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 Tuesday, March 24, 2015



“Telefónica Educación Digital and Qualcomm Wireless Reach announces today the launch of the Mobile for Change competition (www.mobile4change.org) with the patronage of UNESCO and full support of its YouthMobile Initiative.

Under the framework of International Women’s Day with a specific focus on gender equality, this global app competition targets women and young people by empowering them to develop mobile solutions for social good. Young people interested in learning about App development can apply what they learn from the free MOOCs offered on the MiríadaX platform and gain the necessary skills to produce their own App.

For the creation of the Apps, participants must use AllJoyn, a free and open source software project by the AllSeen Alliance and the Qualcomm Vuforia platform as well as the applications-development environment  App Inventor for Android devices.

´With this initiative we want to support app developers that are looking forward to using their talent in addressing a social welfare issue´, says Sergio San Martín, project leader at Telefónica Educación Digital. ´We expect all submitted mobile applications must be aligned to the competition’s theme of social and environmental change, which includes education, entrepreneurship, healthy lifestyles, art and creativity, environmental sustainability, public safety, social inclusion, and empowerment of women.´

UNESCO’s patronage affirms Telefónica Educación Digital’s initiative, which upholds the important use of mobile technology to promote the building of knowledge societies and the participation of young people for achieving the upcoming new Sustainable Development Goals.

´UNESCO is confident that this event will contribute to the aims of its YouthMobile Initiative,´ says Davide Storti, Programme Specialist of UNESCO. ¨The YouthMobile Initiative empowers young people all across the world to create mobile applications to address sustainable development challenges facing their communities, such as illiteracy and unemployment.´

The competition has a general category and two special categories, one dedicated to Apps aimed at the empowerment of women and the other for young people between 18 and 25 years of age. Each category will have five finalists, of which three will be prize winners. The first prize in each category is attendance at a VatorSplash event (including air travel, accommodations, and a financial award of 1,500 Euros), where the winner can learn from the best and exchange experiences with international investors. In addition, the winners will be supported with computer equipment and training.

Mobile for Change is expecting to attract over 3000 people with a minimum of 300 actual competition apps submitted. Participants will be mainly residing in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries, but other language speakers are welcome to enter, too.

It is still possible to register online on the competition’s official web page. The 25th of March begins the period in which each participant can upload his or her App. The voting begins on the 16 of May and the winners will be announced on 26 June in a final event.“

(Source: UNESCO)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 11:00:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“Nigeria’s Federal Ministry has connected 1.4 million students across 27 federal universities in the country to internet, according to reports from Vanguard Nigeria.

Dr. Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s Communication and Technology Minister said the development is owed to collaborations between her Ministry, the country’s Ministry of Education and the World Bank’s STEP-B project in the deployment of fibre-optics cables to universities, medical colleges and the Nigerian Research and Education Network, NG-REN.

These developments are reportedly being executed under the Connect Nigeria initiative, and has also equipped 1,552 secondary schools with ICT and has exposed an estimated 1.5 million secondary students to basic ICT.

The Ministry also plans to float public access venues, PAVs, aimed at providing shared access to ICT facilities in underserved and unserved locations to various other demographics.“

(Source: Techcabal)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 10:48:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“The federal government has been called upon to make Information and Communications Technology (ICT) a compulsory study across primary and secondary schools in Nigeria, following the global adoption of ICT studies in schools.

A Lagos-based ICT expert, Mr. Temitope Ogunsemo, who gave the advice at a technology workshop in Lagos, said the call became necessary as a result of the impact that ICT is creating in various sectors of global economies.

At the workshop tagged: 'Creating the Future Workforce in a 21st Century Classroom', Ogunsemo explained that it was necessary to make ICT compulsory in schools for better knowledge in order to address some technicalities that will give Nigeria an edge in the global technology space, especially as the internet has made the world flat by providing easy access to information.

Ogunsemo, who is also the Managing Director of Krystal Digital Limited, a networks solutions firm, said students with ICT knowledge would assist to develop the nation, making use of their experience and advancement in technology.

The workshop, which was organised for information technology teachers in the South-west, was in collaboration with Microsoft Nigeria. He advised that secondary school students should be encouraged using ICT in communicating, teaching and learning in classrooms.

´These will facilitate their learning skills, knowledge and experience in information technology. This is a global world, therefore, there will be need for the youths to meet with global trend,´ Ogunsemo said.

He also stressed the need for the federal government to ensure that the use of ICT facilities is compulsory in schools for teaching and learning, noting that in spite of its potential in the development of IT education, not many schools in the country had extensively adopted ICT facilities for teaching and learning.

´Education has been greatly influenced by ICT, which has undoubtedly affected teaching, learning, and research. Its full adoption in Nigerian schools will have a positive impact on teaching, learning and research´ Ogunsemo said, adding that recent research had proven that ICT has great benefits and high potential to improve the quality of education at all levels.

He further explained that ICT has the potential to accelerate, enrich and deepen skills to motivate and engage students and to help relate school experience to work practices.

According to him, improved quality of education is essential for the creation of effective human capital in any country.

´The need for ICT in the Nigerian educational system cannot be overemphasised. In this technology-driven age, everyone requires ICT competence to survive,´ he said. He said plans were underway between his firm and federal government schools in the South-west to partner in building ICT infrastructure to enhance the students teaching and learning ability.

He explained that his firm has been carrying out training workshops for schools in the South-west and has trained several IT teachers from federal government schools, to enhance their knowledge with modern technology know-how.“

(Source: This Day Live)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 10:45:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, March 14, 2015

“THE PINK CLOUD INITIATIVE
May 19-21, 2015 in Milan, Italy
During EXPO 2015

Microsoft Italy and Friendship Ambassadors Foundation invite female students/ professionals (age 18-24) to a special initiative called The Pink Cloud, which aims to encourage young women to undertake STEM studies and to inspire professional STEM careers.

Microsoft Italy will be providing full scholarships to qualified candidates, to attend and take part in The Pink Cloud Initiative, in Milan, Italy.

More about The Pink Cloud: The Pink Cloud is a special initiative developed by Microsoft, aimed at closing the gender gap in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in order to create a society based on gender-equal opportunities.

This is the third year of Pink Cloud; the 2015 theme is ´Science & Technology: Food for the Mind, Energy for the Future´. After successes in Florence 2013 and Rome 2014, The 2015 Pink Cloud will be held in Milan, which will be "at the center of the world" this year, thanks to EXPO Milan.
Apply via email. Only a LIMITED number of grants available.

Application Process:
Applications are accepted until April 13, 2015.“

More details

Saturday, March 14, 2015 10:57:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“President Goodluck Jonathan today officially launched the Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria Initiative GWIN.

GWIN is an initiative of the Federal Government geared to empower women and girls in Nigeria.

GWIN is being implemented through a memorandum of understanding signed by five pilot Ministries(The Ministries of Finance, Communication Technology, Agriculture, Water Resources, Health and Works). The participating Ministries are being financed by the Federal Government to develop the potential and earning power of women via the delivery of specific programmes services that will impact positively on the lives of Nigerian women.  



´At the launching of the programme at the Presidential Villa, President Jonathan disclosed that the objective of GWIN is to open access to life changing opportunities for women and girls in diverse spheres and walks of life across the Federation.

President Jonathan said that the GWIN project is a product of the collaboration with development partners –which became an implementable programme in 2013 under the leadership of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala. He emphasised that to ensure effective implementation of the GWIN project five ministries were selected as pilot implementing agencies and were asked to integrate the GWIN concept into the mandate of their respective ministries.

He pledged that as a government, his administration will continue to give equal opportunities to women both big and small, so that they can continue to fly higher. The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala in her remarks, said that the present administration was using budgetary resources to start building women from the grassroots in the belief that when you empower women, you empower a nation.

Minister of Communication Technology, Dr Omobola Johnson in a Presentation delivered at the launch disclosed that the Ministry via GWIN is empowering women and girls through specific technology initiatives identified and developed to empower Nigerian women and girls to actualize their potentials. The Ministry according to Dr Johnson is intervening to empower Nigerian women and girls via ICTs through three flagship programmes. The Digital Girls Club, 1,000 Girls ICT Training Programme and SmartWoman Nigeria project (SHE App).

The Digital Girls Club was created to encourage young girls in secondary schools in Nigeria develop an early interest in ICT-related careers, the second initiative- the 1000 Girls ICT Training program was designed to provide young unemployed female graduates with job-ready skills to improve their chances of employment in the ICT sector and the third, the SmartWoman Nigeria project was designed to bring the catalytic potential of ICTs within the reach of all Nigerian women regardless of their socio-economic background.

To encourage young girls to adopt careers in ICTs, the Digital Girls curriculum was developed and piloted in 12 Federal Government Girls Colleges across the six geo-political zones. About 1850 Girls registered as Members in the 12 pilot schools surpassing the initially 1200 students projected. The pilot has been concluded and the Curriculum has been reviewed based on Reports from the Pilot schools. The revised curriculum is ready to be unveiled and will thereafter be made available for girls in all secondary schools across the country.

The Ministry through the 1,000 Girls in ICT Training Program has trained 1000 young female graduates of different tertiary institutions from across the 36 states of the Federation in the fundamentals of Telecommunications. 200 best-performing students were selected and are currently undergoing further training to become Huawei Certified Data Associates (HCDA). 20 top of the 200 will receive further training in China and upon completion of training programme, all 200 will be engaged in Huawei and associated facilities across the country. Dr Johnson at the occasion emphasised that many of the participants in the 1000 Girls programme did not have related background in ICT but performed excellently. A graduate of Economics was the best performing participant with a score of 98%.

The third initiative of the Ministry, the SmartWoman Nigeria (S.H.E Mobile App) was developed as a brand of SmartWoman Nigeria to create the largest network of connected Nigerian women. The App will provide women with regular content on health, parenting, finance, business, etc.; thereby empowering them to improve their lives. It will also afford them the opportunity to voice their opinion on issues that matters to them. Johnson stated that women in the rural areas on SHE Mobile App network will receive relevant content via text and voice SMS and where necessary in any of the five major local dialects.

The work of the Ministry in the area of women empowerment via ICTs attracted the attention of the International Telecommunications Union ITU. From 360 nominations from 74 countries, Nigeria emerged winner in ITU’s 7th Category of ´ICT and Broadband strategies, policies and frameworks that promote women’s digital empowerment. Dr Johnson, who expressed delight at the successes recorded via the Ministry’s GWIN interventions, emphasised that to sustain the programs beyond 2015, the Ministry will develop a framework to enable private sector participation in SmartWoman Nigeria and Digital Girls Club. The Ministry also intends to develop other Mobile Apps specifically aimed at empowering Nigerian women and girls as well as introduce other specific ICT-driven initiatives to foster gender inclusion in Nigeria.

Some members of the Digital Girls Club gave memorable testimonials that highlighted the crucial role the Club is playing in demystifying ICTs.“

(Source: Digital Girls)

Saturday, March 14, 2015 10:49:54 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 www.challengeup.eu. 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

“The acting director of Research and Development, Dr Bernard Bulwayo has appealed to unemployed youth to utilise Information Communication and Technology (ICT) to search for jobs and business plans.

Mr Bulwayo was speaking at youth pitso workshop held at Kanye Education Centre recently.

He said ICT has taken all positions in all ways, be at home, industry, jobs, agriculture and any other area in life.

Mr Bulwayo stated that ICT has transformed the world, hence the need for the youth in the rural areas to act and not be left behind with technology.
He said since new technology emerges every day, the youth must be innovative.

For his part, the Southern District commissioner, Mr Moses Gaealafswe appealed to youth to utilise government ICT programmes and create employment.
Mr Gaealafswe noted that the government established performance agenda to create employment opportunities for youth.

Commenting, most youth complained about shortage of land to start their own businesses, lack of market and appealed to relevant authorities to give them unused lands.
They also requested that unused boreholes be given to youth.

Giving a vote of thanks, Councillor for Gasegwagwa ward Mr Eric Chelenyane advised youth to form associations to help them work as a team and have one voice, calling on the youth to work hard to uplift their lives.

He appealed to youth to refrain from drinking alcohol excessively and attend churches for worshiping.“

(Source:Daily News)

Thursday, March 05, 2015 10:50:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“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



“The world is faced with overwhelming social issues, from climate change to poverty. Students and young entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the growing number of devices connected to the Internet, turning them into products that will one day solve these global problems.

A competition developed by Cisco France employees in 2014 aims to harnesses this innovative spirit. Now in its second year, Le Defi Cisco (The Cisco Challenge) invites university students and young entrepreneurs to develop solutions to social and environmental challenges using the Internet of Everything – the connection of people, processes, data, and things.

Last year, a team of Cisco Networking Academy students from the University of Lorraine in France won the competition with their networked walking stick, which can improve life for visually impaired people.

Cities are beginning to incorporate tagging systems into traffic lights and crosswalks, connecting citizens to data that can be used to solve everyday inconveniences.

Their device a uses ultrasonic waves and GPS technology to gather this data and help users move safely and independently around the world’s “smart cities.”

Since winning the 2014 competition, the students have used their prize money to form their own company, Handisco. With the support of investors, they’ve developed a sustainable production model and are preparing to release their connected walking stick to the public.

This year, the competition was expanded to two prize categories: student teams and young entrepreneurs who have just begun developing their products. The first-place team in each category will receive €15,000, equipment to create their business, 6 months of coaching from Cisco employees, and incubation by SenseCube, a start-up accelerator dedicated to social entrepreneurs.

From November to early January, Cisco employees and representatives from competition partner MakeSense visited 8 French cities, where they taught students about the Internet of Everything and how Cisco technologies can be used to speed the pace of social change. In January, a judging panel reduced the entries down to 6 finalists: 4 student teams and 2 entrepreneur teams. The student teams all consist of students from Cisco Networking Academy, which has trained more than 110,000 students in France since 1997.

The student finalist teams are:
  • Team Connect’o is developing Internet-enabled tabs that will measure water quality and control consumption, directly addressing the global water crisis.
  • Hexo Tech, a group of students from the academy at ECE Paris, proposed a smart bin to sort waste and reward environmentally friendly citizens.
  • Team Mygly wants to improve health care for diabetes patients – their intelligent bracelet will measure blood sugar levels in real-time to make insulin injections more efficient.
  • Team Squirrel’s mobile alert system will combat the global hunger crisis by alerting users to cook food before it expires.
The other 2 teams will compete for the entrepreneurship prize. Team Wair is combining fashion and technology to improve the health of people around the world. Their smart scarf, fitted with air filtering sensors, will measure air quality and map out a city’s most polluted areas. The second group of young entrepreneurs, Team Insideware, is developing a mobile application to connect people suffering from chronic illnesses to a community of health professionals.

During the final round of competition, Cisco employees will mentor the students, providing the equipment, technological skills, and business advice to turn their concepts into realities. They’ll work side-by side with students, helping them to build the perfect prototype, develop a business plan, and create a winning sales pitch.

The student and entrepreneur award winners will be announced on April 9, and you can read about them here on the Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility blog.
Good luck to all of the 2015 finalist teams! Your connected devices and products may change the world someday.“

(Source: CISCO)

Thursday, February 26, 2015 11:33:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“Cisco Systems has opened its 5th Cisco Academy in Botswana, with online curricula, virtual learning tools, instruction support as well as teacher training and professional development opportunities.

Gratitude Kudyachete, Cisco's Regional support Centre Manager explained that Cisco was willing to do business with Botswana so as to impart more techno-savvy solutions to local problems. ´It is against such a background that, we are witnessing the Cisco Academy programme being expanded in Botswana. Cisco Systems, a US-based Corporation, arguably the biggest Network and Communications equipment and solutions vendor, conceived the Cisco Academy programme to share its abundant intellectual capital in Computer Networking. It started in 1997 in high schools but now finds itself anchored in secondary and post-secondary schools, colleges, universities, and community-based organizations in more than 165 countries.´

Kudyachete said the programme is essentially philanthropic and besides being used in continuing education for professionals, its major focus is the disadvantaged communities who may not access or use ICT owing to costs, lack of accessibility and infrastructure among other factors.

He added that the Cisco Academy programme has found itself being employed in prisons, institutions offor the disabled including the deaf, and slum areas.
He observed that if only Botswana was to improve her ICT status, the country would be a force to reckon with. ´Besides the great initiatives, some of the challenges evident in the Botswana ICT landscape are; low ICT use, high cost of ICT services, low IT literacy rate, unemployment of IT graduates and low Network Readiness. In the Cisco Academy, we believe that Botswana needs a multi-pronged approach to the challenges that it is facing.´

The Cisco Academy programme helps address some of these challenges as it offers the following benefits: free curricula embedded with technology tools for teaching and learning, wide curricula – with courses from basic PC maintenance, entry level networking to advanced networking. Rich practical component – at the core of the Programme is the emphasis on laboratory practices with real equipment to give sough-after practical skills, Discounted equipment – Equipment is discounted at 75% making it affordable to many educational institutions. Alignment with industry certifications – makes the students even more marketable as they will have global attestation to their achievements. Flexibility in academic programmes- Besides running as standalone programme for professionals in industry, the programme can be tightly integrated in higher education in engineering, computer science, information systems, and related fields´

´Botswana will now have five Cisco Academies, which we hope will all be active by end of first quarter this year. The only active academy has been the University of Botswana from which about 2500 students have been trained since 2008 and for us this figure is too low, we need more throughput, we need more academies,´ he implored.

On the issue of Botswana Accountancy College roping in the services of Cisco, Kudyachete said the Cisco Academy programme is there to service and add impetus to the current initiatives within BAC and those at national level.

´The Centre has been aptly called BAC ICT Skills Centre – to address the ICT Skills challenge which is akin to fighting a moving target; BAC will be able to enhance the marketability of their end product- the student who will be able to slot in into the job market right from graduation. BAC will be able to use the Cisco academy for its own professional development of staff members so that they are always abreast of developments in networking and internet technologies. It will also empower some students to be entrepreneurs who will generate jobs. BAC can partner with other ICT players and expand the service portfolio of your community access centres; indeed the programme can be used for a variety of community engagement programmes.´

According to president Jammeh of Gambia – ´no nation can record meaningful growth without embracing ICT. ICT empowers one to do what they want to do, As BAC and as a nation you have as one of those tools the Cisco Networking academy.´"

(Source: Biztech)

Thursday, February 26, 2015 11:25:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 



“ The GSMA today released a new report, ´Accelerating the Digital Economy: Gender Diversity in the Telecommunications Sector´, which offers a snapshot of the gender balance within companies across the industry. Developed by A.T. Kearney, the study aims to provide a baseline for workforce evolution, share best practices and support the industry in shaping workplaces that take full advantage of gender diversity.

“The rapidly evolving mobile industry is at the centre of the digital revolution and has a huge impact on social and economic advancement. To maintain this pace of growth and innovation, we need to match the requirements of our workforce with the opportunities ahead,´ said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. ´This report highlights the benefits of a balanced workforce, but also underscores that a gender gap still exists in our industry. Now is the time for the telecommunications sector to focus on attracting more women to avoid a shortfall in the future talent pipeline and help bridge the gender divide.´

The report highlights that despite some advances in women’s representation and progression in the workplace, there is still significant work needed to bridge the gender gap in the telecommunications industry. Key findings from the research show that:

- Female participation in the telecommunications workforce varies widely, ranging from 10 per cent to 52 per cent amongst companies sampled;
- In three-quarters of telecommunications companies surveyed, women accounted for less than 40 per cent of the workforce; and
- There are notable regional differences among sampled companies, with those in the Americas outperforming their counterparts elsewhere in terms of female representation.

´The research highlights that every company in the telecommunications industry approaches gender diversity from a different starting point and has different country hurdles to overcome,´ said Dr Maria Molina, Principal, A.T. Kearney. ´The industry needs to be more systematic and relentless in sharing and adopting best practices with a full commitment to a diverse workforce while respecting local cultural norms and legal obligations.´

The report finds that industry-wide collaboration and transparency, through mechanisms such as annual indexing and sharing of best practices, will also be critical to assessing the ongoing state of the sector and maintaining momentum.

Women in Leadership

The research findings also reveal that the gender gap becomes more pronounced with seniority. Among those surveyed in all regions except North America, on average less than 20 per cent of senior leadership positions are held by women. In most regions excluding North America, the proportion of women at senior level is generally half of those at entry level. For the African companies in the study, less than one in 10 of their senior leaders are women.

One potential explanation for the low female representation at senior levels is the education and skills gap around science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). A recent report on member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed that the share of women with science and engineering degrees was only 38 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

Benefits of Gender-Diverse Workforces

Over the years, substantial research has shown that companies with a healthy, gender-diverse workforce are better able to innovate and outperform competition. Studies reveal that gender-diverse organisations are 45 per cent more likely to improve market share, achieve 53 per cent higher returns on equity and are 70 per cent more likely to report successfully capturing new markets.

In addition to the financial benefits, other advantages of a diverse workforce include the impact on the business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) segments of the market. While most companies target women as end users, few effectively leverage female talent to identify what these end users want and need. However, companies that employ women in the workplace can improve the likelihood of success for new products and services by 144 per cent.

Addressing the Digital Gender Divide

In order to support the industry in its efforts to move towards a more equitable gender balance, the report highlights best practices across the ‘employee journey’, such as:

- Awareness and outreach programmes to equip young girls and women with the skills and inspiration needed to pursue a career in STEM and relevant qualifications;
- Tailored job descriptions, gender-balanced applicant quotas and balanced recruitment panels;
- Initiatives perceived as added value for both men and women, such as flexible working arrangements;
- Formal succession planning, sponsoring mentor programmes, unconscious-bias training and gender-specific training; and
- Returnships (return-to-work internships) and phase-back programmes to fill the talent pipelines, particularly at management levels.

The report highlights a number of existing initiatives designed to address the gender gap in the ICT sector. For example, through the #InspireHerMind campaign and Girls Who Code camp, the Verizon Foundation is making progress in altering stereotypes and equipping schoolchildren with the inspiration and skills they need to pursue a career in STEM. Intel also recently announced that it plans to invest US $300 million to help build a talent pipeline with a goal to achieve full representation of women and under-represented minorities by 2020.

However, whilst the initiatives and implementation of good practices are crucial, the report finds that a holistic strategy focused on transforming company culture and mindset is essential to workplace evolution. The GSMA’s Connected Women programme supports cultivating wider change and promotes the greater inclusion of women across the mobile industry, as consumers, employees and leaders.

´Corporate culture plays an important role in any existing gender imbalance. However, governments and policymakers, alongside industry stakeholders, should also play their part in creating sustainable gender diversity in vibrant sectors such as telecommunications,´ continued Bouverot. ´Ultimately we need to work together to mobilise more women to recognise the myriad opportunities for their talents in the mobile and ICT industry.´”

To access the report please visit: www.gsma.com/gender-diversity.

(Source GSMA)

Thursday, February 26, 2015 11:22:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 19, 2015


"Children should be taught ´digital literacy´ as a core skill alongside maths and English, a report by a House of Lords committee says. Computer technology brings ´huge opportunities for the UK, but also significant risks´, the Lords Digital Skills Committee warns.

