.

They are Android for the Prachaniwet School, Window 7 for the Rittiyawannalai School, iOS for the Wat Pathumwanaram School, and Window 8 for the Na Luang School. Na Luang School is the first school in the world to pilot the Window 8-based tablets, which is scheduled to be officially released by the last week of October.

Department of Education and the BMA is now hiring King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi to evaluate the four schools’ results after using the tablets to expand the project in the future, according to her. She also said that the evaluation result will come out by the end of this year and the BMA will consider whether to continue the trial or expand the Smart Classroom project.

“Technologies for education are an important thing that we cannot avoid. The challenge is how to apply technologies in education with the most efficiency”, said Taya.

The project is in partnership with Microsoft who donated 43 Window-8-loaded Acer Iconia tablets to Na Luang School. The Window 8 tablets comes with Window 8 apps from the Windows Store, the Microsoft Learning Suite including Microsoft Math and Math Worksheet Generator as well as other edutainment tools like Kodu Game Lab, Microsoft AutoCollage, Window Live Movie Maker, Interactive Classroom and etc.

(Source: FutureGov)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 10:59:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Rwanda announces young innovator conference: Transform Africa

The Young Innovators Competition at ITU Telecom World 2012 came to a conclusion in Dubai following five days of workshops, mentoring and pitching sessions which ended with a lively debate between young social entrepreneurs and leaders of industry, government and academia.

"You are all winners and future leaders in an industry where the future is bright and the sky is no longer the limit", Dr Touré said. The debate highlighted education; political will; business incubators; and commitment from the corporate sector to employ young people on merit as most important factors in enabling success. Mr Jazairy said, "You can build a flagless revolution based on innovation and knowledge, and we will follow you".

"As young innovators, we need investment, mentoring and advice to get our projects started", said competition finalist Linkest Diwan, whose Crisis Communicator project offers a total disaster management system. "I'm really happy the ITU Young Innovators Competition exists. It provides innovators with social purpose a leg up, coaching and exposure. If there were more programmes like this on the planet, I believe the economic and environmental crises we have would be over in a day".

The Minister for Youth and Information and Communication Technologies of Rwanda, Mr Jean Philibert Nsengimana, announced the launch of Transform Africa, a conference and exhibition for young entrepreneurs from Africa and around the world, to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, 18-22 March, 2013. He explained that the conference will invite young ICT entrepreneurs from across Africa to training, development and workshops, plus high-level ministerial round table discussions and connections with investors in Rwanda and beyond. "The number of mobile subscriptions in Africa has doubled in the past six years", said Mr Nsengimana. "In Rwanda, the increase has been ten-fold over the same time period. Transform Africa will catalyze the transformation of the economic landscape of enterprises”.

The annual Young Innovators Competition offers young social entrepreneurs the chance to shine an international spotlight on their innovative and creative ICT-based projects or concepts to drive socio-economic development. The twelve finalists were selected to attend ITU Telecom World 2012, the leading global platform for knowledge-sharing, debate and networking in the ICT community, on the basis of the business viability and potential social impact of their projects.

The ITU Video Newsroom is at:

For more information, see

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 10:54:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The administrative staff and teachers of AIC Girls Boarding School in Kajiado, Kenya managed to increase the accuracy of the school’s grades and attendance figures and save time in one go, simply by using digital spreadsheets.

“Here, this used to be our school’s administration”, With a wide grin on their faces, four teachers  of AIC Boarding School, show a huge stack of written paper that contain attendance rates and grades of students. “These papers represent about three days of work for us”, says one of the teachers. She then grabs about ten pieces of paper. “And this is the same information, but then created by using Excel. It’s exactly the same, but this only took us half an hour to make”.

Since June 2012, this boarding school for Maasai girls is using four computers for administrative purposes. With the support of IICD and Edukans in the Connect4Change Consortium together with Kenyan partner Dupoto-e-Maa (a Kajiado-based indigenous NGO), all teachers and administrative staff were trained in basic ICT usage and how to use the system, which will help to generate more accurate data about grades and attendance of students.

In the near future, the system will also be used to keep track of payments. Maasai parents are often on the move, but in the beginning of the school year, they come to the school and pay the school fee for their children, which often include boarding fees. Payments records will be kept digitally which makes it easier to see which parents already paid. The system will also help with keeping track of payments in terms, as many parents do not have the full amount at the beginning of the year. If payments are tracked better, this means that the school will increase its income which can then be spent on teaching materials and better facilities for the school.