The internet should be viewed as a utility service, alongside water and electricity, it says. But without action, the UK may fall behind in the new digital era.

'Ambitious approach'
The reports says:
  • No child should leave school without basic digital literacy
  • Universities should ensure all graduates are ´digitally competent´
  • Apprenticeships should have a greater emphasis on digital skills

The committee calls for action to give teachers in England the confidence and skills to deliver the new computing curriculum, otherwise ´inconsistent teacher training" risks letting pupils down.

In particular, a ´paucity´ of women in digital careers and in science, technology, engineering and mathematics generally risks holding back UK competitiveness, the report says.

´Girls have to be engaged earlier and across all education levels´ and the perception of these jobs as ´male-oriented´ must be addressed, it adds. The report says 35% of current jobs in the UK could be automated within 20 years.

It urges an ambitious approach to secure the UK's digital economy, with the government acting as the "conductor of the orchestra", focusing on business and education.
´We are at a tipping point,´ it says.

´Digital businesses can locate anywhere in the world, and if we fail to provide the right conditions for them to flourish in the UK, we will become a branch economy, much less prosperous and influential than we could be.´

A digital divide persists in the UK, with some six million citizens never having used the internet and 9.5 million lacking adequate digital skills, partly because they have been ´poorly served at school´, the report warns.

In particular, it says, a shortage of medium and high-level digital skills ´needs immediate attention´ if the UK is to remain globally competitive. It urges action at all levels of the ´talent pipeline - primary, secondary, further and higher education´.

'Wake-up call'

Baroness Morgan of Huyton, who chairs the committee, called the report a ´wake-up call" to whomever forms the next government. Its recommendations would entail a ´radical rethink´ of education for people of all ages, said Lady Morgan, the former chairwoman of Ofsted. She said: ´From an early age, we need to give digital literacy as much importance as numeracy and literacy.

´While we welcome the introduction of the computing curriculum, we are concerned about the ability of teachers to deliver it - with more than half of our IT teachers not having a post-A-level qualification relevant to IT.

´At the higher education level, there is an urgent need for industry input, so that graduates are learning job-relevant digital skills.´

Lady Morgan also said it was unacceptable that some urban areas still lacked mobile or broadband coverage.

'Options limited'

Valerie Thompson, chief executive of the e-Learning Foundation, particularly welcomed the report's emphasis on the need to ensure all children had access to the internet. "Digital skills are an enabler across the curriculum, but there are real issues of access for poorer children," she said.

Too many families did not have the internet at home, said Ms Thompson. ´And if your mum and dad are not comfortable with the internet, the options for you to be a comfortable internet user when you leave school are limited.´

Ms Thompson said schools needed more resources for computers and broadband to allow students online access for every subject.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said it was vital to ensure young people had the skills and knowledge to ´secure jobs in our country's burgeoning tech industry´. She said: ´To achieve that, we have redesigned our national curriculum to be the world leader in computing, meaning young people in England will start learning the basics of coding from age five.

´We have also provided £3.6m to make sure teachers have the confidence and knowledge to teach this new curriculum and are engaging leading technology companies to support schools in delivering it.´"

(Source: BBC News)

Thursday, February 19, 2015 11:26:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“In a nation of about 15 million people, Cambodia has over 19 million mobile phone subscribers. In addition, there are only about 3.8 million Internet users. A 2014 report published by the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) says that ´Mobile phone access is near universal for young people… Almost all youth (96%) in Cambodia have access to mobile phone.´ The nation’s largest population, young people, prefer to communicate via phone calls rather than text messaging. ´They used their mobile phones mostly for making and receiving calls (98%), listening to the radio (43%), and sending and receiving messages (32%),´ adds the UNDP report.

Mobile technologies are the key to help improve people’s quality of life. Unfortunately, programs delivering critical information via mobile texts to citizens were unavailable in the local language, Khmer. Many used and new phones that the Cambodians used did not have the ability to type or show words in the Khmer script language, making needed information unreadable and unable to send via texts.

Since 2011, InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia, a Phnom Penh-based innovation lab of InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies Diseases and Disasters), has helped a dozen of humanitarian and health organizations to leverage InSTEDD’s Verboice, an automated voice platform for hotlines, alerts, reminders, surveys, voice reports, or quizzes. These organizations’ target groups are very diverse: new mothers, garment factory workers, youth groups, and diabetic patients.

Verboice is an adaptable open-source platform that makes it easy for anyone, speaking any language, to create and run their own customized automated voice response systems for mobile phones. Highly customizable and scalable, Verboice allows users to adapt to suit their requirements. Verboice is basically a non-developer’s platform to create mobile applications for non-smartphone users.

In Cambodia, Verboice’s impact has been incredibly powerful as dozens of organizations are using the technology to provide critical information to thousands of citizens. For example:
  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) runs an interactive information hotline for factory workers.
  • Marie Stopes International Cambodia (MSIC) uses automated messages as part of its post-abortion counselling approach.
  • People In Need (PIN) uses automated messages to provide new parents with health advice as well as runs an early warning system, enabling Cambodian authorities to quickly inform citizens of upcoming disasters.
  • BBC Media Action provides the audience with an additional medium so that they can engage with the program’s content“

(Source: ICTWorks)

Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:47:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


“´I always wanted to go to school´, said Azra Misbih-ul-huda, 17, who lives in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. ´When this free education mobile learning project was launched in our area I was very excited […]I said to my mother I need to be educated and my mother eventually agreed because she said I had helped her a lot and I deserved it. Up until then I had been living in the village helping my mother with daily chores

´Before the mobile learning course I and many girls of my age could not read and write a single word, but now all of the girls who benefited from this project can easily read books and now we often exchange books,´ Azra said.

Leveraging technology to empower women and girls like Azra and her friends is the theme of this year’s Mobile Learning Week, which will be celebrated from 23 to 27 February . UNESCO will mark the week with a symposium, forum and research seminar at its Paris Headquarters, with a lineup of experts, policy-maker and private sector leaders. There will also be a session with the members of the United Nations Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which is meeting at UNESCO at the same time. The packed agenda for the week has been organized jointly by UNESCO and UN Women and will be opened on Tuesday 24 February by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. The keynote address will be given by Cherie Blair, who launched the Foundation for Women in 2008 to support women entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Despite the fabulous growth of mobile technology globally, too many women and girls are still missing out; they are missing out on education, and they are missing out on access to new technologies and the opportunities they provide.

UNESCO’s statistics show that two out of three of the world’s 781 million illiterate adults and 126 million illiterate youth are women. At the same time, research by Intel shows that nearly 25 percent fewer women than men have internet connectivity in developing countries, and this gap rises to 50 percent in some regions. In low to middle income nations, 300 million more men than women own mobile phones, and men are far more likely to use them to connect to the internet and download applications that increase economic, professional and educational opportunities.

Although not a panacea, mobile technology is a promising vehicle for improving education, due to a proliferation of educational content tailored for use on widely owned mobile devices. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) estimates that of the seven billion people on Earth, over six billion now have access to a working mobile device, meaning that mobile technology is now common in areas where women are underserved and educational opportunities are limited.

The success and enthusiasm generated by projects such as the UNESCO project in Pakistan mentioned above, which is supported by Nokia, bear powerful testimony to the fierce desire of girls to learn, the ease with which they adapt to education via new technologies, and the benefits that are reaped. Other UNESCO-led projects with Nokia in Mexico and Nigeria show how these technologies can also be used to improve the quality of teaching in remote areas, or with indigenous communities.

Mobile Learning Week 2015 will give participants a venue to learn about and discuss these and the myriad of other technology programmes, initiatives and content that are alleviating gender deficits in education, and helping to change the lives of young women like Azra in Pakistan. It will encourage conversations about gender-sensitive approaches to the application and use of ICT in education, and demonstrate how mobile technology can provide a tool for closing the access, knowledge and confidence gaps between women and men worldwide.“


 
(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:10:07 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


“About 200 graduates will be conferred with internships across government ICT Departments tomorrow during the launch of The Presidential Digital Talent Program (PDTP). The launch had been earlier on scheduled for February 3 but later postponed to February 10.

The launch of the program comes after the government through the Ministry of ICT requested all qualified students to apply for the programme since December 12, 2014 to January 9, 2015.

The programme aims to provide internship opportunities to fresh university graduates in readying them to be the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry leaders and experts in the future.

The Presidential Digital Talent Program was initiated last year by the Ministry of ICT and is being implemented by ICT Authority (ICTA) through a private and public partnership (PPP) arrangement. The program is one of the key initiatives and project spelled out in the ICT Masterplan and a key deliverable for the jubilee government and the Vision 2030 Social and Economic strategic pillars. The program will run for the next 3 years.

The program is one of the key initiatives and project spelt out in the ICT Master plan and a key deliverable for the Jubilee government and the Vision 2030 Social and Economic strategic pillars.

This Public Private Partnership Programme includes local companies, multinational and public sector players. The Internship programme targets qualified ICT graduates. The Interns in government will serve on a variety of roles.
The programme also aims to provide a training ground to fresh university graduates in readying them to be the industry leaders and experts in the future.

With a mission to build the next generation of globally competitive ICT, leadership and technology talent that will transform Kenya through world-class service delivery to the citizens, the programme also looks at engaging citizenry through innovative and sustainable ICT skill development.

The programme also has a focus on ensuring that the Government has ICT competencies with requisite competencies to design, procure, implement and manage a sound ICT structure for effective service delivery. It will also ensure that the government has ICT culture transformation that treats ICT as a business in support of government service delivery objective and still provide a training ground for ICT professionals in the future and offer an affordable labour pool of freshly qualified individuals.

The programme is set to take a span of five years, which will be reviewed after 3 years. The initial pilot targets 200 interns for a period of 12 months. It is expected that the numbers will scale up as the initiative progresses in successive years to cater for County Governments.

Once implemented the programme will transform not only how ICT is managed in the government but also have a full impact in the entire economy in the long term, improve service delivery through effective use of ICT in government, create a pipeline of youths with desirable value and core competencies that will facilitate rapid economic and social change, increase youth employment and increase the GDP and have economic impact.“

(Source: CIO East Africa)

Thursday, February 12, 2015 4:47:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 06, 2015


"A total of 2 500 women will receive ICT training every year in the Republic of Congo as part of the Tech25 project, the government in this Central African nation said last week.

The Tech25 initiative, a brainchild of the BantuHub Foundation, was launched on 28 January 2014 in the capital Brazzaville by Isidore Mvouba, minister for industrial development and promotion of private sector.

Women represent a considerable part of the country's 4.5 million people, but gender discrimination and inequalities are rife here as women lack access to education, healthcare and leadership positions, and many lack basic computer skills.

But now the Tech25 initiative, which aims at building a knowledge-based economy and increasing the country's GDP by 10%, wants to include everyone in the digital train of the future.

´If the government fulfills its promise of training these women, chances are that some and why not most of them might end up launching their own ICT business, managing an internet cafe for instance,´ ICT teacher Euloge Samba told Biztechafrica.

The Tech25 initiative, which brings together government, business and civil society, wants to create startups, set up incubators and technology hubs to develop local skills and promote the development of ICT skills.

´The state should create conditions that could trigger the creation of digital companies,´ minister of posts and telecoms Thierry Moungala said."

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Friday, February 06, 2015 5:26:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 05, 2015


“More and more, throughout parts of Africa, tech hubs are emerging to help women realise the benefits of digital technology. Created by women, for women, these communities not only train women and girls with digital skills for business and everyday life, they provide an important support network to ensure they stay connected.

As the gender gap for Internet usage stands at a huge 45 percent in regions like sub-Saharan Africa, these networks are becoming all the more important. According to Modupe Darabidan from the Nigerian NGO the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC), these groups help women overcome challenges such as limited accessibility and ‘digital fear’.

´Usually, women tend to believe that technology is not meant for them and attribute its prowess to men; this in itself is a huge problem. So there is still more work to be done to create the right mind-set,´ Darabidan says.

´Also, most public schools in Nigeria do not have computer systems in the schools, and the few that have don’t have enough to cater to all the students. This is a huge problem as the boys often see it as their right to have access first making the girls shy away.´

Darabidan was part of the eLearning Africa Supporting Transformation (EAST) programme in 2014. She was awarded a scholarship to attend the eLearning Africa conference where she made valuable connections to enhance the work of W.TEC.

´These connections helped me extend my network and harness the knowledge and resources made available back home. I have also had the opportunity of working with my new connections on new projects and prospective ones,´ Darabidan says.

W.TEC hosts technology camps, which offer two-week education and mentoring programmes, as well as workshops in scratch programming, mobile app design, digital photography and digital video production. The organisation also carries out research projects to further explore women’s uses of technology, and offer programmes to help boost business and employment opportunities.

´These trainings are usually tailored to help the women understand why they need technology to improve their capacities and are taught in its barest form by using tools they are already familiar with – mobile phones, tablets, social media,´ Darabidan says.

Feedback W.TEC has received from its community is that girls have become more confident on school computer systems and have learnt how to best harness available resources around them; they have been able to integrate technology more in their everyday lives; older women who are more business focused are now using productivity tools to manage their businesses more productively; and school teachers have gained a better understanding of how hands-on sessions can help the students learn faster during their computer science classes.

In addition to the skills acquired, Darabidan says one of W.TEC’s main benefits is becoming part of a community. She says: ´Alumni of any of the W.TEC technology programmes are added to the organisation’s network and are privy to first-hand information about grants, business and job opportunities, and scholarships. These are usually posted on the organisation’s social media platforms or sent via emails.´

Similarly, in Senegal, the country’s first female tech hub was recently launched. JJiguene Tech Senegal hosts monthly networking meetings that feature diverse speakers addressing topics such as women in business, app development and ICT careers. It also arranges school and university outreach programmes, as well as programmes for mentorship and training.

´We want to be a role model for girls and for women in tech. They think it’s just for men,´ co-founder and app designer Awa Caba told the BBC.

Those involved say it has given them opportunities to speak with girls and women involved in ICT, and has inspired them to follow a career in tech.

The new EAST Women in ICT Programme is developed especially for women who are studying or working with ICT and would like to become part of a similar network of women by supporting them to take part in the eLearning Africa 2015.“

(Source: eLearning)

Thursday, February 05, 2015 11:06:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


“´This opportunity provides us with a new beginning to raise the standards. There are so many places in the country where IT is taught, but so far there has not been a national standard of ICT literacy,´ Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Rwanda’s Youth and ICT minister told The New Times. ´It is important that they not only acquire skills but they have accredited certification.´

According to the report, a private sector computer skills program —International Computer Driving License (ICDL) — and the government are coming together to raise ICT literacy of Rwandan youth, government members and the general public. The official agreement was signed by both partners January 28, 2015.

By 2018, the government is hoping to hit an ICT literacy goal of 50 percent, although the current figure sits at 3.3 percent. Roughly 85,000 government officials alone will receive a certificate after completing training. The greatest boost that the government is hoping to achieve is a turnaround in employee productivity — something that can be advanced through ICT.

The New Times also reported that once the country’s literacy rate begins to increase, professional institutions and businesses are expected to follow suit in encouraging ICT comprehension. In addition, this type of training provides a segue way for similar international organizations to come in, create partnerships and contribute to ICT growth in Africa.

´It is a major contributor to progress, it is fantastic to see young people invent new ways of creating a market place and offering new services,´ Christine Lagarde, IMF general director told The New Times following a visit to ICT mentorship hub K-Lab — another organization lifting ICT literacy rates in Rwanda.

Earlier this month, Biztech Africa reported that in the first two quarters of 2014, ICT contributed to 2 percent of Rwanda’s overall GDP.

More than the combination of other sectors including mining, trade and manufacturing, financial contributions for ICT trumped them pulling in 45 percent of foreign direct investment, according to Biztech Africa.“

(Source: AFK)

Thursday, February 05, 2015 10:56:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“Intel recently released a new report entitled, ´MakeHers: Engaging Girls and Women in Technology through Making, Creating and Inventing´ . The report includes concrete data that indicates that girls and women involved with ´making,´ designing and creating things with electronic tools may build stronger interest and skills in computer science and engineering. The report also assesses the role of girls and women in the ´maker movement´, a growing wave of tech-inspired, do-it-yourself innovation.

Intel supports the maker movement to encourage innovation – whether it takes place in a classroom, a lab or a workshop in a home or garage – and introduce young makers to computer science and engineering in revolutionary and innovative ways beyond the traditional classroom setting.

The report was created in consultation with experts including the Girl Scouts and Maker Education and it aims to increase access to and interest in computer science and engineering, especially among girls and women and underrepresented minorities, where there remains a significant gap.

The report finds that ´making´ can help girls and women learn new content and technologies and provide an avenue for them to engage in scientific and engineering problems that align with their interests. It can bring ideas to life, spur creativity and personal growth. The study outlines a set of recommendations and call to action to use ´maker´ activities to broaden participation in computer science and engineering.

Through the report, Intel has identified several key recommendations for parents, educators, policymakers and other stakeholders to engage girls and women in making:
Build more girls- and women-inclusive maker environments in public places.

Design maker spaces that enable open-ended investigation of projects meaningful to girls and women. Develop initiatives that give girls more access to makers their own age and female mentors. Align making activities, such as coding and making hardware, with current trends and personal interests to attract girls.

In the Asia Pacific and Japan region, Intel supports the maker movement through Maker Faires, Hackathons, innovation contests, curricula and lab development, and workshops with over 40 events across the region in 2014.“

(Source: Intel Asia Pacific CSR Journal)

Thursday, February 05, 2015 10:50:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 23, 2014
“The specialty award honors a female character, and those involved in bringing her to life, that goes above and beyond to be inspiring and encouraging to break down stereotypes and elevate the conversation around female ingenuity in technology fields.

The first ever SET Award for Portrayal of a Female in Technology, presented by Entertainment Industries Council (EIC), the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) & Google is announced today. This inaugural honor is the latest expansion of the long-standing EIC SET Awards which recognize television, feature film, comic book, DVD, digital content, radio and news journalism that encourages young people in science, engineering and technology (SET) career paths. Through this collaboration, entertainment and media merges with technology career paths and diversity initiatives to inspire vast audiences in pivotal career paths.

´EIC is proud to recognize the power and influence actors and actresses have to bring to life inspiring and exciting characters who can change attitudes and perceptions of diverse audiences about career paths of the future,´ said Brian Dyak, President and CEO of EIC. ´Since CSI: Crime Scene Investigation began, over a decade ago, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of educational programs for forensic science; researchers have even noted a 50 percent increase in the number of women pursuing these fields. The 'CSI effect' set the bar for sciences; now we plan to expand that positive reach to technology careers and beyond.´

The specialty award honors a female character, and those involved in bringing her to life, that goes above and beyond to be inspiring and encouraging to break down stereotypes and elevate the conversation around female ingenuity in technology fields. Portrayal of a Female in Technology is the first SET Award to showcase a female’s role in entertainment regarding technology.

´Gender diversity enhances innovation and expands the qualified employee pool, increasing corporate profitability. However, the industry is failing at attracting wide-ranging talent,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO and Co-founder of NCWIT. ´Collaborating with EIC and Google enables us to use the power of mass media to replace myths and stereotypes with inclusive portrayals that will inspire girls and women to seek computing opportunities.´

Launched at the 4th Annual SET Awards, produced by EIC, the nomination period for the awards will begin December 2, 2014 at http://g.co/GoogleSETAward.

´When it comes to encouraging girls and women to pursue careers in computer science and other technical fields, we know that positive role models matter,´ said Mo Fong, Director for K-12 Education Outreach at Google. ´We are excited to be partnering with EIC and NCWIT to create an award that highlights amazing women in entertainment and the characters they portray to inspire and propel more women into technical careers critical to future innovation.´

Nominations will be accepted at http://g.co/GoogleSETAward through January 18, 2015. Voting will be held online in Spring 2015 and the winner announced at the 2015 NCWIT Summit for Women and IT on May 19-21 in Hilton Head, South Carolina.“

(Source: PRWeb)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 3:10:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“2,000 youth from across Rwanda are gathering at the third edition of the National YouthConnekt Convention from 17th-19th December in Kigali and they are participating in the national dialogue (Umushyikirano).

The convention has been organized by the Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) and the National Youth Council (NYC) in collaboration with various stakeholders under the theme ´Together – Accountable – Big Think.´
 
Through YouthConnekt, Rwanda’s young people, who make up more than 60% of the active labour force, have understood that they are the largest contributors to national development, given not only their number but also their energy, innovation, creativity and passion.

At the first two conventions, the participants expressed the wish to participate and contribute meaningfully to the national dialogue so that their views are fully taken into account in the national development agenda. At the conventions, attendees also made a number of commitments, which have been achieved in the last two years.
The Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana stressed that ´YouthConnekt Convention establishes a platform for Rwanda’s young people at home and abroad to showcase their potential and contribute to building their country.´

Minister Nsengimana added that ´As we evaluate the achievements made through the previous performance contracts, we should also come together to shape the future that we want… We can shape our future and that of our nation. It’s for this reason that I challenge us to play a part in building the nation.´

This year’s convention brings together 2,000 young people including entrepreneurs and professionals, Indangamirwa, innovators, artists, students, and young people living with disabilities. Attendees of the convention will follow and participate in Umushyikirano (the National Dialogue Council) live from Petit Stade in Remera, Kigali. Participants will also showcase their initiatives and innovations that are positively impacting society and reiterate their role in national development.

The inaugural YouthConnekt Convention took place in 2012, establishing a platform for Rwanda’s young people at home and abroad to showcase their potential and contribute to building their country.“

(Source:  MYICT)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 3:01:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 15, 2014
"Technology and innovation for social good on display in Doha

In a parallel programme of workshops, sessions, pitching and collaborations, the ITU Telecom World 2014 Young Innovators Competition winners joined winners of the 2013 edition and start-ups from local and global partner organizations to set their own agenda on technology and innovation with a clear social dimension.

The programme kicked off with joint participation in the ShapeMENA event organized by the World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper community, 3 – 4 December. The Young Innovators attended panel sessions on ‘Trends and Challenges facing young Arabs’, ‘Media Empowerment for Social Change Makers’, ‘Fuelling High Impact Philanthropy through Technology’, the ‘Future of Jobs’, and ‘Inspiring Positive Social Change’.

Learning experiences continued with two days of workshops from prominent local universities, including a visit to the state-of-the-art Qatar Science and Technology Park.
During ITU Telecom World 2014, 7 – 10 December, the Young Innovators hosted the ‘Young Influencers Day’ and the ‘Start-up Day’, two thematic events aimed at bringing the young participants together to solidify a distinct programme and voice. In addition, the Creative Conversations on the event show floor provided further opportunities for the young innovators competition winners to engage with the greater debate at ITU Telecom World and to participate in inter-disciplinary discussions on wearable technology, co-creation, and ICTs and sports.

Highlights included sessions on ‘Financing for Start-ups’, a master class in ‘Intellectual Property’, and a pitching session. Before an audience of delegates, peers, and investors, the Young Innovators presented their winning projects and responded to questions on their feasibility. The day concluded with a networking reception and informal chat between participants and the audience.

´These talented young people –digital natives–bring fresh perceptions, insights and innovations into the global ICT ecosystem,´ said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. ´They truly represent the future.´

The Young Innovators Competition onsite programme at ITU Telecom World provided an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas, engaging more young stakeholders in new and innovative ways. New collaborations have been set in motion for an even more eventful Young Innovators Programme at next year’s edition of ITU Telecom World that will take place 12 – 15 October 2015 in Budapest, Hungary.

For further information on the Young Innovators Programme and Competition, please see http://telecomworld.itu.int/take-part/young-innovators/

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Monday, December 15, 2014 4:30:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“Ericsson today announced the launch of its global education initiative 'Connect to Learn' in India. Connect To Learn implements information and communications technology (ICT) in schools in resource poor settings, to ensure that children, no matter where they live, have access to learning resources and a quality education. In line with the vision of a complete 21st Century education for everyone, the program provides an opportunity for youth to access learning resources that were previously unavailable to them.

As a part of the program, Ericsson in association with three leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in India - Plan International (India Chapter), Smile Foundation and Pratham Education Foundation has launched projects for periods of one to three years, that make a positive impact on the lives of underprivileged students and urban youth in different parts of the country. Each partner brings a specific contribution to the success of the initiative.

In terms of creating employment opportunities for underprivileged youth, Ericsson has partnered with Smile Foundation to offer job-oriented skills and placement assistance to underprivileged youth in Delhi/National Capital Region (NCR) and Mumbai. This program will impart training in basic computers and retail sales management skills, along with proficiency in spoken and written English through 20 centres to be set in Delhi/NCR and Mumbai. The curriculum also includes sessions on personal development, career counselling and placement support.

Recognizing an important link between limited mobility of women and girls and accessing progressive learning opportunities, the project with Plan India focuses on ensuring increased access to opportunities for self-development for 15000 girls in the 15 - 25 age group. Ericsson will establish 12 Networked Learning Centres in Delhi as knowledge hubs for girls, in association with Plan India.

As a part of the third project, Ericsson will collaborate with Pratham Education Foundation to establish Learning Excellence Program (LEP) in about 15 schools in the villages of Gurgaon. The LEP provides need based support to Government Schools by targeting children who lag behind in their learning levels.

Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility (CR), Ericsson said, "As we move closer to the Networked Society, we see mobile broadband emerging as a powerful tool, offering the opportunity to connect even the remotest villages.

´Connect to Learn has been successful in bringing the benefits of connectivity to students and schools worldwide. With more than 1 billion people in India, the potential to contribute to improved access to education is enormous. Through the formation of initiatives like Connect To Learn, we demonstrate that public-private partnerships are key to developing sustainable solutions that can make a major impact in education through technology.´

Chris Houghton, Head of Region, Ericsson India said, ´ICT has immense potential to offer learning opportunities and also have positive impact on a country's economic growth. With the three partners, we are creating a unique Connect to Learn ecosystem in India which will make a difference in the lives of thousands of underprivileged children and youth by creating an environment that is conducive to their overall growth and development.´

'Connect To Learn' is a global education initiative of Ericsson, the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Millennium Promise that leverages the power of ICT to enable access to high-quality education for students everywhere. The initiative is based on the use of connectivity to implement low-cost and user-friendly ICT solutions for schools through mobile broadband and cloud computing.

This gives students and teachers access to world-class information and educational resources, and the ability to connect schools to other schools around the world to foster collaborative learning, cross-cultural understanding and global awareness.“

(Source: Ericcson)

Monday, December 15, 2014 3:55:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“Microsoft and 88mph have revealed the expansion of the Microsoft Ventures program into Nigeria. As part of the 4Afrika Initiative, the collaboration, according to both parties, will help improve start-ups’ productivity by offering tools, resources, expertise and routes to market around the world.

Amrote Abdella, Director of Start-up Engagement and Partnerships, Microsoft Africa Initiatives, stated that: ´There is a great opportunity to further develop the start-up ecosystem in Nigeria and drive innovation. By expanding Microsoft Ventures into Nigeria, we hope to reinvent productivity for start-ups. This means equipping them with the technology that puts their businesses first, by providing affordable devices, cloud-based software and pay-as-you-go models, that enable anytime-anywhere access.´

Start-ups for the program will be selected based on globally established criteria. These include having a full-time founding team, a bold vision for tackling a real problem, technology-driven solutions and less than $1 million raised.

´While working with Microsoft in Kenya, we found we were very aligned on finding businesses that deliver value to consumers, helping bring them to profitability, and hopefully getting more investors interested in web/mobile businesses,´ said Kresten Buch of 88mph.

88mph and L5Lab created a Joint Venture called 440.ng, to invest in start-ups in Nigeria. ´It’s still early days here and not a lot of players in this space, so we are thrilled that Microsoft wants to support our efforts here as well,´ Buch concluded.

One Nigerian start-up who has already benefited from the partnership with 88mph is Abiola Olaniran, founder of mobile games company Gamsole. To date, Gamsole has over 9 million game downloads, making Abiola Nigeria’s highest paid Windows game developer.“

(Source: IT News Africa)

Monday, December 15, 2014 3:44:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


“Welcome to IICD’s Annual Report 2013. Our report will take you through the countries we work in and a selection of projects that demonstrate how our ICT-led social innovation process has helped foster behavioural and social change in these communities. IICD uses ICT to help build the capacity of people and organisations in Africa and Latin America to generate social change in their own communities and take charge of their own development. Just as supplying forks is not the answer to world hunger, simply providing laptops to schools does not improve children’s learning and equipping women with mobile phones is not a cure-all for maternal health issues.“

Download full report here)

(Source: IICD)

Monday, December 15, 2014 3:38:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 09, 2014
“A record 6,800 participants from 95 countries just attended the fifth Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakech.

Another 14.5 million people on Facebook and 7.5 million on Twitter also followed the 2-day event in the Ochre City, which wrapped up on Thursday (November 21).

Young people ´are the main drivers of change and progress´, United States Vice President Joe Biden told the audience of government officials, financial decision-makers, community figures and students.

The vice president led a large American delegation to the Moroccan event, including Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, who said that the administration of US President Barack Obama was working to promote entrepreneurship and innovation around the world.

The summit provided ´an opportunity for young people to draw inspiration from successful experiences in the realm of modern technologies´, General Confederation of Moroccan Businesses (CGEM) President Meriem Bensaleh told Magharebia.

Agreements aimed at helping young entrepreneurs were signed by company bosses and a range of industrial and financial institutions.

´Over 600 young students came to broaden their knowledge and their know-how in the field of modern information technologies,´ Moroccan Deputy Foreign Minister M’barka Bouaida said.

Some 70% of young Moroccans want to start up their own business – the highest proportion in the MENA region, Deputy Minister of Small Enterprises Mamoun Bouhdoud pointed out.
Salim Belarrabi, a Moroccan computer engineering student, attended the Marrakech event to learn more about how to realise his ambitions.

´These days, a young person needs guidance and support from professionals in both the public and the private sector to start up a business successfully,´ Belarrabi said.

The student has a good chance at success, one industry expert told Magharebia.

According to Abdellatif Ch’biha, who runs a consultancy firm, the modern technology sector is now a lucrative area for young people who want to make an impact with their start-up.

´This sector in Morocco generates annual turnover of 33 billion dirhams, thanks to a technology boom that is benefiting from an increase in internet access, which is estimated at 16 million Moroccans online every day,´ he said.

The summit culminated in announcements about a US project to invest and train young Moroccans (the Enterprise and Innovation Seed Fund, worth 50 million dollars), the launch of the Moroccan Entrepreneurship and Innovation Club, and plans for an ´Enterprise City´ in the kingdom.

The Marrakech event also saw the inauguration of an annual million-dollar prize for entrepreneurship, to be awarded solely to young Africans.

The announcements drew lengthy applause from participants, who hailed the measures as concrete steps to encourage entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity among young people.

The next edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, an initiative launched by the White House in 2009, will be held in an as-yet unnanouced Sahel country.“
 
(Source: Magharebia)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 11:46:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
"Dimension Data, the US$6 billion ICT solutions and services provider, has announced that 45 learners have graduated today from its innovative Saturday School Programme.

The Dimension Data Saturday School initiative is a two-year programme that benefits 100 grade 11 and 12 pupils from 21 public high schools in Gauteng every year. Learners attend mathematics, physical science, life sciences, English, computer studies and life skills classes every Saturday.

´Our objective with the Saturday School is to produce high-calibre learners who will go on to achieve their ambitions in whatever sphere of life or business they choose. We give them the tools to be able to take the next step in their life through a good Matric pass. I have no doubt this class will continue in the footsteps of their predecessors and do exceptionally well in the 2014 Matric exams. We are very excited about what the future holds for these bright young minds,´ says Zellah Fuphe, Executive, Strategic Relations at Dimension Data Middle East and Africa.

Learners are accepted into the programme in grade 11, following a stringent selection process based on merit, academic performance, communication skills, attitude and leadership potential.

In addition to working through the formal syllabus, the learners receive leadership, entrepreneurship and social skills training, all aimed at preparing them for challenges beyond Matric. Grade 12 learners participate in the company's career day initiative, where they are exposed to the various career opportunities available at Dimension Data and to the broader ICT industry. They are also provided with an opportunity to be mentored by senior company executives who specialise in the career interest they have selected. The Saturday School initiative also includes the Winter School Programme for the Matric learners in preparation for their end-of-year exams.

Established 20 years ago with just 11 pupils, the Dimension Data Saturday School has consistently achieved a 100% pass rate and has assisted hundreds of learners to achieve their dreams. Last year's graduating class (the class of 2013) achieved 95% university entrance and 93 distinctions among 45 learners.

The Saturday School is based at Dimension Data's Bryanston head office and tuition is provided by subject experts and qualified educators, as well as Dimension Data employee volunteers.“

Source: Dimensio Data)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 11:35:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 



The TechGirls Mentorship initiative in Rwanda has created a platform where female role models and successful individuals in the STEM industry have come together as mentors for young female TVET graduates.

GIZ and Tech Women launched TechGirls Mentorship initiative to equip female students from Technical universities with professional guidance of vastly experienced mentors and at the same time providing an opportunity to implement the acquired knowledge and skills directly within the enterprise.

Today, Rwanda is very well known for initiatives and policies that empower girls and women. It is the first country in the world whose national parliament contains the highest rate of women representatives, i.e 64% as per 2013 report.

Hence, women in Rwanda are no longer considered mothers and wives only but also as leaders who actively contribute in political matters that shape the nation. In spite of all these efforts to fill the gender gap in the leadership positions, some sectors are still left behind in the race towards gender balance.

The STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) industry in particular, is still predominantly represented by men. This is due to various reasons, some of which are; Lack of an early exposure to some of the aspects of the STEM field beyond Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, lack of female role models in the STEM fields and the STEM field is mostly portrayed by society as a hard to pursue field, which is better left to the male counterparts.

As an attempt to close the gap, the ICT Chamber with the support of Eco-Emploi Program of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) has initiated a female ICT mentorship program “TechGirls” to tackle the previously mentioned reasons through exposure to the real world of STEM industry. This initiative is envisioned to encourage young girls from TVET and high technical schools to pursue courses in the STEM fields with confidence and passion rather than doubt and low self-esteem.

Senior leader and mentor - guides a less experienced one - junior and mentee. The process through which a mentor is supporting their mentee in providing them with practical advices, exchanges, psychological support relevant to their career and professional development is called mentoring.

The aim of this innovative approach is to provide mentees with professional guidance of vastly experienced mentors and at the same time providing an opportunity to implement the acquired knowledge and skills directly within the enterprise.

Through partnership with local companies and institutions in the Tech industry, 10 female students from SOS High Technical School have been given an opportunity to share the daily experience of female mentors from Rwanda Development Board (RDB), TIGO, Airtel, Rwanda Information and Communication Technology Association (RICTA) and Axiom Networks Rwanda for 3 weeks starting from November 11 to December 4, 2014.“

(Source: MYICT Rwanda)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 11:09:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 



“TechWomen Rwanda has urged corporate companies to support girls who are pursuing science and information and communication technology (ICT)-related courses to help sharpen skills and become competitive.
Angel Bisamaza, an ICT expert and an alumnus of the TechWomen Rwanda mentorship programme, said this would also help close the gap between men and women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Bisamaza was speaking at the launch of a two-week mentorship programme with Airtel Rwanda aimed at helping the young girls get the expertise they need to take on technology as a career or enterprise business.

TechWomen is an organisation which aims at encouraging more women in Rwanda to take on careers in the in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It is an initiative of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The two-week programme by Airtel Rwanda will benefit two young women, Vanessa Umugwaneza, a second year business and ICT at Mount Kenya University and Naila Kirezi, a student of economics at University of Kigali, who will be attached to the telecom firm’s department that deals in the fields of information technology and network.

Denise Umunyana, the Airtel head of corporate communications and social responsibility, said the mentorship programme was not only about Airtel sharing its rich knowledge and expertise with the youth, but more about creating skilled and experienced workforce for Rwanda.“

(Source: The New Times)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 10:28:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Telecom operator, Tigo Ghana in partnership with Reach for Change has announced a one week extension for its ‘Digital Change-makers’ competition.

Originally closing on December 1, 2014, Ghanaians can continue to submit their applications until December 8, 2014.



Digital Change-makers is aimed at encouraging social entrepreneurs to use technology to solve some of Ghana’s most pressing needs. For the prize money of GHS 60,000 ($20,000), two winners will be selected and also given expert guidance to implement their projects.

According to Tigo, public response has been encouraging and extending the deadline has become necessary as several people are still going through the various stages of the application at www.tigo.com.gh/digitalchangemakers.

Digital Change-makers is the first of its kind this year as previous years have focused mainly on social entrepreneurs. Past winners include the award-winning Regina Agyare of Tech Needs Girls; Hayford Siaw of Street Library Ghana, Marian Ewurama Wiredu and Erasmus Ackon of IT4Teens, James Kofi Annan of Challenging Heights and Peter Kwarteng of Neonatal Network Support System (NNSS) just to mention a few.

Both Tigo and Reach for Change, a non-governmental organisation hopes to receive quality applications that will demonstrate how mobile broadband, digital and/or information technology can improve the quality of lives of children and society.“

(Source: ModernGhana)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 10:25:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) today announced a 30-day extension of the entry for its Innovation Prize Award (see also #IPA2015). Applications can now be received by 30 November 2014 at 24h00 GMT. With a total prize share of US$150 000, African innovators stand to gain much more, such as recognition through our unique IPA brand, increased opportunities to attract investments, continental and international media attention, and the chance to positively transform the African innovation landscape.

IPA targets innovators in 5 key sectors. The competition is open to all Africans including those in the diaspora, irrespective of socio-economic status, gender, demographics or profession. Says IPA Director, Pauline Mujawamariya: ´We want to take the ecosystem of innovation to a new level across the continent, and are therefore encouraging applications from all 54 African countries to be a part of this unique initiative. We particularly encourage women and young people from all sectors to submit their application´.

As one of the top 10 finalists, you will receive media exposure and IPA will invest up to US$5 000 to further spotlight your innovation. Our criteria for selection  is simple, and if you can meet these you stand a chance to win – BIG! We are looking for smart, innovative solutions that can drive tangible change on the ground and better the lives of Africans.

Winning the prize is certainly the main attraction here, but IPA 2015 has more to offer in terms of post-prize support. So if your idea can shine bright and sustain itself, you are in the line up to receive support to take your venture further and ignite the African innovation ecosystem!

Apply now! Your innovation stands to win a grand share of US$150 000.

Since its inaugural launch in 2011, African leaders have endorsed IPA as an essential stimulus needed to create a platform to spur innovation across Africa in sectors critical to the continent’s sustainable development. Jean Claude Bastos de Morais  founder of the prestigious annual award, now in its 4th year running, is encouraging innovators across the continent to take advantage of the 30 November 2014 deadline: ´The African continent is the new innovation frontier, and we therefore encourage innovators to be a part of the IPA platform and unleash their innovation potential, not only to further develop their inventions, but to contribute to Africa’s success story.´”

(Source: AIF)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 10:05:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 



“At this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Morocco, Microsoft has signed a new strategic alliance with Tunisian startup Saphon Energy, a company that specialises in the research and development of wind energy. The company also introduced the first round of 50 women entrepreneurs to go through its Cloud Startup Academy. This is in-line with Microsoft 4Afrika’s commitment to support African startups to innovate for the continent and the world.

´North Africa is an important region to us. We see tremendous potential for technology in the region to transform the lives of people, increase business aptitude and bring positive change across society,´ says Samir Benmakhlouf, Managing Director of Microsoft Morocco, who at this year’s GES will also be leading the workshop discussion around: Talent to Entrepreneurship. ´Microsoft 4Afrika’s support of Saphon Energy is a perfect illustration of our commitment to promote new ideas born in Africa with the potential to change the world.´

Saphon Energy, a clean-tech company, is the creator and owner of a breakthrough and patented technology, which converts wind energy into electricity. Known as the ‘Saphonian’ or ‘Zero-blade Wind Converter’, the bladeless and rotation-less technology can also be used to pump water and spread connectivity. The technology has already been awarded with a number of international prizes, including: Best Idea at the Sustainable Entrepreneurship 2013 Awards and one of the Innovation Prizes for Africa in 2013.

´The Saphonian has the potential to contribute to transforming the African economic landscape and triggering deep social progress across the continent,´ says Anis Aouini, Creator and Founder of Saphon Energy. ´By improving connectivity and electricity availability, the technology will support entrepreneurship and improve employability.´

Through the collaboration, Saphon Energy will receive financial resources, technology support and large scale visibility to help them validate the revolutionary aspects and industrial capacity of their invention. Additionally, Saphon Energy is developing ´Maraya´ a solution that enables the collection and monitoring of data leveraging the benefits of Microsoft Azure Machine Learning services.

´Personally, I’ve always been impressed by the impact of Microsoft in shaping the new global economy based on intelligence and authentic lateral thinking. Today, it is a real privilege for me and the whole team of Saphon Energy to join forces with Microsoft and connect their intelligence with ours. Support from companies like Microsoft is very important to help African tech companies transcend, scale and unleash their true innovative potential,´ adds Anis.

Growth of female entrepreneurs in the region is also vital to boosting local economies and disposable income. Microsoft recently collaborated with AFEM to launch a Cloud Startup Academy, the first program of its kind in Morocco whose mission is to help young women launch innovative startups based on the latest Cloud technology. The first round of 50 women began their training on 17 November 2014.

“We believe that cloud computing has the greatest potential to transform competitiveness amongst SMEs and start-ups, delivering greater access to IT, slashing costs and enabling more agile, innovative business models. We look forward to seeing the business models that come out of the Academy,” says Samir.

 Through events like GES 2014, ongoing partnerships with innovation hubs and on-the-ground programs and internships, Microsoft hopes to continue identifying and supporting more innovations from Africa. Other 4Afrika beneficiary startups present at GES included iTaxi.ma from Morocco and Chifco from Tunisia.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 9:59:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“AS part of efforts to improve access to quality education in Nigeria, The Education Partnership Centre (TEP Centre), has announced the establishment of the Centre for Education Innovations (CEI) in Nigeria.

The CEI is an initiative of Results for Development Institute (R4D), and relies on a broad network of regional partners and collaborators. With its establishment in Nigeria, the country joins a global network of CEI hubs located in East Africa, South Africa and India.

TEP Centre on the other hand is Nigeria’s pioneer education partnership consultancy, specialising in the design, implementation, support and evaluation of multi-sectorial partnership programmes in education.

The CEI has already commenced examining emerging innovative models within the education space that hold promise for the country’s poor since it has been identified that across sub-Saharan Africa, one of the key challenges to attaining key goals of access, quality and equity in education is the limited participation of the non-state sector in the funding, provision and management of education.

The CEI initiative is a non-profit DFID-funded initiative to improve access to education in developing countries using innovative programmes targeted at the poor. To achieve this goal, the programme will identify, analyze and connect non-state innovative programmes that improve the quality and affordability of education in Nigeria.

There are significant gaps in global understanding of the benefits of such programmes. These gaps therefore, are due to the lack of systematic and easy-to-access information about such programmes around the world.

According to TEP Centre’s Managing Director, Dr. Mo Adefeso-Olateju, ´The programme aims to support policy makers, funders, and programme implementers in their efforts to improve and better harness the potentials of the non-state sector to achieve educational goals. Featured on the CEI global website are 511 innovative models from around the world, and counting. Of these, 31 are from Nigeria, having been profiled by TEP Centre, and already attracting global interest.´

Across the country and in sun-Saharan African countries, the professional competence to design and structure meaningful education partnerships have been found to be severely lacking. This is the gap that TEP Centre’s exceptionally talented team consistently fills, resulting in TEP Centre serving as a regional pioneer in the emerging field of education partnership.

Services offered by TEP Centre include research instrument development, quantitative and qualitative research, strategic, planning, programmes design and adaptation, policy planning, monitoring and evaluation, project management and scaling-up advisory.

 An affiliate of the Expandnet network, TEP Centre serves a broad range of education sector stakeholders including policy makers, corporate organizations and foundations, development agencies, donor-funded and assisted programmes, civil society organisations, philanthropic organisations and educational institutions.

 The facility has also offered support to programmes funded, assisted or managed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), World Bank, MacArthur Foundation, and Results for Development Institute (R4D), Ford Foundation, Dalberg, the Lagos State Government and Oando Foundation.

TEP Centre is also the local learning partner for the international donor consortium, Partnership to Strengthen, Implementation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE), and working in partnership with Results for Development Institute (R4D) Washington DC. “

(Source: The Guardian)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 9:56:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“Two Nigerian youths, Messrs Anthony Oniwon and Abdulganiyu Onabanjo were the cynosure of all eyes, Wednesday week, Night in Cape Town as they carted away a whopping $35, 000, approximately, N6 million, as winners of Etisalat Pan-African Prize for Innovation 2014.

Etisalat used the opportunity of the AfricaCom Awards Gala Dinner which rounded off this year’s AfricaCom Conference, at the Cape Town International Conference Centre Nov 11-13 to present the prizes.

Oniwon created and developed Exam mate solution, an Exam preparatory programme for JAMB candidates, designed to reduce the failure rate in JAMB examinations. The application, according to Etisalat, rated highest among others considered in the Most Innovative Product or Service category of the award and therefore merited the coveted Prize of $25,000- over N4million, while Onabanjo’s Interactive Media Interface Design (IMID), a remote communication interface for GPRS-enabled pre-paid meters, ranked top in the Most Innovative Idea category and also deserved the top prize of N$10,000 – approximately N1.7 million. Presenting the Awards, Etisalat Nigeria’s Director, Consumer Segment, Oluwole Rawa and his colleague Adia Sowho, Head Digital Media, described the award initiative as Etisalat’s way of encouraging and celebrating valuable innovation in the African market. The Award is in its third edition.