(Source: IICD)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 4:14:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

As part of the CIARD Movement, AIMS is organizing during Open Access Week 2012 a series of webinars on the theme “Making Agricultural Research Information Publicly Available and Accessible”. The event is co-sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD).

In total 7 webinars will be held from Tuesday, October 23 until Friday, October 26. Jean-Claude Guédon and Alma Swan will focus more in general respectively on the status of Open Access in the agricultural domain and Open Access policy developments. Wouter Gerritsma will talk about value-added services for the Wageningen Institutional Repository and Enrica Porcari will highlight the experience of CGIAR. The event will be closed by 3 webinars consisting each of 3 short presentations talking about respectively "Promotion of Open Access", "Search Engines for Open Access Web Resources" and "Digital Repository Development Use Cases".

Dates: Tuesday, October 23 until Friday, October 26.

Do not worry if you can not make it: the sessions will be recorded and you can play them back from the AIMS, CIARD and SIDALC (Agricultural Information and Documentation Service of the Americas) portals.

For more details and to access each webinar go to:

(Source: FAO)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 1:33:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The government of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh has awarded a contract to implement next-generation solutions for teaching and learning in 1471 schools across 12 districts in the state.

The INR 1.57 billion (US $29.62 million) project will provide computer-aided learning solutions to schools across Himachal Pradesh. The schools involved in the project will acquire digital classrooms equipped with interactive white boards and multimedia content.

618 government senior secondary schools, 848 government high schools and five ‘smart schools’ in the state will be involved in this project. In addition, 7500 teachers will receive training on how to understand and use these technology solutions, and how to facilitate ICT education of their students.

Digital learning solutions are making significant inroads into India. The government of the state of Punjab recently announced the development of 795 new computer labs in government schools across the state.

This initiative was launched as part of Phase V and VI of a centrally-sponsored ICT scheme in Punjab. During the first four phases, the government focused on enhancing ICT education in schools through new classes and curriculum, and training teachers in effective use of ICT tools in teaching.

ICT-enabled schools in Punjab have been given access to power generators and broadband internet connections to facilitate implementation of state-wide school management of information systems (MIS) and geographic information systems (GIS), which are under development.

(Source: FutureGov)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:17:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 12, 2012
High Level Forum on Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls
Seoul, Republic of Korea
10th-11th October 2012
We, the participants in the Women With the Wave Gender Media Forum, held in Seoul, Korea on the 10th and 11th October, 2012, make this affirmation of commitment to its goals and outcomes and to the empowering of women through media and ICTs.

In thanking the organizers of the Forum, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and other partners, we note that women and girls make up 50 per cent of the world’s population and that equal rights and opportunity underpin healthy economies and societies.

Further, we recognize that the media has a crucial role to play in promoting women’s full participation in every aspect of life and society and, to this end, we invite the ITU and the ABU to endorse this statement with a view to seeking to assist in the practical implementation of its recommendations.

We also call on intergovernmental agencies, in particular ITU, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN Women (UNW), professional associations of broadcasters, especially the ABU, regional training institutions, such as the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) and the Asian Media and Information Communication Centre (AMIC), commercial businesses and Foundations, relevant NGOs and tertiary education institutions, including University journalism and communication departments, to take note of this statement and to undertake, where applicable, to provide support for its recommendations.

We are committed to promoting a gender inclusive media and information and communication technology (ICT) environment, that empowers women and girls to fully participate and give access to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication by being able to:

 • work in the media and ICT fields across all levels and occupational groups on and off the screen;
 • have access to technological and digital platforms;
 • achieve a positive, non-stereotypical and balanced portrayal across all forms of media and technological platforms, including the recognition of women with ICT careers and girls who use ICTs for their empowerment.


Specifically, we declare support for the practical application across the region of the following agreed activities and outcomes of the Forum:

• implementation of the Broadcasting for All: Focus on Gender guidelines that include strategic and practical applications for use in media and ICT workplaces;
• encouragement for the determining of a framework for the broad provision of training and access to technological and digital media by women and girls;
• applying existing research, surveys and findings of the portrayal, stories, faces and voices of the female population across the region and formulating a broad strategy for the application of fair representations across organizations and platforms;
• championing media leaders who promote content and balanced images of girls and women;
• piloting UNESCO’s Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM) as a practical tool to assess and encourage gender equality and women’s empowerment in media;
• collaborating with partners, such as the ITU, to promo