Rawa expressed pleasure that the competition was beginning to inspire local software developers and ingenious people to create innovative and relevant mobile broadband products and services that can make a positive impact on the aggregate African economy. ´At Etisalat, we see ourselves as a young and innovative company, setting the pace for others in the telecommu-nications industry.

Therefore we are glad to see that the Etisalat Pan-African Prize for Innovation is spurring young people across Africa to be creative´ he said. Beneficiaries of the Prize, The Anthony Oniwon and Abdulganiyu Onabanjo both commended Etisalat for introducing the award.“

(Source: Vanguard)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 9:53:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 08, 2014
Young social entrepreneurs to participate in accelerator programme at
ITU Telecom World in Doha and win seed funding

ITU Telecom has announced the winners of its fourth annual Young Innovators’ Competition. Open to young social entrepreneurs between ages 18 and 30 from around the world, the competition sought innovative digital solutions with positive social impact to four challenges, focusing on developmental issues and technologies. The winners will be heading to ITU Telecom World 2014, the leading networking, solutions showcasing and knowledge-sharing event for the global ICT community in Doha, Qatar, 7-11 December.

From over 822 entries for four Challenges from 99 countries worldwide, submitted on a dedicated platform powered by Crowdicity, eight start-ups and concepts were selected on the basis of social impact and potential for business success:

Challenge 1 on Local Digital Content with Challenge Partner Ooredoo

·    TeleMuseum – Lorna Okeng, Uganda:  online virtual museum preserving and digitalizing African local content, oral traditions, and culture in cinema
·    Incept – Safouan Ben Jha, Tunisia: interactive, multilingual augmented reality app for museums and historic sites

Challenge 2 on Open Source Technologies for Disaster Management

·    Social Media Coordination (SoMeC) – Hemant Purohit, India: web app to identify social media influencers and improve disaster response coordination
·    NAJI – Your Mobile Is Your Saviour – Sahar Pakseresht, Iran: app and bracelet using body sensor networks to locate people missing in natural disasters

Challenge 3 on Smart Cities & Climate Change with Challenge Partner WHO

·    Making Sense of Sensor Technology – Vratul Kumar, India: wireless smart sensor technology applied to waste disposal networks
·    Matti – Jeisson Díaz, Colombia: GPS-based social app to raise awareness on recycling and climate change

Challenge 4 on the Internet of Things with Challenge Partner IEEE IoT Initiative

·    Unplugged – Marvin Arnold, USA: developing a secure decentralized information exchange platform to rival the Internet
·    CONNECTED ECO – Fatoumata Kebe, France/Mali: solar-powered sensor providing real-time analysis of soil conditions and irrigation needs

At ITU Telecom World 2014 in Doha, the Young Innovators Competition winners will take part in an accelerator programme to take their projects to the next level via one-on-one sessions with start-up mentors and business experts, hands-on workshop training and peer mentoring from the winners of the 2013 competition. Based on their performance during the Young Innovators Pitching Session, each winner will be awarded up to USD 10,000 for start-ups and USD 5,000 for concepts.

In addition, the competition winners will have space in a dedicated pavilion on the show floor, the InnovationSpace, where they will have the opportunity to display their work alongside other social innovations by former winners and a community of global inventors, and where they will host two thematic days during ITU Telecom World 2014:

Young Influencers Day – 7 December


In collaboration with the Doha Hub of the Global Shapers Community, a World Economic Forum initiative, the ITU Telecom World Young Innovators Programme will gather young influencers from across the region along with young entrepreneurs to explore the potential of ICT in mitigating global challenges, and discuss ´What are the Driving Forces for Innovation and Social Change´. All young people interested in joining the inter-active panel discussions are welcome to attend.

Start-up Day – 9 December


The day is dedicated to start-ups, entrepreneurs and discussions on taking one’s project to the next level, organized in partnership with ictQATAR Digital Incubation Centre. The focus of the day will be on financing and investment, including a session on how to reach out to investors and what to be aware of when doing so. By bringing together guest innovators and their start-ups from all over the world, this day demonstrates the Young Innovators Programme’s commitment to the power of collaboration and knowledge-sharing in changing the future for the better.

´These bright young minds have found creative technological solutions to developmental challenges both in their communities and in the wider world,´ said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. “The innovative social start-ups, winners of the competition, as well as alumni from previous years, are an inspiration to all delegates, guests and participants in ITU Telecom World. Their resolve to improve their community and enthusiasm to spread the idealism of their ventures is truly impressive.´

ITU Secretary-General elect Houlin Zhao added: ´Expanding the spotlight from winners of the competition to promising local and regional start-ups, touching base with young thought- and business leaders through partner programmes, reinforces ITU Telecom World as a key platform for interaction, not only for the current big players in the ICT sector, but also for the new and emerging disruptive leaders of tomorrow.´

For further information on the Young Innovators Programme and Competition, please see http://telecomworld.itu.int/take-part/young-innovators/.”

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Monday, December 08, 2014 10:19:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Despite setbacks, Ethiopia’s tech economy has been making strides, luring entrepreneurs from throughout Africa and gaining international recognition.

This is due to a mix of increased government support for ICT development and the establishment of start-up incubators and hubs that are creating an ideal landscape for the tech industry to grow.


Now home to 1,000 members, incubator iceaddis  is the first of its kind in Ethiopia, describing itself as: ´Collaborative work spaces where aspiring young entrepreneurs, ICT driven individuals, techies, youth and creative individuals can come together to receive business and life skill training, prototyping, technology transfer and enhance their productivity and, ultimately, form viable and sustainable business plans for the future.´

Easily drawing comparisons to other tech hubs in the region, like Nairobi’s iHub  – which now has over 16,000 members – or Uganda’s Hive Colab , iceaddis grew organically, starting with small events and workshops.

According to iceaddis member Markos Lemma, in Ethiopia ´there is high potential for techies to develop applications and technical solutions.´

Adam Abate, founder of Apposit, an information technology services company, attributes this potential to the benefits of exploiting a largely untapped market.

´Infrastructure is expanding at a rapid rate, and the most obvious opportunity in Ethiopia is that there’s still very little here,´ he said.

´Any business you can think of, you can start.´
As Internet access slowly grows in this country of nearly 90 million, a tech boom seems likely. Right now, a mere 1% of Ethiopians have access to the Internet ― even a small increase in that number would create many more opportunities for entrepreneurs.

The Ethiopian government is also investing in ICT. Last year, the government announced plans for a $250 million technology park called Ethio ICT . So far, more than 12 local and international companies have booked space, including China’s ZTE and Techno Mobile and Security Innovation Network (SINET), both of whom will establish their own ICT incubation centres.

The Ministry of Communication & Information Technology states that its aims for establishing the ICT park in Ethiopia are ´to foster the growth of the ICT sector in the country by providing a conducive environment for businesses to develop ICT-supported indigenous business entrepreneurs and to provide employment opportunities for Ethiopians.´

The education sector is also embracing tech. Today, teachers in 75 schools throughout Ethiopia use video technology to record their lessons and evaluate and discuss them with other teachers.

´On the latest videos I can see that because of this, my teaching skills have improved,´ says a teacher from Gafat Primary School in North-Central Ethiopia.

In 10 schools without electricity, solar panels are being used to run the computers and charge the cameras teachers use to evaluate their lessons.

Such innovative thinking isn’t a surprise considering how seriously Ethiopia treats education. The country is one of the few in Africa on track to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of providing universal access to primary education. Many new school buildings have been built over the past few years and there are no fees for primary and secondary schooling. Enrolment has jumped as a result.

Those who graduate into the tech world will find plenty of markets to explore. ´The middle class is increasing, the market is growing,´ Markos Lemma, co-founder of iceaddis, told the BBC.

´There are a lot of opportunities for techies in Ethiopia.´“

(Source: eLearning Africa)

Monday, December 08, 2014 10:06:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


"Digify, the Google and IAB SA-backed three-month digital bootcamp run by youth agency Livity Africa, is calling talented 18-to-25-year-olds to apply for its January 2015 intake.

Commencing in Johannesburg in mid-January 2015, 15 young people will join the successful initiative which has seen graduates start their careers in some of the country's top digital agencies including Native VML and Retroviral.

Livity Africa Managing Director Gavin Weale says: ´What is really unique about this bootcamp is our strong links with leaders in the digital industry. Not only is Google funding the initiative, they provide Google experts to ensure the young people receive up-to-date training with Search, AdWords, Analytics and YouTube and as well as running campaigns on other social media networks.´

´In addition to gaining technical skills, our Digifyers work closely with brands and agencies to develop campaigns for real live briefs. In the last two cohorts, they have developed campaign ideas for brands like Red Bull, Kit Kat, Nescafé, MTN, Nandos and Mountain Dew,´ says Weale.

Skilled individuals to sustain South Africa's fast digital growth

Google South Africa Country Marketing Manager Elizma Nolte says: ´We are delighted to continue supporting Digify as part of a local initiative to grow digital talent in South Africa. We have been impressed with the talent emerging from Digify, and initiatives like these are of utmost importance in making sure we have skilled individuals to sustain South Africa's fast digital growth.´

Weale adds, ´As an industry, we need to fill a gap of at least a quarter of the current workforce (IT Web, 2011). Digify aims to place all graduates in paid entry level jobs or internships in the digital industry with the first round of cohorts placed in agencies like Native VML, Retroviral, FoxP2, Casson Media, Aqua Agency and iClinic.´

´Our current cohort of graduates will be available for paid internships or roles from mid-December 2014, so get in touch if you are looking for next generation talent,´ says Weale.

Tumelo Popela graduated from Digify in May and has gone on to work for Native VML. ´Thanks to Digify, I got to learn a great deal and ended up working for the agency I've always dreamt of. I have one of the most talented and inspiring managers who has helped me transition into my career. Digify is a wonderful programme for people who want to get into the digital space but need a head start. I'm really glad I joined Digify,´ says Popela.

For more information and to apply for Digify, visit http://livemag.co.za/now-taking-applications-round-three-digify/. Applications close Sunday, 30 November and you must be available to start mid-January 2015.

If you are an agency, brand or organisation who would like to place Digify graduates in your company, provide an innovative speaker for our weekly industry talks or submit a real live brief for our talented young team to respond to, please contact Hlengiwe Simelane at hlengiwe@livityafrica.com  or 011 028 7487."

(Source: Bizcommunity)

Monday, December 08, 2014 10:01:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


“Tigo Digital Change-makers has begun the search for social entrepreneurs with digital solutions to improve the lives of children and society.

Tigo Digital Change-makers is a partnership between telecom operator, Tigo and international non-governmental organisation, Reach for Change.

It is aimed at developing and encouraging social entrepreneurs to use technology to solve some of Ghana’s most pressing needs.

The two best entries will each receive GHS60, 000 (US$S20, 000), expert guidance and support to bring their business/dreams to life.

Head of Corporate Communications and CSR for Tigo Ghana, Gifty Bingley, says: ´As a digital lifestyle brand, Tigo is putting more emphasis on using Information Communication Technology (ICT) for development. Technology is no longer an ordinary enabler, it is now central to the way we work and live.´

´Through Tigo Digital Change-makers, we want to use our technology to impact positively on development. In 2013, we had amazing Change leaders such as Regina Agyare of Soronko Solutions; and Erasmus Ackon and Marian Wiredu, both from IT4Teens who are using technology to overcome social and economic barriers to increase access to information and education, and empower children from deprived communities,´ she explained.

For 2014, Tigo hopes to receive quality applications that demonstrate the potential in utilizing mobile broadband, digital and/or information technology to improve the quality of lives of children and other proposed projects.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply online at www.tigo.com.gh/digitalchangemakers. Applications close on December 1, 2014.“

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Monday, December 08, 2014 9:56:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 



“Telecentre Academy will be introducing the Entrepreneurship and ICT course to three Latin American countries namely Colombia, Chile, and Ecuador starting November.

It will be recalled that earlier this year, TCA launched two pilot batches of the course ´Women, Entrepreneurship and ICTs": the first one in Spanish in June, and the second one in English in July.

See here the Video testimonial of participants of the Entrepreneurship and ICTs pilot course:
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iHyanNKZyg)

The upcoming launch of the course in the three identified Latin American countries is being carried out in coordination with local organizations namely Colnodo, CDI Chile, and Fundapi. For Colombia and Chile, the trainers will be former participants of the concluded pilot edition of the course.

According to TCA Program Manager Ana Agudo, the Academy is looking to expand the coverage of the course to make it applicable to youth as well, not just to women, and it is constantly on the lookout for new partners who will play the role of TCA agents that will implement and offer the course in their respective countries.

How to Become a TCA Agent

For organizations that are interested in becoming TCA agents, below is a summary of the steps involved:
·    Signification of interest via email to TCA team 
·    Agreement on partnership scope and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
·    Training of TCA agent's staff for local delivery of training
·    Customization of the course if deemed necessary
·    Delivery of the course through TCA's online learning platform

For questions pertaining to TCA courses and becoming a TCA agent, contact the TCA team.“

(Futher details)



Monday, December 08, 2014 9:41:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Intel Foundation Awards $100,000 for Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation



"Lab4U, a team of student entrepreneurs from Chile, has won the 10th annual Intel Global Challenge, a global business plan competition that encourages student entrepreneurs to tackle some of the world's most pressing issues through computing technology. The competition provides a unique entrepreneurship experience by giving teams access to top venture capitalists and investors in Silicon Valley.

Lab4U, comprised of team members from the University of Chile and a local cancer research center, developed a technology that uses a mobile phone as a science instrument in order to democratize laboratory equipment. Through built-in mobile sensors and a crowd-learning web platform, users can prepare, analyze and share lab results via a mobile phone. The team, inspired to create this technology by a lack of lab instruments at their own university, aims to change the way science is taught and how experiments are performed.

´At Intel, we believe in giving today's young innovators the opportunities and resources to foster their interest in entrepreneurship,´ said Staci Palmer, Intel's director of Global Strategic Initiatives and Marketing in the Corporate Affairs Group. ´Through programs like the Intel Global Challenge, students from around the world, like Lab4U, are able to pursue their passion to create new technologies that positively affect people's lives.´

The Intel Foundation awarded $100,000 total in cash prizes, including a $50,000 grand prize and three $15,000 awards for teams taking first place in the following categories: Internet, mobile and software computing; computing for social innovation; and Internet of Things and hardware. Additionally, a $5,000 prize for social media was awarded.

Innovations from the three first-place winners ranged from education to manufacturing. Neuron Guard of Italy developed an on-site, integrated solution for the treatment of acute brain damage to prevent irreversible loss after a stroke, sudden cardiac death or traumatic brain injury. Karisma Kidz of the United Kingdom created a mobile application called, ´Moodville,´ a gaming solution for children to increase their emotional intelligence through mood identification and management. Servtech of Taiwan invented a technology infrastructure to leverage information communication technologies in manufacturing. Through Servtech's technology, factories can use big data to access machine conditions and detect anomalies in equipment. Plaze of Lebanon was awarded for their innovative approach to social media during the Intel Global Challenge.

The competition, held at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, drew 26 teams from 20 countries around the world. These finalist teams were selected from more than 60 countries and nine regional competitions. Founded in 2005, the Intel Global Challenge is designed to motivate young entrepreneurs to develop innovative technologies that solve real-world challenges, build viable business models, and move that technology out of university labs and into the market.

Over the past decade alone, Intel has invested more than $1 billion, and its employees have donated close to 4 million hours, to improve education in over 70 countries. For the latest Intel education news, visit www.intel.com/newsroom/education, join the Facebook group at www.facebook.com/Intel and follow Twitter updates at twitter.com/intelinvolved."

(Source: Intel)

Monday, December 08, 2014 9:33:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 07, 2014
“Innovative business plans from young entrepreneurs around the world will be on display next week as part of the Intel® Global Challenge. This competition is designed to motivate young entrepreneurs to develop promising technologies that solve real-world challenges, build viable business models, and move that technology out of university labs and into the market. The finalists consist of 26 teams, who are presenting business plans in areas such as computer science, wearable technology and 3-D printing.

As part of this competition, finalists will have the opportunity to meet with successful venture capitalists and hear from experts in entrepreneurship. In addition, the Intel Foundation will award $100,000 in cash prizes. The grand prize winning team will receive $50,000, three first prize winning teams will each receive $15,000, and a $5,000 social media prize will be awarded.“

Further information

Friday, November 07, 2014 10:27:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“Six early-stage startups focused on Big Data, Smart Cities and IoT/Cloud selected to accelerate Internet of Everything (IoE) growth and innovation in Europe.

Today Cisco announced the 6 winners of the first Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) Program in Europe during the Pioneers Festival in Vienna.  Cisco EIR is an incubation program focused on nurturing and growing breakthrough advancements at early-stage startups. The first cohort of winners from Europe have undergone a rigorous multi-phase selection process, including a final pitch during the Pioneers Investors Day, focused on the viability of their business plans, the strength of the teams and their alignment with Cisco’s strategic focus on IoE.

The winners are:

Big Data and analytics

Dataiku (France): develops a software workspace called Data Science Studio (DSS) for business analysts and data scientists that aggregates all the steps and big data tools necessary to get from raw data to production-ready applications.

MammothDB (Bulgaria): created an analytics database for enterprise data warehousing. It is an inexpensive database that is compliant with industry standards and is designed to serve as the data warehouse backbone for enterprise business analytics.

Mentat Innovations (Greece, UK): specializes in technology for streaming data analytics at scale using cutting edge statistical techniques and infrastructure. Their solutions have immediate applicability in areas including cybersecurity, defense & intelligence, retail, Web analytics and healthcare.

Smart Cities

Graphmasters (Germany): specializes in Cloud-based routing to reduce traffic jams. By providing centralized routing decisions and precise, personalized driving instructions, traffic can be managed more efficiently.

ICE Gateway (Germany): develops an outdoor wireless infrastructure that serves as a communication platform for smart city applications, including parking, lighting, location-based services and many others.

IoT/Cloud

Flatout (Austria): provides affordable and easy-to-use Smart Home solutions to businesses interested in entering the connected living market.

The Cisco EIR Program, launched in the USA in August 2013 and in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEAR) in July 2014, aims to nurture early-stage startups working on the next big idea for the Internet of Everything (IoE). Once on-board, each cohort of entrepreneurs in Europe spends six months in residence with Cisco and Cisco partners in Vienna. The Cisco EIR Program offers the successful startups strategic funding, access to co-working space, basic software tools and a potential opportunity to collaborate with Cisco product and engineering teams.

´Cisco EIR takes Cisco’s best practices coupled with its partner ecosystem to help startups accelerate their product development and business growth. Cisco’s goal is to create an environment that embraces strategic freedom while giving the startups potential opportunities to collaborate closely with Cisco,´ said Mala Anand, Senior Vice President, Cisco Services Platforms Group. ´Europe is a hotbed of entrepreneurial talent, and Vienna is a place where the concept of open innovation and startup incubation is well understood – both are gateways to key emerging markets. Through this collaboration with Pioneers, the successful applicants will have unprecedented access to Cisco and Cisco’s partner ecosystem to fuel their growth trajectories.´

Cisco EIR launched its first cohort consisting of six startups in Silicon Valley in April 2014. This program has now expanded with six startups in Europe, which will begin their in-residence incubation with Cisco in January 2015. The selected companies are going to be supported by a team of executives and mentors who represent a cross-section of expertise from Cisco and its partners.“

(Source: Cisco)

Friday, November 07, 2014 10:24:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“ITU is strengthening its commitment to including young people in its policy-setting processes with a special Youth Programme underway at its Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-14) currently underway in Busan, Republic of Korea. The programme is designed to more effectively empower and engage the next generation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) leaders to ensure continued leadership and stability in the ICT field.

The Young ICT Policy Leaders (YIPL) programme specifically aims to advance the policy making skills of tomorrow’s ICT professionals. It provides a platform for mentorship and networking, and nurtures knowledge and skills exchange through a series of five sessions with global leaders from the ICT sector. The sessions are themed as follows: Working and Thriving in the ICT Sector; Why Policy Leadership Matters; Working in a Multi-stakeholder World; Leadership in Building Consensus; and Getting the Job Done: Lessons for 2018.

Each national delegation at PP-14 was invited to nominate two young members of their delegation (aged under 35) to participate in the programme, with the City of Busan funding the participation of a further 35 delegates from Least Developed Countries, to ensure broad participation.

Two thousand young people from across the globe contributed to the PP-14 youth public consultation, an online crowd-sourced youth policy statement which was submitted as a proposed Resolution on Youth to the PP-14 Plenary by Costa Rica. This innovative initiative paves the way for greater inclusion of youth voices in governance processes, enabling them to actively contribute to policies which directly affect them.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said ´It is very encouraging to see such informed and energetic contributions to our main policy-making conference processes. Young people are not just the future of this sector, they are a current force of creators, entrepreneurs and consumers and we stand to benefit the more we can integrate their voices and insights into policies that will guide our sector towards the future knowledge economy.´

The PP-14 Youth Programme is part of ITU’s wider Youth Programme which seeks to utilize ICTs to enhance education, reduce youth unemployment, bridge the digital divide and promote the social and economic development of young people globally.

The Busan Initiative was also launched during PP-14 and aims to address issues related to greater participation of youth in the digital economy, including tackling youth unemployment and access to ICTs. Read more here.”

Further information

Friday, November 07, 2014 10:15:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“Outbox invites you to apply for an all expenses paid two week immersion program* in Silicon Valley. This is a unique opportunity for non-us startups to access resources and scale globally. Founders will come to Silicon Valley for the two weeks, where they will have the opportunity to live and collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs from all around the world and take part in an intense agenda of meetings and workshops with entrepreneurs, investors, experts and executives.

Accepted startups must have launched a technology based MVP and gathered feedback from early adopter/customers. Ideally – but not required – a startup should have raised some investment capital, have a team between 3 to 20 people and have a product or service that can be launched globally.

To qualify:
  • Startup must be based outside the U.S
  • Have already launched a product or nearing completion of beta testing product with prospective customers
  • Attending founders (up to 2 founders) must be proficient in English
Please have a look at the previous showcase for Blackbox Connect https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Messbm5cHhg&feature=youtu.be in order to learn more about the program.

Application deadline is November 21st 2014. Program dates: February 2nd to February 13th 2015. Female founders are encouraged to apply.
Apply now; http://tinyurl.com/bbc-outbox

(Source: WOUGNET)

Friday, November 07, 2014 10:06:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


“Rlg Communications Gambia Limited, a computer assembling plant, Tuesday launched what it called ‘Connect Gambia – Vision 2020’ as part of its efforts to making The Gambia an ICT nation and creating more jobs for the youth of the country.

Rlg Communications Gambia Limited is part of a multinational company currently operating in Africa and Asia. ‘Connect Gambia – Vision 2020’ project is meant to provide Gambians assembled laptops connected to the Internet for every child from the primary to secondary schools through the university.

Speaking on behalf of the managing director of Rlg Gambia, the company’s marketing officer, Andrew Sambou, stated that tablets for school-going students will be connected with relevant school curriculum content, and would be replicated across the sub-region.

Over the past years, the communications company has worked very closely with partners like the Ministries of Trade and Education to strengthen their capacity in creating more job opportunities for young Gambians, Sambou told the gathering.

With the support of The Gambia government through the Ministry of Trade, he informed that in March 2014, Rlg was able to train 30 youths in the Upper River Region who are set to graduate later this month in Basse. These students, he noted, form the third phase of the programme conducted by the company.

As an extremely important facet of society, he said, the tablet for teachers will help reduce their workload, saying through the apps used, they will help their students get real work from hand written assignment to presentations.

Sambou further disclosed that his company is currently working with the decision making house to make the ‘Connect Gambia – Vision 2020’ project work by 2015.

´With the continuous support of the Gambian government, Rlg will be able to equip and get latest advanced courses in ICT for all National Assembly members as part of the company’s vision for 2015. To make the project a success, Rlg institute of technology has franchise with the world renowned IT training institute in India called APTECH,´ he concluded.“

(Source: Daily Observer Gambia)

Friday, November 07, 2014 11:46:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
"The Ministry of Science and Technology will run Thursday in southern Huila province a programme under the motto ´a trip around the world of science, technology and innovation´.

The two-day socio-culture activity will help the students in the local six schools choose the areas of their future professions.

According to a note from the Ministry delivered Angop Wednesday in Lubango, the activity will cover the local schools. The initiative is intended to raise awareness among young people, in particular, about the need to engage in scientific study. Similar programme has taken place in the 17 provinces."

(Source: Angola Press)

Friday, November 07, 2014 11:36:09 AM (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. (www.ncwit.org/seedfund)

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. (www.bit.ly/AiCHSAward)

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. (www.ncwit.org/studentseedfund)

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. (www.ncwit.org/engagecsedu)
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. (www.sitwithme.org)

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 www.ncwit.org/NCWITatGHC 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. (http://bit.ly/ghcRuthe)

´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)  #     | 
“TWO tertiary institutions in Abia state namely the State Polytechnic and College of Health Sciences and Management Technology and a secondary school - National High School, Azumini in Ukwa East LGA joined some others across the country to benefit from programmes introduced by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The programmes include the Advanced Digital Access Programme For Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI), which aimed to bridge the digital divide existing in the academia with the provision of Computers and other ICT facilities to equip the lecturers and other experts with technology skills to enrich the quality of teaching and research.

The second programme is the ‘Wireless Cloud’, which is a complimentary package comprising of laptops with Wireless Internet Facilities.

The third Programe tagged, ´Digital Awareness Programe (DAP)´ is for the benefit of secondary schools with the objectives of preparing the nation for a digital tomorrow and equipping the youth with necessary skills to tap into the potentials of the digital age.

Speaking at the official commissioning of ADAPTI at the Abia State Polytechnic and College of Health Sciences and Management Sciences at different times recently, NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Eugene Juwah said that since the introduction of ADAPTI in year 2008, more that 297 institutions of higher learning in Nigeria have so benefited from it. Juwah, who was represented by the member representing the South East zone in the NCC Board Dr. Mike Onyia, also said that in addition to ADAPTI, the NCC introduced the ‘Wireless Cloud’, which according to him, is a complimentary package comprising of laptops with Wireless Internet Facilities adding that another 144 institutions including some that already had ADAPTI, have also benefited from the Wireless Cloud, ´this is because the ICT facilities are equipped with e-learning suites that are able to guarantee extensive learning´.

He said that the DAP has the objectives of preparing the nation for a digital tomorrow and equipping the youth with necessary skills to tap into the potentials of the digital age are being effected.”

(Source: The Guardian)

Monday, November 03, 2014 11:00:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“Inaugural GEM-TECH Awards bring winners from around the world to Busan, Korea to highlight the transformative power of ICTs

Seven outstanding individuals and organizations leading pioneering projects and advocacy linked to harnessing the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to boost gender empowerment were honoured this morning as recipients of the first-ever GEM-TECH Awards.

The awards were conferred by ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré before some 2,500 delegates at a special ceremony in the morning Plenary session of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference currently taking place in Busan, Republic of Korea. The event was introduced by leading Korean TV personality Jie-ae Sohn, a journalist with 25 years’ experience as a correspondent for some of the world’s leading media channels.

Co-organized with UN Women, the GEM-TECH Awards recognize the outstanding achievements of organizations and individuals in the area of gender equality and mainstreaming through information and communication technology (ICT). The launch of the awards in June of this year prompted over 360 nominations from over 70 countries around the world. The awards were open to leading women and men, as well as organizations working in the field of ICT and gender.

The seven GEM-TECH winners are:

Category 1: applications, content, production capacities and skills for women’s social and political empowerment and links with sustainable development
Winner: UNESCO’s Women in Africa’s History e-Learning project Africa

Category 2: ICT applications, content, production capacities and skills for women’s economic empowerment and poverty reduction
Winner: iMerit Technology, India

Category 3: Promoting Women in the ICT sector – initiatives to attract, retain and promote women in the ICT sector and into decision-making roles (public/private sector)
Winner: BCS Chartered Institute for IT United Kingdom

Category 4: Enabling girls to become ICT creators – initiatives aimed at providing girls with the opportunity to become not just active users, but creators of ICTs and content
Winner: Research Center for Feminist Action (CIPAF) Dominican Republic

Category 5: Closing the ICT gender gap, ensuring ICT accessibility for women, such as digital literacy training and ensuring affordable and meaningful access to ICTs by women.
Winner: Telecentre.org Foundation Philippines

Category 6: Efforts to reduce online threats and to build women’s confidence and security in the use of ICTs
Winner: Association for Progressive Communications (APC) South Africa

Category 7: ICT and broadband strategies, policies and frameworks that promote women’s digital empowerment
Winner: Federal Ministry of Communication Technology Nigeria

The awards were sponsored by Gold Partners the Sultanate of Oman, the Republic of Rwanda, the Swiss Confederation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Silver Partners Cisco Systems and Facebook.

Congratulating the seven winners out of a field of 37 finalists, ITU’s Dr Touré praised the exceptionally high quality of nominations, and stressed that much still needs to be done to leverage the full power of ICTs to improve the lives of women and men.

´It is almost 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – so where do we stand today with reference to Gender Equality and Mainstreaming?´ asked Dr Touré, who pointed to a ‘gender digital divide’ that is particularly worrying in the developing world. ´ITU estimates that some 200 million fewer women are online compared to men. Women are coming online later, and more slowly. Without remedial action, it is estimated that the internet gender gap could grow to 350 million within three or four years. Equality in access to broadband is not only an issue of right and wrong; it also makes commercial and economic sense,´ he said.

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said ´We need all of you to join our efforts, so that these inspiring GEM-TECH winners and others working at the forefront of digital inclusion are leading a turning point for women’s digital empowerment through technology.´

This morning’s ceremony also recognized six GEM-TECH ‘Global Achievers’ – organizations and individuals recognized for exceptional long-term commitment to furthering the issue of ICT and gender. They are: Alcatel-Lucent’s StrongHer initiative; Cisco Systems’ Distinguished Consulting Engineer, Monique Morrow; Academy Award winning actor and advocate Geena Davis; GSMA’s Connected Women programme; Intel Corporation’s Director of Social Impact, Renee Wittemyer, and former Serbian Minister of Communications and State Secretary for Digital Agenda, Jasna Matić.

The award ceremony was followed later in the day by a lunchtime GEM-TECH High Level Dialogue, where winners and partners had the opportunity to showcase their projects and initiatives, and where other experts from industry, civil society and government joined a stimulating debate on the topic of ‘Gender and ICTs: why gender equality matters and where do we stand today?’, moderated by Korea’s Jie-ae Sohn. The GEM-TECH HLD can be viewed on archived webcast in seven languages at: www.itu.int/pp14/webcast.

The day’s ICT and gender-related activities will wrap up this evening with an exclusive gala dinner event held at Nurimaru APEC House on Busan’s Dongbaekseon Island.“

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Monday, November 03, 2014 10:57:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“´With 2000 innovators from 48 countries entering in its first three years; IPA 2015 takes investment in unleashing and supporting sustainable African led innovation past half a million USD

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) is calling on all African innovators to submit their entries for the fourth edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) competition. The IPA is presented annually, enabling and encouraging African pioneers to develop creative ideas and techniques to overcome some of the challenges faced by the continent and support sustainable development.

´At the African Innovation Foundation we are passionate about Africa and its potential, that we firmly believe will be led by empowering a new generation of African innovators and entrepreneurs. But we also recognise that this new generation needs the resources and the opportunities to realise their ambition,´ said AIF and IPA founder Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais. ´IPA provides a platform to encourage and harness these entrepreneurial skills in order to help improve the lives of Africans and to help realise untapped potential. The prize is also a great way of unleashing creativity and promoting growth within the African continent.´

The IPA is becoming integral to facilitating ground-breaking thinking, creativity and driving awareness to the outstanding work being done in Africa by Africans. IPA 2013 winner, AgriProtein went on to raise $11 million to build its first two commercial farms in Cape Town.

´Africa needs meaningful investment to alleviate poverty and provide inclusive prosperity. To achieve this, we need to be able to provide environments that promote quality investment for the people and reduce risks. Forums like the IPA are necessary to make the most of the continent's investment,´ said AgriProtein spokesperson, David Drew.
All innovations are evaluated based on the following criteria: originality, marketability, scalability, social impact and Scientific/technical aspects. The best submission will be awarded a grand prize of USD 100 000.  The second prize of USD 25 000 will be awarded to an innovator with an innovation which has the best commercial and business potential. An additional award is a special prize granted to the innovator whose innovation has the best social impact in the community.

The IPA encourages entries in five key categories: Agriculture and Agribusiness, Environment, Energy and Water, Health and Wellbeing, ICT applications, and Manufacturing and Services Industries.

Recognising home grown innovative ingenuity, the prize contributes to increased funding of start-ups, adoption of new and emerging technologies and accelerated growth of the private sector. With ever changing economic and social environments, it is critical that proposed solutions tackle issues affecting African lives, and that they are effective and are different from the existing ones.

IPA 2014 named Dr Nicolaas Duneas and Mr Nuno Pires from South Africa the winners of the grand Prize and received USD 100’000 for their Altis Osteogenic Bone Matrix (Altis OBM TM), the first injectable porcine derived BMP medical device in the world — an innovative product for the treatment of bone injuries and voids through the use of a regenerative biological implant.

The IPA also beckons all investors, governments and other stakeholders interested in evaluating, investing and maximising the continent’s resources to participate in this innovative and empowering initiative and make a significant change through generous contributions that will accelerate the Africa’s economic growth.

The deadline for submitting applications for IPA 2015 is 31 October 2014 at 24h00 GMT. For more information on competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission details, please visit: http://innovationprizeforafrica.org/. ”

(Source: IPA)

Monday, November 03, 2014 10:49:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

“ ´Young Mobile Innovator of the Year´ and ´Connected Women: Leadership in Industry´ Awards Created to Mark Global Mobile Awards 20th Anniversary.

The GSMA today introduced two special awards that have been developed to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Global Mobile Awards. The ‘Young Mobile Innovator of the Year’ and ‘Connected Women: Leadership in Industry’ awards will be presented at the Global Mobile Awards ceremony at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 3 March 2015.

The first new award, ‘Young Mobile Innovator of the Year’, is designed to showcase young and exciting new talent from across the mobile ecosystem and is open to anyone between 18 and 25 years old, working in an organisation or independently, or currently pursuing further education. The second, the ‘Connected Women: Leadership in Industry’ award, will recognise leadership in the establishment of initiatives that have a positive impact in reducing the digital skills gap and attracting and retaining women and girls in mobile and telecommunications.

´These additional awards will put the spotlight on individuals and organisations that will be shaping the face of the mobile industry in the years to come,´ said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “The ‘Young Mobile Innovator of the Year’ award provides a platform for up-and-coming individuals to showcase exciting new and innovative mobile ideas, and the ‘Connected Women: Leadership in Industry’ award will honour individuals, enterprises and initiatives that are working to close the ICT skills gender gap and inspire female leadership in technology around the world.´

Candidates for the ‘Young Mobile Innovator of the Year’ award must be able to demonstrate their ideas and provide evidence of early stage attention from prospective customers. Finalists will be invited to attend Mobile World Congress, where they will pitch their ideas in a live innovation session to a of panel judges who will select the overall winner. Successful entries to the ‘Connected Women: Leadership in Industry Award’ should exhibit value through thoughtful design and successful implementation of initiatives that accelerate the growth of the female digital economy by encouraging and retaining women in the technology industry.”

Further details

Monday, November 03, 2014 10:43:24 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
“UNESCO organized an intensive high-level Workshop on Open Educational Resources (OERs) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) to significantly enhance the quality and access to higher education for thousands of Nigerian and African students. The Workshop was held in Lagos, Nigeria, from 10 to 11 September 2014 and attended by 30 senior faculty members of NOUN.

The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) is an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institution, the first of its kind in the West African sub-region. The University at present has 54 Centres spread across the country. It is Nigeria's largest tertiary institution with over 150,000 enrolled students.

The Workshop at NOUN is part of the African component of the Globalizing OpenupEd Project, which aims to empower key national higher education institutions to offer courses with full open licenses (OERs), and to transform them into Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are defined as any type of educational materials in the public domain, or released with an open license allowing free use, adaptation, and distribution. They present educational institutions with a strategic opportunity to increase the quality of educational materials.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are characterized as free-of-cost, openly-accessible, online courses which can support ‘massive’ numbers of students.

By transforming OER courses into MOOCs that can be accessed free-of-cost and easily via mobile phones, NOUN hopes to ‘massively’ increase the number of enrolments from Nigeria, Africa and internationally.

OpenupEd is the world’s first MOOC Initiative that offers learners several unique innovations:

1.courses are to be made immediately/progressively available as OERs with at least CC BY SA licenses;
2.the University partners will offer full recognition and additional credit for fees;
3.some courses are to offer cohort-independence.

The Project is led by Abel Caine, UNESCO Programme Specialist in OERs, and Professor Fred Mulder, UNESCO OER Chair.

With support from the European Commission, UNESCO is globalizing OpenupEd in Africa working with the Africa Council for Distance Education (ACDE), and in Asia working with the Asian Association for Open Universities (AAOU).

The Workshop was facilitated by Dr Robert Schuwer of the Open University of the Netherlands. Using extensive OER and MOOC models, the delegates identified 10 pilot courses to be updated and offered with the Creative Commons Attribution (BY) ShareAlike (SA) license. A new course on the History of NOUN will be the pilot MOOC.

Abel Caine, from UNESCO, was very pleased with the Workshop, ´NOUN is one of the very few universities worldwide to freely share their intellectual wealth with a Portal of all their courses. They are now extending this gift with open licenses to allow other universities to freely and legally use the NOUN materials.´

NOUN extended a great honour to the UNESCO Team allowing Mr Caine and Professor Fred Mulder to present the NOUN Senate comprising of over 100 academics on Tuesday 10 September.

The Workshop was extensively promoted by local media including the Nigeria Guardian newspaper and Nigeria TV with many comments on Twitter and shared photos.
The medium-term goal is to launch the Africa OpenupEd Initiative with at least 3 African universities offering fully open-licensed MOOCs by the seminal World Education Forum in Incheon, South Korea, in May 2015.”

Further details

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:43:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


"MTN has joined three leading global technology companies as sponsors of this year’s AMPION Venture Bus, which seeks to enable entrepreneurial talent in Africa to develop innovative solutions on the continent by making best use of the power of mobile technology.

MTN as well as SAP and Microsoft will financially support AMPION's 2014 operations and enable the newly established NGO to successfully operate on a pan-African level and generate long-term impact. Free hardware and bandwidth granted by Inmarsat will provide the AMPION Venture Buses with satellite connectivity.

Microsoft will additionally provide a package of free software and training to winning startups of the 2014 AMPION Venture Buses. Interested entrepreneurs, designers and coders still have a chance to apply for a seat on the Venture Busesonline. More than 700 applications from all over the world have been reviewed by AMPION as of today for the 180 seats on the Venture Buses.

Global healthcare leader Merck will be AMPION’s prime sponsor for the East African Venture Bus. Participants on the Venture Bus travelling from Tanzania to Rwanda will specifically focus on developing e-Health solutions. The East African Venture Bus will be accompanied by a CEO-selected Merck representative. E-Health experts are specifically encouraged to apply for this Venture Bus.

In September 2014, AMPION had launched two crowdfunding campaigns to aid with operational costs and to finance an extensive Fellowship Program for the most promising start-ups; the first crowdfunding campaign on 1%Club has now been successfully completed and is being granted 70% of its €15.000 funding goal through The Cheetah Fund, which is powered by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery.

 AMPION will utilise this momentum to mobilise support for its remaining crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Reaching the overall crowdfunding goal of €50,000 will enable AMPION to set up a Fellowship Programme for a maximum amount of African start-ups and entrepreneurs with considerable funding and incubation.

Commenting on the strategic partnerships, Fabian-Carlos Guhl Founder & MD, AMPION, said: ´We are delighted to work with our new sponsors MTN, SAP, Microsoft, Inmarsat and Merck in Africa. Sponsoring and partnering with AMPION is an investment into the African mobile technology, start-ups and ICT space of tomorrow – and the creative entrepreneurs behind it. We are proud that world leading companies are convinced that our work is making a difference and decided to be a part of it.´"

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:39:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


“On Thursday 16th of October, Fundi Bots, a Ugandan robotics company that equips students and developers with robotics skills trained over 20 learners from the University of Rwanda as well as developers at the kLab innovation space.

And Solomon King, the founder of Fundi Bots, explains what it is all about: ´The thing about robotics is it is one discipline, but there are a million sub-disciplines in it. I keep telling the trainees that when they’ve finished their first robot, they’ve learnt about electronics, they learnt about logical thinking, they’ve learnt about programming, mechanics, biology and popular science. And that is the main target of this training among all our works.´

The training lasted a full day running from 9am to 4pm and students learnt a range of skills ranging from the core of electronics and arduino programming to programming machines to move and navigate around.

Mark Musasizi, a developer, says the training availed developers with skills that are timely for the development of Rwanda into a regional ICT hub.

´We can’t lean on only knowledge that we get from school. We must source knowledge elsewhere and be a significant part of ICT development in the country that has set up the entire necessary infrastructure for us. What we are learning is technology in developed countries and we need to bring it home and apply it,´ he remarks.

Fundi Bots is a nonprofit organization which builds spaces where passionate young people can learn, grow and experiment with machines, gadgets and technology they would not otherwise have access to. Places where curiosity is fostered rather than feared, where failure is embraced as part of a learning process, and where ideas, however crazy, are heard and explored without bias or prejudice.

Fundi Bots works with private enterprises, nongovernmental organizations, academia and other talented and interested parties to create environments where social, commercial and local solutions can be found for Ugandan problems.

Fundi Bots is currently operating in Uganda but hopes to extend more training activities to Rwanda and move to about five African countries before the end of next year.

(Source: The New Times)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:36:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“Civil war has caused a teacher shortage in Sudan, but that hasn’t stopped a group of teenagers from wanting to learn or an inspiring foreign teacher from joining the class to teach students how to teach themselves via development of their own learning app.

The classrooms are busy in Khartoum. Class sizes frequently exceed 60 students and they are getting bigger. Many students are entering class after fleeing from civil war, poverty and famine in South Sudan or from the from tribal conflicts in Darfur. Learning in a Sudanese classroom is not easy, but it can made more manageable it seems, with clever deployment of technology.

A foreign teacher from Australia teaching at Comboni College had an ambitious idea on how to improve the education situation in the school by tasking students to learn how to teach themselves by developing a smartphone application. The project has encouraged students to think retrospectively. It’s an exercise in revision, requiring them to think about everything they have ever learnt about learning English and then putting it into a format that other students can learn from.

The application is being built with an online app building platform, there is no coding involved. Their contribution to the app is purely content.

One of the students, Tijwok, said helping develop the application had made him more happy. ´At first I did not know what this special project was about, Teacher Tim just said it was a special project, it involved mobile phones and it would make me famous. I am happy it is helping me and my classmates improve English.´

Teacher Tim was more emphatic, ´I just wanted to use my powers for good and improve the lives of some kids in Sudan.´A donation to the project can be made here.

99 Tablets are currently running a crowd funding campaign to supply tablet computers to the school so that students can start learning from the app that they helped create. 99tablets.org aim to start a global education revolution in the developing world by putting tablet computers in front of students who need them the most.”

(Source: IT News Africa)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:23:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
"Ericsson has today announced the launch of the sixth annual Innovation Awards, a competition in which university students are given the opportunity to be drivers of fundamental change in society.

The theme of the 2015 competition is ´The Future of Learning´ - how can we make learning accessible for all? What do we need when lifelong learning becomes necessary for everyone? What are the new tools and methodologies when learning becomes an online activity and it happens more and more away from school buildings?

In Ericsson's vision of the Networked Society, technology fundamentally transforms the ways we organize our lives, businesses and societies. But only recently has the connectivity and computational power once reserved for industrial applications become intensely personal - embedded not just into our mobile devices and cloud software, but into our everyday expressions, interactions, relationships and desires. The result is an unprecedented capacity for individual empowerment and innovation.

Empowered by technology, students and progressive teachers are catalysts for fundamental change. New skills and the passion for constant learning are becoming increasingly important. A new ecosystem is emerging that is greatly impacting, and in some cases redefining, established systems and institutions.

We hope and expect many good ideas about the future of learning from students around the world. The winners will receive a prize 25 000 EUR, with the runners-up receiving 10 000 EUR and 5 000 EUR going to the third-placed team.

All semi finalists and finalists will also be given the opportunity to an interview for internship or permanent employment at Ericsson.

The competition is open to team of two to four people, and Ericsson recommends a combination of technology and business students in the team. To apply and register to the competition visit www.ericsson.com/innovationawards

Last year's winner in the student category was Team WorkMode from South Africa for their collaboration."

(Source: Ericsson)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:19:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


“UNESCO has entered into its first-ever partnership with a private company based in sub-Saharan Africa. The Funds-In-Trust agreement between Airtel Gabon and UNESCO will support Train My Generation: Gabon 5000, a three-year project to provide scientific and entrepreneurial training through ICT to thousands of young people in Gabon, plus deliver new skills to secondary school teachers.

The mobile company will provide $4.3 million for the project, which will be implemented by UNESCO. It will start with the establishment of ten Cyber Centres equipped with servers and computers at schools in Libreville, Port Gentil, Oyem, Franceville, Bitam and Lambaréné.

At the signing ceremony in Paris, the Director-General of UNESCO welcomed the partnership with Airtel, pointing out the potential of such cooperation with African corporations. ´The African Private sector is extremely dynamic and I am very proud today to sign UNESCO’s first partnership with a company based in Sub-Saharan Africa,´ stated Irina Bokova.

Olivier Herve Njapoum, the Director-General of Airtel Gabon, added that his company was convinced that the youth of Africa will contribute to the development of the continent if they are provided with good training. ´Through this partnership, Airtel wishes to benefit from the expertise of one of the most important organizations of the United Nations System […], UNESCO, whose programmes in Africa contribute to the promotion of innovation based on knowledge technologies,´ he said.

The Ambassador of Gabon, Gisèle Marie Hortense Ossakedjombo-Ngoua Memiaghe, welcomed the partnership with enthusiasm, invoking ´studies that prove that there is a cause and effect link between the development of telecommunications and economic development.´

5,000 young people, aged 18 to 35, will receive basic ICT training during the first phase of the project, which will also provide training in online teaching to 100 secondary education science teachers. The teachers will use their skills to provide online educational support to 15,000 secondary school students preparing their end of school exams. But because the platform used for educational support will be easily accessible, scholastic support is expected to reach a far greater number of students.

Smaller groups will be taught how to develop applications for mobile phones, operate cyber cafés and set up cooperative maintenance centres, through the Train My Generation: Gabon 5000 project.”

(Source: UNESCO)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:11:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 16, 2014

"The Director General of Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, FIIRO, Dr. Gloria Elemo, has said that an estimated 1,500 small and medium scale enterprises are expected to be set up across the country in the next one year through the 250 Research and Development (R&D) technologies/outputs developed by the institute.

Speaking ahead of the Investment and Technology Week being put together by the institute, she said that not less than 50,000 direct job opportunities will also be created following the adoption of the technologies by the 774 local government areas in the nation, even as she said that 75,000 entrepreneurs have so far benefited from FIIRO technology transfer.

She noted that the 250 R&D outputs to be showcased at the four days event, which kicked off today (Tuesday, October 14, 2014), would also spur more Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, interest into the country.

Elemo added that the investment week is part of the institute's effort to deliver more effectively on its mandate for rapid industrialization of the national economy, as well as create employment opportunities to reverse the worsening unemployment in the country.

´The overall aim of the programme is to showcase the institutes over 250 R&D outputs suitable for investment by micro, small, medium and large scale entrepreneurs to enhance job creation and improve on the national Gross Domestic Products.´

We are hoping that at least 35 technologies would be well structured and adopted in all the local governments, which is 774. So, the projection is that if every local government tries to adopt at least two technologies, we will have a total of about 2,000 jobs each.

´When you look at others that are coming in to buy into the technologies, various commercial organisations, students coming in, National Association of Nigeria Students, NANS, organizations like SURE-P and other organized sectors, we are expecting that minimum expected jobs that can come out of this catalyst should be at least 250,000. This will definitely reduce unemployment level in the country,´ she said.

´We just concluded training of a number of youths on our National Techno-entrepreneurs Initiative, but our target is 2,000 youths on annual basis as part of our contribution to national development and corporate social responsibility programme, to transfer technology to them and also lead them to proper infrastructure that will definitely establish them on the field."

(Source: Vanguard Newspaper)

Thursday, October 16, 2014 10:46:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


"Tigo-owned Kigali-based technology incubator think has announced the first four companies selected for support, with the winners to be offered US$15,000 in funding, access to Tigo networks across Africa, mentoring and business development education.

BizTechAfrica reported in August think had received over 100 applications from nine countries, and the incubator has now chosen four teams it says represent innovative, digital, private sector solutions that demonstrate the potential to scale across Africa, with the four companies now invited to participate in a six-month accelerator programme beginning early next month.

The companies are Egyptian startup Beliaa, a mobile app for road assistance that uses GPS location services and provides traffic tracking and other transportation information features, Nigeria’s Cribpark, which is a platform for real estate matching, home design and architecture, Ghanian company PollAfrique, which offers a research platform allowing respondents to participate in incentivised surveys via a number of channels, and Rwandan firm TorQue, which delivers channel management software for wholesale distributors in the beverage and telecommunications industries.

The winning startups were picked from applicants from Rwanda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Uganda and Benin.
Tongai Maramba, general manager of Tigo Rwanda, said: ´The companies we have selected for think show innovation in a crowded playing field. The founders are smart, determined and have the potential to scale their firms across the continent. After a rigorous review process, we have selected companies that demonstrate incredible promise.´
The incubator said it forms one part of a growing ecosystem to encourage technology development across Africa, and will work closely with The Office RW and incubator kLab to co-host networking and skills-building events.

VC4Africa, GSMA, MEST Ghana, Venture Wave San Francisco, Afrilabs, iHub Nairobi and Carnegie Mellon University all assisted in promoting the application process.
´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."

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Thursday, October 16, 2014 10:42:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 09, 2014


“In its continuous effort to bridge the gap between theories taught in the classroom and real life situations, Vodacom Business Nigeria has organised a two-day industrial tour for students from the Department of Engineering and Information Technology, Covenant University, Nigeria.

According to the tech giant, the visit was aimed at providing first–hand experience and a unique opportunity for the students to gain insight into a working environment related to their field of study. The industrial tour, which took place at Vodacom’s offices in Ikoyi, focused on´Demystifying Cloud Computing´ where students got in-depth knowledge of cloud technology, how it works and how it is applied to modern businesses.

The Managing Director, Vodacom Business Nigeria, Guy Clarke, said: ´Our commitment is centered on the concept that the more knowledgeable the youth are, the greater their opportunity for employment. We know that Cloud Computing plays a big role in the ICT industry today and it would contribute to the further growth of Nigerian businesses as the technology is gaining wider acceptance in the business world´. According to him, the workshop is one of the company’s many contributions towards the development of skills and job creation opportunities for young people.

Cloud computing will continue to change the world and in many cases, young people drive this process even without knowing it. With millions of youths in Nigeria connected to the Internet, many use cloud through collaboration and social networking tools. There is no better way to encourage this change than exposing the young people to the technical, business and leadership skills required for Cloud technology innovations.”

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Thursday, October 09, 2014 9:33:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


“MTN Ghana has revealed the details for Version 2.0 of the MTN Ghana Application Challenge. Back in 2013, Software Engineer Setriakor Nyomi was named as the overall winner with his Oware 3D application.

According to MTN Ghana, this year’s edition under the theme ´Promoting innovative local apps development´ is open for submission of apps from October to 28th of November 2014. It challenges Ghanaian app developers to code locally relevant and user-friendly apps to suit local taste.

CMO Rahul De stated that: ´In addition to consolation prizes for runners-up, each category will award a cash prize of GHC 15,000, and the overall winner will receive a cash prize of GHC 20,000.´

´The mobile application market is inextricably linked with the explosion of smartphone penetration and usage by consumers worldwide. As the smartphone market grows rapidly in Ghana, and especially on MTN network, it is imperative that we have apps developed locally and tailored to our market,´ he said.

According to MTN Ghana: ´The mobile application market is creating employment and generating income for an estimated number of 2.3 million people across the world. It is also said that apps generate around €10 billion per year in revenue for the European Union, which has about one 1 million apps available.´

The last edition of the apps challenge was a success, according to MTN Ghana, as most of its winners are experiencing rapid patronage of their apps on MTN play and other platforms.

´MTN Apps Challenge Version 2.0 has one goal, and that is to reward the most innovative and locally-relevant mobile apps developers. Entries of apps will be accepted in three categories: education; lifestyle; and games and entertainment.´”

(Source: IT News Africa)

Thursday, October 09, 2014 9:28:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Young Rwandans who will be able to come up with software applications aimed at enhancing public service delivery are set to win cash prizes that go up to $5,000 (Rwf 3.5 million) in a newly launched competition by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Speaking at the launch of the competition on Thursday in Kacyiru, Kigali , the UN resident coordinator, Lamin Manneh, said they were focusing on how to apply innovation in improving people's daily livelihoods.

´As an emerging economy, we are focusing on applying innovations to improve livelihoods and opportunities provided by mobile technology,´ he said.

UNDP, which is organising the competition in partnershio with the Ministry for Youth and ICT (MYICT) and Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), wants the youth to develop software that can be downloaded on mobile phones and be used by citizens for continuous feedback to authorities on the level of public service delivery.

The information gathered from the software will be analysed by RGB and shared with the relevant government institutions for action, as well as inform research and policy.
Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the Youth and ICT minister urged the youth to take advantage of the opportunity to help grow country's economy.

´Don't look at the $5,000 cash prize. The benefits could be much more if you looked at public satisfaction with services delivered using your software,´ he told the youth.
The winner will walk away with $5,000, the first-runners up with $2,000 while the second-runners up will take home $1,500.

Applicants have up to 28th November this year to present their projects to the organisers."

(Source: All Africa)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 10:29:53 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)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 25, 2014


“The State National Bank for Economic and Social Development of Brazil (BNDES funds) launched in Sao Paulo an exclusive line of credit for the Brazilian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on the sector of Information Technology, which pretends to invest in innovation.

The program has a credit calculated on 300 million reais (about US$ 126.9 million), with an interest rate of 4% per annum for companies with 'innovative' profile, according to the presentation of MPMEs innovative, as it was called the credit from BNDES and DESENVOLVE SP, the regional development agency.

"The company that has a card BNDES is already classified as innovative", without bureaucratic procedure to present the projects to justify the range, told to Efe the Innovation director of the Brazilian Association of Software Companies (ABES), Jamile Sabatini.

The ABES gathers more than 80% of companies in the information technology sector and is responsible for presenting the MSME innovative to SMEs.

According to ABES, the field of information technology in Brazil is one of the biggest in the world, with a 3% share of the global market and growth rates three times the international average, achieving 4.8% of annual increase.

Because the market potential, indicated by the ABES, the credit line will boost up the sector in the Brazilian economy. ´It was because these experiences that we started talking with BNDES, showing that allocating resources on the innovation, the companies grow. The return to the society is huge because it creates jobs, generates income and bring economic development,´ said Sabatini.

The ´Zero Interest´ program, held in the southern state of Santa Catarina, which borders with Argentina, awarded 20 million reals (US$ 8.4 million) in 37 companies in the region through the Financier of Studies and Projects (FINEP ).

In Santa Catarina, told Sabatini, some SMEs came to grow up to 5.000% with that incentive.

In one year, the regional government recovered the money given to those SMEs with the taxes, because the contribution of those firms increased significantly, thanks to their exports.

´In 2008 was the time of crisis and some employers told us that if there was not this resource, they would have bankrupted,´ said Sabatini, for whom with the current unfavorable numbers of the economy, ´it is important that companies seek this resource.´

Sabatini, however, admitted that the annual rate of 4% for the new line of credit is high and therefore he warned that SMEs must ´know how to take advantage´ of these resources."

(Source: America Economía)

Thursday, September 25, 2014 6:08:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


“On 12 September 2014, the Trinidad and Tobago national phase of the Agrihack Talent Caribbean has ended and the "Team Agri-Info" has win this importat competition hosted by Community HUB.

The four Trinidadian students composing the Team Agri-Info, Kris Adams, Mikaeel Andrews, Nicholai Rajkumar and Jairaj Singh, will now fly to Suriname, where they will have the opportunity to compete among the finalists to win the Agrihack Talent Caribbean, that will take place in Paramaribo, Suriname, from 6 to 12 October 2014 in occasion of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture.

The Agrihack Talent Caribbean is a regional initiative focusing on ICT for Agriculture, organised by the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with different institutions including the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and ConnectiMass. The main objective of this initiative is to support the development of ICT innovations and entrepreneurship in agriculture by young people.“

More information

Thursday, September 25, 2014 6:04:35 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)  #     | 


“Founded on the idea that Information and Communication Technologies can be leveraged to contribute to social change, Barefoot Law Uganda was initiated by a team of enthusiastic Ugandan lawyers passionate about making positive contributions to the lives of ordinary Ugandans.

Mr. Abila Gerald, who founded the Barefoot Law aims at providing free legal service to Ugandan people using information and communication technologies – especially social media to address the rampant ignorance of the common people about the law, their rights and need for legal redress.

In an earlier interview with Voice of America (VOA) News in May 2014, Abila, 30 said ´I travel a lot, and a lot of people in areas I travel to were like me before I started studying the law… the level of legal ignorance. And access to legal services is too low,´ he said.

Last week, a team of Barefoot Lawyers through a partnership with Women of Uganda Network(WOUGNET) spoke to participants of the ReachUp project – the project implemented by the Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Uganda and WOUGNET builds capacity of young women and men (youth) on how they can use technology to improve their businesses and nurture business potential to reduce the rampant youth unemployment in Uganda.

The Lawyers, introduced youth to the ideas behind Barefoot Law project and explained the different online platforms and social media that they use to answer/respond to legal questions posed by thousands of people in the country. They also availed themselves freely to respond to any legal issues that the youth had.

The team of Barefoot Law answered many legal questions affecting the youth including land issues, domestic issues, contracts and employment issues and many others. Mr. Micheal Kwizera and his colleague Timothy spent more than three hours interacting with youth, answering questions and listening to their innovative ideas.

Because women and youth in Uganda faces serious socio – economic and political challenges including ignorance of their rights and the law including access to free legal services , WOUGNET and barefoot Law decided to make this possible to women in Uganda and their partnership began by making access to legal services easier for women and youth from Kampala and this is expected to be rolled out to other areas including Northern Uganda.

Speaking in an earlier interview, Mr. Abila said -
´Ninety-seven percent of lawyers in Uganda are within the capital,´ he said. ´So 97 percent of lawyers serve a population of 2 million people, and the remaining three percent is left to serve a population of around 36 million. So how do you overcome such challenges using technology?´

Abila’s decided Barefoot Law, which he founded two years ago, would be the answer. The team uses web 2.0 and social media to address legal issues to majority of average and poor Ugandans.

Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) is a Non – Governmental Organisation initiated by several women’s organisations in Uganda to promote and support the use of Information and Communications Technology as tools to share information and address issues of sustainable national development collectively.“

(Source: WOUGNET)

Friday, September 19, 2014 9:55:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 16, 2014
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Darius Ishaku, has announced that the training of 100 youth in ICT skills for this region will start on September 15th.

Mr. Ishaku said that the Ministry would carry out this training in collaboration with companies such as Swift and the private consultancy firm, Just Nigeria Ltd.

According to the Minister, "This initiative places emphasis on vocational training tailored towards providing the identified trainees with the needed essential skills and competences to become active players in their chosen sector of the economy". Also, he said that because information and communication technology is one of the biggest sectors in Nigeria, it poses a great opportunity to engage the country’s extensive young population. 

According to the statistics, there are around 44 million Nigerian mobile phone subscribers. The Minister said, "With more than 100 million active phone users and some 50 million persons having access to the Internet, phone assembly plants are therefore the best investment for youths to benefit from“. In this way the Minister noted the importance of developing the necessary technical skills among youths to foster further development of  his country.

The Ministry also mentioned that the government’s  “Transformation Agenda” and commitment to improving the lives of youth, including through ICT. Unfortunately some of the projects from the government faced obstacles, such as lack of funding.  Despite these challenges, he programme recently completed training for 100 Niger Delta youths in its skill acquisition programme, carrying out trainings and providing each participant with N100,000 to start their own businesses once they completed training.

(Source: All Africa)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 8:26:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 01, 2014


UNESCO’s YouthMobile Initiative recently concluded the 3rd round of workshops in Nairobi, Kenya for 40 young people on mobile app development. The training is part of a seven round series of workshops hosted in partnership with the Developer School of Kenya.

A series of intensive training workshops on mobile application development for youth for sustainable development in Kenya has been ongoing during the summer in Nairobi, Kenya.

From 17 July 2014, 40 young people received mobile app development training. The workshops were within the framework of the new and innovative UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative in partnership with the Dev School and Kenya National Commission for UNESCO.

The UNESCO Eastern Africa Office provided extensive assistance to the training initiatives. The YouthMobile Initiative aims to empower youth with the high-level skills and confidence to create mobile apps that are locally-relevant and contribute to the reduction of chronic youth unemployment.

The global objective is to engage at least 25,000 young people and sell at least 5,000 mobile apps by 2017.

At a time when the world is looking for new ways to build peace and achieve sustainable development, encouraging innovation and creativity in the  youth of the world will be vital in effectively addressing these challenges.

The Nairobi workshop was held in partnership with the Dev School, a start-up from Kenya with aspirations to introduce coding to youth across the nation. Founded in 2013 by a young Kenyan, Ms. Martha Njeri Chelimo, the Dev School has now successfully run two rounds of training in Nairobi. In these workshops, students are able to extensively study programming languages, mobile platforms, web application frameworks, front end development, writing and entrepreneurship.

The 40 young people who participated in this summer’s workshop learned mobile app development from the MIT App Inventor curriculum. Peer trainers guided students in building Android applications and focused on creating apps that would solve specific local problems.

Linus Onyango, Chairperson at the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO Youth Forum, said: “The Mobile Application Training has been the most exciting and innovative undertaking related to ICT in which the UNESCO Youth forum Kenya has participated. The mobile Application training has been on for six weeks now and the attendance has been amazing. The class is always full and the trainers have been great in giving the learners an introduction to mobile apps development. I would like to thank UNESCO’s Regional Office, the Dev School, the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO and the Kenyan youth for making Nairobi YouthMobile a success”.

Since the Dev School’s inception, the number of students participating in workshops has been steadily increasing. Graduating students have had great success in finding employment within the growing IT industry in Kenya.

There will be a hackathon in September, where students will be required to fully develop their final mobile applications for presentation. In the hackathon, the students will build Android applications in the following areas: education, unemployment, culture, water and sustainable development.

To find out more about the UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative, follow on Twitter @YouthMobile_ or visit the website: www.youthmobile.org
UNESCO is organizing similar YouthMobile workshops in South Sudan, Nigeria, Lebanon and Jordan.

(Source: UNESCO)

Monday, September 01, 2014 10:19:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The Chief Executive Officer of Tigo (Tigo Ghana limited), Roshi Motman, is encouraging more girls to study ICT including software, web applications and hardware engineering.

According to her, the ICT industry offers women the opportunity to bring their personal ambition and passions together and make a meaningful contribution to society by developing cutting-edge innovative solutions.

She also believes careers in ICT offer economic freedom and independence for women to work from anywhere including remote locations and across industries.
The Tigo CEO interacted with young women from Nima and Maamobi, suburbs of Accra, at the ‘Tech needs Girls’ training centre.

The centre is run by a Tigo Reach for Change ambassador, Regina Agyare, a social entrepreneur committed to introducing and encouraging young girls to study ICT. Roshi Motman was delighted by the enthusiasm of the young girls and pledged Tigo’s continuous support for  the project. She urged the young women to be confident and challenge the status quo as they will be constrained by history, processes and systems.

‘Tech needs Girls’ is a social enterprise project aimed using technology to encourage and empower young girls to pursue various careers in ICT through hands-on training and mentorship.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Monday, September 01, 2014 10:04:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU, the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) is looking for innovative ideas on how ICTs can help smart cities to slow down or mitigate the effects of climate change and thereby improve people’s health.



This might include novel technologies or combinations of existing technologies, services, and systems which would shape a smart city. It may focus on monitoring or reporting on climate change, mitigating or adapting the impact of climate change on society, or on changes in technology and society that lead to a greener community.

Are you an entrepreneur under the age of 30 and interested in winning up to USD5000 in funding, plus mentorship, networking, and high-level exposure before an influential global audience of decision-makers?

Are you interested in working on concepts and ideas for new social start-ups which directly address climate change and its negative impact on health through a process of co-creation?

Do you want to be part of the select group of 10 young innovators from all over the world present at ITU Telecom World 2014 in Doha, Qatar?
Apply now at: https://ideas.itu.int

Deadline: Tuesday, October 7 2014
Find out more on ITU Telecom World 2014 at telecomworld.itu.int

(Source: GAATES)

Monday, September 01, 2014 8:57:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


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
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)  #     | 
 Monday, August 11, 2014


ITU is proud to announce the launch of an online platform to gather public opinion on the role that ITU could play to promote the use of ICTs as a tool to empower youth. This initiative serves as a follow-up to the BYND2015 Summit, held in San José in September 2013 and organized by ITU, together with the government of Costa Rica.

As agreed by ITU Council 2014, the platform has been made available, at the request of Costa Rica, to gather input on a resolution on youth, to be presented to this year’s PP-14 conference.

In order to expand the reach of this initiative, ITU would like to invite all ITU Membership to share and promote this platform with all relevant stakeholders, including academic institutions and youth-led civil society organizations.

The outcome of the consultation, which will take place from 1 August until 15 September 2014, will be posted on ITU´s thematic page on youth issues, for the consideration of all delegations taking part in PP-14. For further information please visit the website of the consultation, available at www.itu.int/youth.

#PP14Youth
​ITU is inviting young people around the world to share their thoughts and opinions on the scope and mandate of our future work related to youth. Through this online consultation, members of the public can provide input to the policy document which will be presented to ITU's upcoming Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-14) in Busan, Republic of Korea from 20 October - 7 November 2014. The #PP14Youth initiative aims to build on the successful experiences of the BYND2015 Summit, held in San José, Costa Rica in September 2013.

Contributing your thoughts and ideas is simple! Here's how to do it:

1. Read the draft policy document
2. Make your suggested edits and comments
3. Keep checking back to stay updated with how the policy document is evolving
4. Tell others to get involved with #PP14Youth

Further information

Monday, August 11, 2014 12:48:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The fourth version of Colombia 3.0, which brought together more than 130 experts in digital content from 14 countries, was held in Bogotá in order to promote the software industry, develop creative solutions and to reduce poverty in the South American country.

The event brought together business owners and entrepreneurs in digital animation, web and mobile development, video games, music, convergence, business and monetization of convergent media, explained the Minister of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) of Colombia, Diego Molano.

The minister said that Colombia strives to be a world power in the field of digital content, but that they are also looking to technology as a tool to "solve the problems of Colombians, including poverty". For this, the government has allocated, for the next four years, about $ 10,000 million for infrastructure, application development and training.

This event took place in the vicinity of the "Zona T", in the north of the Colombian capital, where there are restaurants, exclusive shops and entertainment places.
The organizers believe that this is time to promote the software industry, the digital content scenario and young Colombian talent.

"We have put in black and white for a week everything that is happening in Colombia with the ICT industry, but especially the industry linked to creativity", Molano said. The minister also said that the Colombian software and applications developers will be highlighted, because "they are making the revolution of information systems in the government".  Additionally, he said, the event offers business opportunities for Colombian entrepreneurs and investment opportunities for foreigners.

(Source: America Economía)

Monday, August 11, 2014 12:23:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, reiterated the Federal Government of Nigeria’s commitment to empowering Nigerian girls and women through ICT gender empowerment initiatives at an interactive session with young women undergoing training at the Ministry’s 1000 Girls ICT training program, held in Abuja, on Tuesday 15th July.

Johnson emphasized that the Ministry of CommTech is empowering women and girls to embrace ICT, to actualize their potential and contribute to the economic development of Nigeria through various technology initiatives.

The minister also said the 1000 girls programme is part of the federal government’s Girls and Women in Nigeria (GWIN) programme aimed at empowering girls and women in Nigeria.

She said, through the GWIN programme, the Ministry of Communication Technology and four other ministries, coordinated by the Finance Ministry, were working together to ensure that women and girls, especially the disenfranchised, are empowered. She said several programmes are being created to ensure the empowerment, employment and inclusion of women in the nation’s development.

“For us in ICT, this particular program is important, because when you look at the statistics, there is a big gender divide in the world of ICT. And when you look at the way ICT is relevant in all sectors and beginning to take over the way things are done in everything, that gender divide in ICT means that women will be left further behind if we don’t encourage them to embrace ICTs. The training programme will also empower the 1,000 girls with ICT skills and knowledge in the knowledge economy“, the minister said.

The program is expected to help reduce the imbalance in ICT adoption and appropriation among men and women in the country. Johnson said that with the ICT sector emerging as the fastest growing sector in the Nigeria, recording a 30 per cent year-on-year growth, ICT has the potential to significantly contribute to increasing the social welfare of women.

The Minister emphasized the transformative power of ICTs to accelerate the development of women by helping them to be more efficient and effective in their jobs, careers, and business and to generate new employment opportunities. She said that ICT has unlimited potential to significantly contribute to increasing the social welfare of women.

The ministry also has two other programs –The Digital Girls Clubs and SmartWoman Nigeria program --all geared at empowering women and Girls in Nigeria. Oluwakemi Koretimi, a beneficiary of the 1000 Girls Training program, expressed satisfaction with the knowledge in ICT she has gained during the training exercise. She said that before she joined the program, she thought ICT was difficult and obscure and that only men operated and excelled in that field.

(Source: Nigerian Newspaper)

Monday, August 11, 2014 9:33:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 21, 2014
Youth Affairs Minister Nikki Kaye has today opened Youth Fund 2015 with $200,000 available for community projects.

“The Ministry of Youth Development’s Youth Fund is unique in that it supports projects designed and led by young people aged 12 to 24, or projects by youth organisations in partnership with young people, that develop community participation”, Ms. Kaye says.

“Panels of young people will assess applications to determine successful projects and where the funding will go, resulting in a completely youth-led initiative. The more opportunities we can give young people to participate in decision-making and get involved in service in their communities, the better”.

Youth Fund 2014 funded 47 projects last year, from the Pheonix Performing Arts – a programme of workshops and mentoring for young people involved in the performing arts – to the INSPIRE youth mentoring conference. A Westland Rural Education Activities programme, the conference taught Grey and Westland districts’ youth a range of skills in events management, communication, and financial management.

More than 7000 young people participated in the Youth Fund 2014 projects. “We cannot underestimate the value to our country of investing in young leaders”, Ms. Kaye says, “particularly through projects where young Kiwis lead the way in solving problems in their communities.  This funding, along with other Government initiatives such as the $2.5 million Youth Enterprise Initiative that was announced in Budget 2014, is giving young people opportunities to upskill and make a positive contribution to their communities”.

The funding available for each project in the 2015 Youth Fund ranges from $2000 to $7000. Projects must begin from 1 January 2015 and be completed by 30 June 2015.
Applications close on 11 September 2014.

For information: www.myd.govt.nz/funding/youth-fund.html

(Source: Official Web of New Zealand Government)

Monday, July 21, 2014 9:36:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 14, 2014
Innovative open source technology for emergency telecommunications

ITU’s Young Innovators Competition 2014 has launched the second of its 2014 series of challenges, soliciting innovations using open source technologies for disaster management and offering winners the chance to win up to USD 10,000 in seed funding, plus the opportunity to showcase their work at ITU Telecom World 2014 this December in Doha.

Challenge-2 asks 18-30 year old start-up founders from across ITU’s 193 Member States to submit their winning ideas via its dedicated crowdsourcing platform. It also seeks innovators with ideas for taking the iconic technologies of the “maker culture” – the community of do it yourself inventors, creators and designers – such as 3D printing or robotics and applying these to saving lives in disaster situations, together with low cost, low entry barrier technologies, to reach the world’s most vulnerable communities.

The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2014, 24:00 UTC+2.

“With their flexibility and adaptability, open source technologies have tremendous potential to be key disaster mitigation tools in situations where a timely response is vital, both to save lives as well as to help rebuild communities after a disaster has occurred,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. “Innovations that are designed to save lives are critical in our quest to mitigate the devastating effect of natural disasters, and I urge young social entrepreneurs worldwide to use their skills in developing these technologies and apply their vision, ambition and creativity to meet this growing global challenge”.

About the Competition
First launched in 2010, this annual competition offers young people the chance to take part in workshops on entrepreneurial skills, opportunities to meet and network with leading ICT players, and to showcase their projects at the InnovationSpace, a dedicated show floor pavilion at ITU Telecom World 2014.

This year's competition comprises of a series of challenges aimed at solving real-life developmental issues through the innovative use of technology with effective social impact. The competition began with Challenge-1 on Local Digital Content, and will continue with further challenges in the run up to ITU Telecom World 2014 in December. Two start-ups will be selected as winners of Challenge-2 by a Selection Committee of experts and invited to attend ITU Telecom World 2014, along with the winners of the other 2014 challenges. Joining them will also be the finalists of the 2013 edition of the competition, who will report on progress of their winning projects.

Visit ideas.itu.int for more information on Challenge-2, to find out more on the winners of Challenge-1, and to apply or comment on submissions. You can also visit the Young Innovators Facebook page or contact us directly at young.innovators@itu.int.

ITU Telecom World 2014 will take place 7-10 December in Doha, Qatar. For more information on how you can be a part of this key event, visit telecomworld.itu.int

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Monday, July 14, 2014 6:54:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 27, 2014


Last week, Gayaza High School, a girls’ institution with a long history of excellence, showcased their e-Learning centre. Ronald Ddungu, the Deputy Head Teacher said they have adopted an inclusive approach to e-Learning where teachers have actively integrated technology and teaching.

Students can now access class notes andhomework and carry out research in a timely manner,allowing them to fully benefit from Uganda’s educational curriculm.

Ddungu said this innovative e-Learning initiative wonGayaza High School USD15,000 during this year’s Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain during March.

“The use of technology in schools in Uganda will help improve the delivery of the curriculum. Gayaza High School will work closely with other schools and mentor their teachers in adopting the use of technology in their work”, Ddungu said.

During a recent tour of the school, Mark East, General Manager of Global Sales and Operations at Microsoft, said, “The government of Uganda needs to set a policy and infrastructure for schools to access internet and technology because Information Technology is a tool that each student needs to have a right to.’

He said, “Teachers, like those in Gayaza, need to learn how to effectively integrate ICT into their curriculum and classrooms. It helps create immersive learning experiences that improve students’ experiences and skills through technology.”

Eastsaid Microsoft’s approach to e-Learning is a not a one-device-fits-all solution. With access to ICT in schools still unevenly distributed, schools across Uganda are at different levels of implementing e-Learning programs and therefore have different needs. “For instance, there is a high teacher absenteeism rate in Uganda, as reported by the BBC, meaning that 40% of public school classrooms don’t have teachers teaching in them,” he said.

The company recently launched the Microsoft4Afrika Virtual Academy, which delivers free IT training from Microsoft experts, and covers topics such as app development, coding, business intelligence and virtualisation.

Microsoft plans to continue delivering relevant, effective and scalable technologies, services and programs. As eLearning progresses in Africa, the company looks forward to continuing its efforts in improving learning for all.

(Source: Business Week Newspaper)

Friday, June 27, 2014 8:39:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 25, 2014


British Council is taking a lead role in the development of a unified curriculum for integration of ICT in education for the purpose of the rollout of the National Laptop Project. A joint workshop was held at the Kitengela Conference Centre & Resort Park, and brought together key stakeholders from the Jubilee Laptop Project (JLP) Consortium consisting of Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Ministry of Education, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Microsoft, Intel, Technology Partners, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, UNESCO, and Kenya Literature Bureau.

The national laptop project is expected to run from January 2014 by which time 50,000 teachers need to have been trained on ICT integration in the classroom, besides device assembly, applications uploading, content development and delivery of devices to schools among others. It is envisaged that the teachers training should be done by end of August 2013 before which there should have been induction workshops for technical teams, master trainers and training of trainers.

This writing workshop represents the first stage towards achievement of ICT integration capacity building for primary school teachers in preparation of the school laptop project. This meeting aimed to review existing content from various curricula on ICT skills and integration with a view to isolating relevant content. Thereafter, the involved stakeholders plan to rewrite each module with an emphasis to enhancing pedagogy for the teaching profession and improving learning outcomes. With this in mind, we hope to harmonize the ICT integration curriculum and adjust it within working objectives of the UNESO ICT competency standards. It is also key to note the aim of developing relevant manuals, ICT baseline survey tools and web-based collaboration systems for trainers.

Of particular importance was the time given to participants to interrogate the available content in detail and come up with a synchronized curriculum on key areas, some of which are good practice from the Badiliko and Spark a Child’s Digital Future projects. These areas include: school leader training, 21stcentury skills, basic ICT skills , internet, mail groups, social media networks, ICT integration in teaching and learning, ICT integrated lessons and managing environments, interactive digital content, safety, security and ethical issues, first line basic maintenance and support, assessment , monitoring and evaluation.

A harmonization curriculum team has since been established, and comprises 30 key stakeholders. It is envisaged that this team will address a number of key expectations mainly touching on: content format, identifying teachers for training of trainers and master trainers, structures for teacher management (support structure and types), consolidation of partners in curriculum harmonization, gap analysis,wholesome retooling of the teacher: online services (registration, pay slips, promotion, profile updates, casualty, real-time data, poll survey and collaborations),budget and sponsorship for capacity development and incentives: certification, professional development and promotion.

The teachers are the custodians of the ICT project, and will actually do the groundwork in terms of equipping students with these very vital IT skills. By directly involving them in these preliminary stages, they have a great opportunity to exercise ownership of the project. Having the teachers input at this early stages means that the final product content, execution, structures and workings are clear from the very beginning and resonate with their specific needs.

Through this initiative also, the government, will be able to aptly roll out the ICT project in line with its vision of bringing ICT skills to schools. By getting necessary input from all the key stakeholders, the government is guaranteed of getting an end- product that resonates with the people, by the people and for the people.

Source: British Council

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 1:20:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 19, 2014
"Knowing how to code?" or "literacy of the XXI century? " - UNESCO's YouthMobile initiative and Intel Software  hosted a round table on this issue on Friday, June 13, the day of the5th edition of Futur en Seine (CNAM, Paris), with the support Cap Digital.



Learning how to code is  is no longer only about training engineers, but rather to give all citizens the means to create, work, and  manage a lot of information, and take a critical look at technologywhile having fun. In this context, “coding” must be seen as a new way to learn more than mere “coding techniques”.

With its new "YouthMobile" initiative, UNESCO wants as many girls and boy as possible to have the opportunity, through the code, to use technology to address local and global issues related to sustainable development. UNESCO and its partners strive to provide young people with the high level skills and confidence necessary for the development, promotion and sale of mobile applications.

Many volunteers around the world are already deploying “coding” trainings, but these programmes are often not easy for parents or teachers, rather than technicians, to replicate, translate, or adapt.

Intel Coding for Kids, an open source package of trainings and software incorporating international best practices in this field, meets the criteria of UNESCO's YouthMobile initiative. Educational and/or non-profit partner associations can freely adapt and build their own programmes, within the framework of international deployment.

In this approach, code is used as a means of artistic creation, and to facilitate understanding of social, scientific and environmental problems. The proposed pedagogical model is based on the peer-to-peer concept. The code is introduced very gradually and at each step the learner acquires ready-to-use expertise.

In addition, the round table organized by UNESCO and Intel Software will focus on other innovative approaches recently adopted in France, such as by Simplon.co and Ecole42, and will try to assess the feasibility and sustainability of larger deployments and similar initiatives, particularly in emerging countries.

The Futur en Seine festival will take place from 12 to 22 June 2014, in the heart of Paris and across the Île-de-France. For more information:http://www.futur-en-seine.fr/fens2014

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, June 19, 2014 8:50:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, June 14, 2014


The Habaka Madagascar Innovation Hub hosted on Friday May 16 the Antananarivo StartUp Cup, offering cash and free incubation to winning startups.

The event, part of the global StartUp Cup initiative and supported by Orange Madagascar, offers three winners the chance to share US$3,100 as well as free incubation at the hub.
 
The overall winner will also go on to represent Madagascar at the next World StartUp Cup.

Andriankoto Ratozamanana, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) at Habaka, said the seven finalists were picked by a local judge based on lean startup criteria.

“The ideas we received are impressive indeed”, Ratozamanana said. “The tech startup scene in Madagascar is in its early age, that’s why we opted for the StartUp Cup model”.

The event was streamed live online in French and viewers can vote for their chosen startup online.

HumanIPO reported last year Habaka, which was founded in 2011 and registered as a non-profit in April 2013, launched the HARIASA National Technology Innovation Contest, looking to stimulate the creation of a startup ecosystem within the country.

Ratozamanana said innovation had the potential to be economically beneficial to Madagascar.

“Innovation will boost the growth of Madagascar’s economy because it will create local industry”, he said. “Naturally it can solve many local issues and our people will be proud to buy good quality local products or works in good condition in a local company that is very innovative and competitive”.

(Further details)

Saturday, June 14, 2014 1:38:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


A centre to train the youth in Information Communications Technology (ICT) has been officially opened in Koforidua, the Eastern regional capital.

The innovation centre which is a Government of Ghana-world Bank collaboration provides users with Internet, area for the assembling of hardware, software programmes, audio visual equipments to allow users interact with the world, a seminar room, among others.

The facility, which will be replicated in the remaining nine regional capitals, is also aimed at creating job opportunities for the youth.

Communications Minister, Dr.Edward Omane Boamah, who officially opened the centre said "all these innovation centres across the regional capitals will be linked up through the power of the internet and to the BPO centre at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle''.

The minister noted that the establishment of the innovation centre will enable business process outsourcing activities take place in all the regional capitals.

''The centre will help business outsourcing which hitherto happened only in Accra extended to the other regions'', he said.

In addition to the innovation centres, Dr.Omane Boamah stated that government is establishing twenty-one Community Information Centres (CIC) to add up to the eighteen it established last year.

"The CICs are a bit different from the regional innovation centres. It is a strategy to help diffuse ICT's to every nook and cranny of the country to engage our youth in a much more healthy way than what we have seen in the past and also give them decent Jobs through [provision of] appropriate skills in ICT'', he explained.

(More Information)

Saturday, June 14, 2014 1:27:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 06, 2014
Nathan Han, 15, of Boston was awarded first place for developing a machine learning software tool to study mutations of a gene linked to breast cancer at this year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public.
Using data from publicly available databases, Han examined detailed characteristics of multiple mutations of the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene in order to "teach" his software to differentiate between mutations that cause disease and those that do not. His tool exhibits an 81 percent accuracy rate and could be used to more accurately identify cancer threats from BRCA1 gene mutations. Han received the Gordon E. Moore Award of US$75,000, named in honor of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist.

Lennart Kleinwort, 15, of Germany received one of two Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of US$50,000. Kleinwort developed a new mathematical tool for smartphones and tablets that brings capabilities to hand-held devices that previously required more sophisticated and expensive computing tools. His app allows users to hand draw curves, lines and geometric figures on the touch screen and watch the system render them into shapes and equations that can then be manipulated at will.

Shannon Xinjing Lee, 17, of Singapore received the other Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of US$50,000 for developing a novel electrocatalyst that may be used for batteries of the future. Researchers have been looking for ways to make rechargeable zinc-air batteries practical, as they would be safer, lighter in weight, and have six times the energy density of lithium ion batteries, making them ideal for hybrid vehicles. Lee found that her activated carbon catalyst, which she made entirely from carbonized Chinese eggplant, greatly out-performed a more sophisticated commercial catalyst in stability and longevity tests and will be environmentally friendly and inexpensive to produce.

"The world needs more scientists, makers and entrepreneurs to create jobs, drive economic growth and solve pressing global challenges," said Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation. "Intel believes that young people are the key to innovation, and we hope that these winners inspire more students to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math, the foundation for creativity".

This year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair featured more than 1,700 young scientists selected from 435 affiliate fairs in more than 70 countries, regions and territories. In addition to the top winners, more than 500 finalists received awards and prizes for their innovative research, including 17 "Best of Category" winners, who each received a US$5,000 prize. The Intel Foundation also awarded a US$1,000 grant to each winner's school and to the affiliated fair they represent. Additionally, the Intel Foundation presented a select number of students with experiential awards, including the new 11-day trip to China to attend the country's largest national science competition, speak with researchers at Intel's lab in Shanghai, and visit the Panda Research Base in Chengdu.

A full listing of finalists is available in the event program. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2014 is funded jointly by Intel and the Intel Foundation with additional awards and support from dozens of other corporate, academic, governmental and science-focused organizations. This year, more than US$5 million was awarded.

To learn more about Society for Science & the Public, visit www.societyforscience.org, and follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter.

To get the latest Intel education news, visit www.intel.com/newsroom/education, and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Further Information

Friday, June 06, 2014 9:23:34 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)  #     | 

Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL) builds and invests in Singapore and global infocomm technology start-ups. Managing more than S$200 million, we accelerate the development of start-ups in their formative phase, and invest further as they move towards growth and expansion. IIPL plays a central role in building a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem in Singapore for start-ups to flourish through our investments, partnerships across sectors and global reach.

We are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore.

What we do

Accelerator

In order to further stimulate the growth of home-grown, innovation driven tech start-ups, Infocomm Investments is working with corporations, universities and professional accelerators to cultivate promising tech start-ups at the seed and early stages. We bring promising tech start-ups to the accelerator programmes that are tailored to suit start-ups at different stages of maturity and/or industry verticals. We aim to build 500 Singapore-based high growth tech start-ups through such acceleration programmes over the next 5 years.

Potential partners and entrepreneurs who are keen to explore our accelerator programmes are welcome to contact us at info@infocomminvestments.com

Investment
Infocomm Investments invest alongside leading VCs to take companies to their next stage of growth. We target Singapore companies that are building a strong international presence or overseas companies expanding to new markets in Asia (from a base in Singapore.) Our investments cover various segments including Consumer Web, Mobile applications and Infrastructure, SaaS and Cloud Infrastructure, Games and Enterprise IT.
Equity-financing aside, we seek to add value to our portfolio companies through our wide network. We’ve helped companies recruit talent, connect with potential customers or partners, and bring advisors on board through strong relationships we’ve built over the past decade.

JTC LaunchPad @One-North
We are a significant participant in this initiative. Building on the success of Block 71, JTC LaunchPad @One-North is an initiative to further develop the area as Singapore’s start-up cluster. The space will provide start-ups with affordable and quality spaces which will help to seed their growth, catalyst networking and collaboration opportunities as well as build an even stronger start-up community in Singapore.

Community & Outreach
Singapore has become a strategic hub for many tech entrepreneurs to locate their business operations. At Infocomm Investments, we are committed to be an active member of the tech community, contributing in various ways to help build a strong pipeline of tech start-ups that have the potential to scale globally.

Sponsorship Support
At Infocomm Investments, we advocate and support appropriate events and activities that can benefit the innovation-driven, tech start-up ecosystem in Singapore. We would like these activities to have positive impact, in a quantifiable sustained manner, in one or more ways:

  • Building and growing start-ups into disruptive, significant businesses
  • Establishing and leveraging on relationships with the investor, accelerator, customer (or user), and media communities to propel start-ups
  • Identifying and channelling tech talent to the tech start-up ecoystem
  • Benefitting start-ups, entrepreneurs, technologists, incubators, accelerators, start-up mentors, investors, tech companies, user organisations, relevant agencies, entrepreneurship educators and students
This is a constructive way for us to work with partners across private and public sectors, in Singapore and globally, helping us to play a central role in building a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem in Singapore for tech start-ups to flourish.

You can contact our Marketing and Outreach Team at info@infocominvestments.com

  (Source: Infocomm Investment)

Friday, May 16, 2014 9:27:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Grey Group Singapore (“Grey”) announced that the agency has developed two innovative mobile applications (“apps”) aimed at improving the quality of life of people with hearing disabilities. Developed with inputs and full support from the Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf), the proprietary apps transform smart phones into intelligent devices that help the lives of people who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing easier and safer.

Say it With Signs
Although smart phones are fast becoming ubiquitous devices in the hearing world, people with hearing disabilities has limited use of them as a communications tool, relying more on text messages and over the top (OTT) applications that deliver visual content.

This poses a challenge when there is difficulty for a caller to key in a text message, such as when the caller is driving or if the caller is a pre-school child. Say it With Signs helps address this challenge by processing audio messages during a phone call into digital hand signs displayed on the receiver’s mobile phone. The receiver of the call, who is a deaf person, can easily view this sign language on their mobile phones and reply to the caller via a text message.

Hearing Aide
Hearing Aide provides people with hearing disabilities with support during emergencies by processing ambient sounds and transmitting visual and kinetic notifications to the user. Upon recognizing a specific audio signature, the app will process this and notify the users of the impending danger via a 20 second vibration and a visual message displayed on the mobile phone screens.

This app is pre-loaded with 5 standard “alarms” or “alert sounds” such as, ambulance, fire brigade, police sirens, fire alarm and smoke detector. Users have the ability to customise the app according to their needs by adding sounds between 90 – 120dB into the databank of alert sounds and renaming labels of the notifications to warning messages they prefer or are familiar with.

SADeaf President, Dr Christopher Low Wong Kein shares, “These applications are breakthroughs for the Deaf community. At SADeaf, we are always on the lookout for innovations that can better the lives of our clients. Say it With Signs and Hearing Aide are certainly two applications that will fast become integral to our clients in their everyday lives. I have no doubt that our clients will be looking forward to have the apps installed on their phones. It was indeed a pleasure working with the highly creative and attentive team at Grey Singapore. We are glad that they have thought of the needs of people with hearing disabilities”.

(Source: GAATES)

Friday, May 16, 2014 9:18:32 AM (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)  #     | 

The European Commission is looking for Europe's best startups in this year's Tech All Stars competition. The lucky winners will have exclusive access to Europe's most prestigious startup events and will pitch to the likes of Sir Richard Branson and Chad Hurley.

European Commission Vice President @NeelieKroesEU said "Part of businesses success is making the right connections and the European Commission can help open doors. Finalists will get connected to EU funding sources, successful entrepreneurs and other influential people".

The competition is open to EU registered startups younger than 3 years, which have raised less than €1 million in external funding. Applications are open until May 22nd 2014.

Tech All Stars Competition
  • 10th-11th June 2014. Over two days, 12 finalists get to know London's vibrant startup scene, connect, learn and get inspired by successful entrepreneurs. Finalists will be trained and challenged in an eliminatory pitch battle and a distinguished selection panel will chose the top three.
  • June 12th Founders Forum London. Top three finalists pitch their startup to a world-class audience of tech leaders and investors. The best European startup will be elected, and the winner will be announced by Neelie Kroes
  • Summer 2014. The Grand Tech All Stars Winner will be panellist at the European Commission's Digital Agenda Assembly again rubbing shoulders with the movers and shakers of the tech world.

Previous Tech All Star Winners include Irish company Trustev which offers real time, online verification using social fingerprinting technology (see MEMO/13/557) and Cognicor a Spanish start-up offering an automated complaint resolution service (see MEMO/12/472).

Background
StatupEurope is the European Commission action plan to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT entrepreneurs in Europe and contributing to innovation, growth and jobs. It is a Digital Agenda initiative supported by @NeelieKroesEU to help innovative tech companies start in Europe and stay in Europe.

Further Information

Friday, May 16, 2014 8:52:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Telecentre Academy (TCA), the capacity building arm of Telecentre.org Foundation, will soon be launching a new course entitled “Women, Entrepreneurship and ICTs”. Designed specifically for women with an enterprising spirit and an idea of what they want to start, the course seeks to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship and encourage them to pursue entrepreneurial activities.

Recognizing the gap between training initiatives focused on the use of ICT tools in the enterprise world and those full blown business administration courses that take much longer to complete, TCA developed its latest course offering in an effort to bridge this particular gap.

The course, which will delve into the practical aspects of starting a business, will be made available in English and Spanish and is expected to kick off in June in Europe and Africa. It will run for a period of 8 weeks or a total of 40 work hours. A self-directed and collaborative learning approach will be employed where the participants themselves will set their learning goals and link them to their enterprising activities. A tutor will be on hand to facilitate the learning process and guide them through the training and exercises.

All participants who will successfully complete the course will obtain a corresponding certificate from TCA. Through this course which was developed in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), TCA also hopes to build a community of practice where people who have taken the course can exchange knowledge, experiences, resources and good practices.

TCA will be offering the course for a minimal fee, the rate of which may vary per country. Some scholarships and discounts may be awarded depending on local demand.
Interested in partnering with TCA and introducing this entrepreneurship course to your network? Don’t hesitate to contact the TCA team.

Further information

Friday, May 16, 2014 7:01:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


1,700 High School Students Compete for More than US$5M in Los Angeles.

The world's largest high school science research competition, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public, comes to Los Angeles May 11-16. Approximately 1,700 high school students selected from 435 affiliate fairs in more than 70 countries, regions and territories will share ideas, showcase cutting edge research and inventions, and compete for more than US$5 million in awards. The full list of finalists is available in the event program (starting at page 47).

Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation, and Rick Bates, interim CEO and chief advancement officer of Society for Science & the Public, will be available for comment at the event. "Through the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, Intel aims to empower students to develop innovations that positively impact the way we work and live", said Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation. "We hope the competition will not only shine a spotlight on the finalists' achievements, but also encourage more youth to embrace science, technology, engineering and math".

"By earning the right to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, student finalists have proven they have the capability and desire to become the leading scientists and engineers of tomorrow", said Rick Bates, interim CEO and chief advancement officer of Society for Science & the Public. "Intel ISEF is not only a chance to compete for awards but an opportunity to learn, be inspired, and share their research with fellow top young students from around the world".

To learn more about Society for Science & the Public, visit www.societyforscience.org, and follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter.

Further details

Friday, May 16, 2014 6:54:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Cisco is on a mission to make Kenyan girls embrace ICT careers and be part of the ever growing sector of the economy.

This comes amid reports by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that the number of school girls opting to study technology-related disciplines on the decline in most countries worldwide.

Cisco hopes to join ITU to champion the catalytic role a tech career can play in creating exciting, far-reaching opportunities for women and girls. The company recently hosted a ‘Girls in ICT Day’ for girls aged between 14-18 to hear about the vital role that ICT plays in employability today and how the Internet of Everything will create the jobs of tomorrow.

“Cisco has been involved in ‘Girls in ICT Day’ since it started four years ago. We understand the value of a diverse workforce, and believe that many more girls would pursue careers in ICT if they were better informed about the many different types of jobs available within the sector’, said Hital Muraj, Corporate Affairs Manager, East and Central Southern Africa.

The 26 girls from various institutions were mentored by representatives from from Global Peace Foundation, Safaricom and UNESCO, and encouraged to embrace ICT careers and reap from the male-dominated sector.

The Girls in ICT Day is an annual day of activities organized by the International Telecommunications Union aimed at improving the understanding of careers in ICT among girls.

To help inspire girls to consider a future in technology, ITU established the ‘Girls in ICT Day’ back in 2010 and supports the global organization of activities every year on the fourth Thursday in April. Currently in its 4th year, global momentum around Girls in ICT Day continues to grow with over 100 countries touted to hold events hosted by governments, private sector and NGOs in 2014.

This year Cisco will be hosting 2,500 girls at almost 80 of their offices worldwide and across 37 countries in EMEAR giving them the opportunity to network with each other and other role models to inspire them to consider an IT career.

During their visit to Cisco, students will be able to experience and engage with Cisco’s technologies for themselves, including collaboration platforms such as TelePresence and Jabber.

These platforms will enable interaction on the day and beyond with other Girls participating across the globe and of the leading women working within Cisco and its partners and customers.

“By 2020 there will be approximately 50 billion objects connected to the Internet. At its essence, the Internet of Everything is the networked connection of people, process, data and things…and is set to create an unprecedented level of disruption across industries, globally”, said Muraj.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Friday, May 16, 2014 6:45:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The latest ITU report, Digital Opportunities: Innovative ICT Solutions for Youth Employment, carries an important message for youth, the private sector, academia and government policy makers seeking to address youth unemployment: youth need digital skills if they want to get a job or start a business.

Digital literacy is effectively a prerequisite for employment and starting a business in all countries, and ICTs should be prioritized in all national youth employment and entrepreneurship strategies.

Firstly, how bad is youth unemployment?
According to the ILO Global Trends for Youth Unemployment 2013 report, 73 million young people were unemployed worldwide and three times as many are underemployed. A further 621 million youth are said to be “NEET” — not in education, employment or training. Youth make up 17 per cent of the world’s population and 40 per cent of the world’s unemployed.

High youth unemployment not only hampers economic growth, but for youth it can be a debilitating experience that affects their ability to lead productive and rewarding lives. Urgent attention is needed to address the plight of youth and provide them better opportunities for employment.

One of the causes of youth unemployment is a skills mismatch between what the market is seeking and what institutions of learning – both formal and informal – are providing. Many employers claim they cannot find people with the job skills they need. Youth without digital skills are being cut out of a growing number of job and business opportunities.

Policy makers reading this report could draw only one conclusion: To promote youth employment it is essential that youth in their countries obtain digital skills, including how to become ICT creators.

ICTs should be included in youth employment and entrepreneurship strategies for three key reasons:

1.More jobs and businesses require ICT skills
2.ICTs are transforming the way young digital entrepreneurs do business
3.There is an explosion of online learning opportunities and resources for job seekers and digital entrepreneurs

ICTs are transforming old market sectors including farming, manufacturing and the health sector, and creating new market sectors that didn’t exist even a few years ago, like social media management, gaming and the mobile apps economy. The demand for both basic and more advanced ICT skills cuts across all sectors, from agriculture and construction to education and service industries to ICT jobs themselves, in both developing and developed countries. Basic digital literacy is increasingly required just to find job listings and apply for a job.

What kinds of opportunities exist?
Youth with mid-level digital skills can earn wages through offshore services, such as information technology outsourcing (ITO) and business process outsourcing (BPO), crowdsourcing and microwork (task-oriented work opportunities for data entry, coding, tagging and other text-based tasks).  Mobile financial services like M-PESA are making it easier for young people to receive payment for services rendered. CrowdFlower is one example of crowdsourcing which hires people in more than 70 countries.

Youth trained as ICT creators are working developing apps, games and social network websites.  Since the iPhone was introduced in 2007, the app economy has generated roughly 752,000 app related jobs in the US and 530,000 jobs in the European Union as of 2013, according to Vision Mobile. While currently much of the apps development taking place in developing countries is for export to the US, Europe and Asia, it is expected that in a few years’ time, local demand in developing countries will reach the levels of demand in Europe and North America as smartphone penetration rises.  This will give rise to a need for apps development relevant to local languages and content.

New ways of working and learning
The report also highlights new ways digital entrepreneurs are working, such as tech hubs or app labs. These are business incubation spaces that provide solutions to young digital entrepreneurs: they provide Internet connectivity, support structures (including shared office space), mentorship and collaboration. Tech hubs and app labs are springing up throughout the developed and developing world including Applabs funded by the Grameen Foundation in Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia and Uganda.

Despite the fact that digital skills are not systematically being taught in all schools, the report recognizes that youth can obtain vital digital and business skills online. The report documents the explosion of new learning opportunities that can enable youth to get the right skills, including Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), open courseware and mobile learning as well as hackathons and mobile app competitions.  All of these opportunities point to the need to promote collaborative learning in digital skills development strategies.

The report includes a number of policy recommendations, including ensuring digital skills and collaborative learning is part of school curricula, hosting innovation and co-working spaces for entrepreneurs and funding app contests and competitions.

ITU’s Telecommunication Development Sector (BDT) has created a new Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Resources Database to assist young people to find and use these digital opportunities. This database contains resources for finding employment, becoming an entrepreneur, learning technical and soft skills, finding a mentor, searching for funding, networking, and many other valuable services.

Access the full report here and find out more about ITU’s work for Digital Inclusion and visit ITU’s Youth Employment Database.

(Source: ITU Blog)

Friday, May 16, 2014 5:41:20 AM (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
Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações

 

24th April 2014

Girls in ICT Day, an initiative backed by ITU Member States in ITU Resolution 70, will be celebrated this year on April 24th. The main goal is to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Portugal is joining these celebrations again by carrying out two initiatives at Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações | Museu das Comunicações:

- March and April - a school and university contest about ICT issues will take place at FPC | MC (What is the impact of the digital revolution for the professions in the future? Is it important to increase the number of women working in the ICT sector?)

- 24th April - a roundtable debate with the participation of women connected to the ICTs industry, the announcement of the school competition winners and the delivery of the prizes.

For more information see the following websites: Portuguese version of the site | ITU

(Source: FPC)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:17:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Its that time of year again, where we bring together girls from different high schools and women in the tech industry together for a day of intense fun and brainstorming around career opportunities for girls in technology!



AkiraChix, for the second time, will be hosting a Girls in ICT Day event on April 26th, 2014 at iHub between 9:00a.m and 5.00p.m. This event is geared towards exposing young ladies in high school and university to career opportunities available to them in the tech industry. They will get to interact with girls who have benefited from the mentorship program in the past, as well as women working in the tech industry locally.

We will continue to provide updates as we get closer to the day of the event.
If you have a sister/friend in high school who you think would benefit, sign them up on their eventbrite page: http://akirachixgirlsinict14.eventbrite.com

(Source: Akirachix)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:57:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ooredoo partners with ITU for development of local digital content

ITU has launched the fourth edition of its popular ‘Young Innovators’ competition, seeking out talented young thinkers and social technopreneurs across the globe, and encouraging them to showcase their innovative ideas at the upcoming ITU Telecom World 2014 in Doha in December this year.

The annual competition, which was launched in 2010, offers young people the chance to take part in workshops on entrepreneurial skills, opportunities to meet and network with leading ICT players, and to showcase their projects at the InnovationSpace, a dedicated show floor pavilion at ITU Telecom World.

The first challenge of the 2014 edition focuses on ‘Local Digital Content’. Open to 18-30 year-old start-up founders from across ITU’s 193 member states, the competition is looking for the most promising tech start-ups that are inspiring the creation, aggregation or digitization of dynamic local content, particularly in non-Latin scripts.

Entries can be submitted by start-ups that are involved in script content, resolving the technical challenges of digitizing non-Latin scripts through innovative technologies, or pinpointing fresh uses for older technologies, such as optical character recognition, voice recognition or translation software.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Toure said, “I am delighted to announce the first challenge of the latest edition of the ITU Telecom World 2014 Young Innovators’ Competition. Last year’s competition brought us inspirational concepts and projects from innovative young people around the world, all of which had significant potential social impact and impressive business potential. I look forward to exploring the latest innovations at ITU Telecom World 2014 this December in Doha”.

The first stage of the contest has been launched in partnership with Ooredoo, which is supporting Qatar’s hosting of ITU Telecom World 2014. With strong experience in encouraging relevant local content and inspiring start-ups across the MENA region and Asia, Ooredoo will provide invaluable support for the contest.

Sheikh Saud Bin Nasser Al Thani, CEO, Ooredoo Qatar, said, “We’re excited to support this first challenge in the Young Innovators’ competition. We know that new digital content can inspire people and open new opportunities in their lives, and we believe strongly that each and every market deserves relevant content in their own languages that is tailored to their interests”.

About the Competition
Two start-ups will be selected as winners of this challenge by a Selection Committee of experts and invited to attend ITU Telecom World 2014.

At the event itself, selected Young Innovators will enjoy mentoring and workshops on entrepreneurial skills, opportunities to meet and network with leading ICT players, and the chance to showcase their projects at the InnovationSpace, a dedicated show floor pavilion.

Prize money of up to USD 10,000 in the form of seed funding will be awarded to implement and bring to scale winning start-ups. The competition will comprise a number of different challenges, the first of which focuses on local digital content.

The deadline for initial submissions is 30 May 2014, 24:00 GMT +2.
Visit https://ideas.itu.int/ for more information on the challenge and to apply or comment on submissions. You can also visit the Young Innovators’ Facebook page or contact us directly at young.innovators@itu.int.

ITU Telecom World 2014 will take place from 7-10 December 2014 in Doha, Qatar. For more information on how you can be a part of this key event, visit http://telecomworld.itu.int/

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:51:27 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)  #     | 
An ambitious project by Botswana’s Ministry of Labour through the National Internship, donor agencies and leading NGOs has seen the creation of a youth friendly portal to promote job creation in the country. According to the developers, “this is a platform with a job search function, youth mentoring and social and professional networking”, a source added.

Speaking during the stakeholders’ engagement session, the Botswana Innovation Hub CEO Allan Boshwaen said the youths in the country now have something to smile about. “A portal has been developed to support this program in partnership with Microsoft through the MIC initiative, with this portal we aim to aggregate all empowerment or employability initiatives or opportunities that are available for the youth and recent graduates, and provide them a one stop shop where they can access and explore opportunities that exist in the country”.

He added that a list of avenues to take the portal to the people was being explored. “After this stakeholder sensitisation session we plan to do a road show targeting the beneficiaries of this program being youth, recent graduates, SME or start-ups and other marginalized communities such as women, rural communities.

Stakeholders say the program will provide a full ecosystem to support workforce development across Botswana for job or talent research and professional skill enhancement.

“This is key to creating job opportunities and building businesses. This will help raise the countries competitiveness by developing world class workforce skills,’ noted one commentator.

“The world is becoming more and faster paced and Botswana should do more to keep up with this development”, commented Michael Murphy, Chargé d’Affairs US Embassy in Gaborone during the session.

Djam Bhakshandegi, the Director Public Affairs and Citizenship at Microsoft said her organisation was instrumental in facilitating the growth of ICT awareness on the continent. During an interview with Biztechafrica, she said ICT in Africa was growing exponentially especially among the youth, who she said were becoming more and more tech savvy.

“As Microsoft have invested a lot of time and expertise so that the greatest number of people in Africa have access to ICTs, and in this regard, millions of people have been impacted. In order to do this we are working with other companies so that those that don’t have access to technology will get it”, she assured.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:16:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 01, 2014
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)  #     | 
Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, has reaffirmed its commitment to Chad by partnering with the Ministry of Secondary Education to train 6,000 youth in the country. The training will focus nurturing young talent to improve their information and communications technology (ICT) capabilities.

Airtel Chad, the leading telecommunications company in the country, plans to carry out training sessions for the youth, equipping them with better skills to handle new challenges as the build their businesses. The training, organized by the Airtel Centum Training Centre, will comprise several sessions, each consisting of theoretical and practical training on ICT.

Speaking at the ceremony, Airtel Chad Managing Director, Mr. Salia Gbane said: “Our aim as Airtel Africa in this project is to provide sustainable solutions that will develop the skills of the youth in Chad. We intend to promote socio-economic empowerment by enabling entrepreneurship opportunities through training 500 to 800 young entrepreneurs for a period of two years. We also aspire to certify up to 5,760 youth with the mastery in modern management skills which are critical to growth of Chad’s economy”.

The beneficiaries, empowered with fresh entrepreneurial potential, will have additional time to develop their skills in the field enabling them nurture small projects that will be supported by Airtel.

On his part, Minister of Secondary Education Mr. AhmatKhazali Acyl said: “We are extremely delighted by Airtel’s hearty gesture to partner with us. This project is likely to create significant socio-economic opportunities in employment by honing the skills of young entrepreneurs. Itis our responsibility as the government of Chad, joining hands with private sector partners like Airtel, to create concrete solutions that aim at eradicating poverty and improve the lives of the youth. This initiative is the start of new and great business models that will empower the youth and enable them play effective roles within the system”.

“We as Airtel Chad believe that building institutional capacities has a significant impact to the people and is the most effective and sustainable tool to contribute to the growth of the economy. We trust that this collaboration with the government will be the beginning of new abilities that create strategic opportunities”, added Mr. Abdelhamid Mahamat Senoussi, General Secretary, Airtel Chad.

The initiative of the ICT training program by Airtel Chad is part of its contribution to development of education in Chad and assisting in the growth of the economy by nurturing young entrepreneurs across the country.

(Source: Airtel Africa)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 12:13:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Get Online Week‘ has been launched in Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for the first time to empower and encourage the use of technology, raise awareness on the benefits of ICT and to promote the role of e-skills in the daily lives of every day people.

‘Get Online Week’ is a European digital empowerment campaign launched in Egypt by the United Nations Development Program (Egypt), the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology through its ICT Trust Fund, Microsoft Egypt and Telecentre Europe and Telecentre Foundation.

The theme for the campaign in the region is employment, digital jobs, social innovation and entrepreneurship for youth. UNDP in Egypt, and other GOW partners, engaged young innovators, entrepreneurs, public institutions, civil society and the private sector in a variety of diverse online and offline activities during the entire week.

On the 21st of March to the 22nd of March, computer science students from nationwide universities participated in a mobile application development marathon. For two days, participants worked on developing and prototyping their own mobile applications that tackled one of the following issues: Women Empowerment, Child Protection and Environment.

Throughout the week, a series of webinars on topics related to innovation and entrepreneurship were live streamed online by different Egyptian innovators. The audiences were able to watch and engage with the presenters in real time.

Furthermore, on Wednesday the 26th of March, a round table discussion on youth entrepreneurship and innovation was held at the UNDP Country Office in Cairo. Participants included representatives from Ashoka, Cairo Sitters, Egyptian Streets, Eventtus, Flat6labs Se3eedy Geeks, Supermama, Tawseela and Yomken.

 To learn more about Get Online Week check out http://getonlineweek-mena.com/ and www.facebook.com/getonlineweekMENA

Further details

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 12:02:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Young people in Rwanda are urged to take part in different debates by following live on Youtube a bi-monthly YouthConnekt Hangout programme and share their views through social networks.

The youth discuss different topics that are aimed to find solutions to different problems they face in life. The last week’s debate was the expression of young people about the role of mobile application and how they can create the mobile application technologies to solve socio-economic problems.

YouthConnekt was initiated by the Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) in 2012 as a platform to connect young Rwandans and increase their participation in the country’s socio-economic transformation. The initiative has since spun off a number of well-established programs such the YouthConnekt Dialogue and YouthConnekt Awards.

YouthConnekt Hangout brings together various partners including UNDP, ADMA, Tigo Rwanda, Zilencio Creativo, BSC Ltd and HeHe Ltd to create a platform for youth, government, development partners, private sector and civil society to connect youth to opportunities for their personal and socio-economic development.

The last Hangout gathered the youth from different sites mainly the students of University of Rwanda/Huye (UR Huye), those of INATEK in Ngoma District, and the kLab members, a group of young ICT innovators in Kigali and the Ministry of Youth and ICT headquarters. It was an occasion where the youth were interacting with the Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana.

Minister Nsengimana said that the YouthConnekt Hangout serves as an opportunity for young people to find solutions to the communities’ problems. “The Hangout brings opportunities to young people of Rwanda and beyond, the role of mobile technologies especially mobile application today,” said Minister Nsengimana.

Minister Nsengimana stressed that the role of mobile applications can be crucial in different sectors as Rwanda stays in a process of transformation, moving from agriculture based economy to ICT activities; adding that young people who started to create the applications will be rewarded in the competition to happen in the next YouthConnekt Hangout.

Miriam Muganga, a third year student at UR Huye in Computer sciences and systems, said that she tried to create an mobile application that can locate different hotels and restaurants in Huye District where tourists and visitors may find accommodation easily.

Muganga noted that any application needs a lot time doing research, and it is difficult when the students mix it with their studies.

“It is hard to find people who are more interested in the innovation, developing an application are very good when you are in a team“, said Muganga as a challenge to her.
The Hangout is an online debate happening live after two weeks, through the initiative young people across the country and abroad share their views, and are able to ask questions to the officials in order to find solutions against challenges that the country face in line with development goals.

YouthConnekt Hangout won the first prize at the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa's innovation fair in the beginning of December last year in South Africa. The platform use Google hangout technology in combination with other social media channels and SMS to connect young people to role models, resources, skills, and entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.

Click here to watch the last hangout: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdbEZYMRkjQ

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:58:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 19, 2014
UNESCO, in partnership with Athabasca University and in cooperation with the UNESCO-UNAOC University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, launches online course on media and information literacy (MIL).

This entry-level online course will provide youth with basic media and information competencies to become critical citizens and agents of change. The course is designed to enable youth to:

 - Understand why media and other information providers are important to development and democratic societies;
 - Recognise a need for information and to locate, access, organise and carefully evaluate information and the content of media and other information providers;
 - Use and share information based on moral principles or accepted standards of social behaviour;
 - Interact with media and other information providers to freely express themselves, share their culture and learn about other cultures, promote gender equality, and participate in democratic and development activities.

The course is based on the MIL Curriculum and the Freedom of Expression (FOE) Toolkit published by UNESCO. A central theme throughout this 12-week course is how media and information literacy can enable youth to be actively involved in intercultural dialogue, advocating for equality between women/girls and men/boys, and freedom of expression.

The course will be offered through Athabasca University’s online e-Lab, using the learning management system, Moodle. Most sessions will be self-directed, with ongoing interaction with the course presenters in the online space. Athabasca is a Canadian university that holds a UNESCO Chair on open education resources. Athabasca University is an associate member of the UNESCO-UNAOC University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue.

Applicants should be youth (females and males between the ages 15-25). Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate from Athabasca University.

In order to successfully complete this course participants will need regular access to a computer and Internet access to download documents, listen to podcasts and view online videos.

To apply, please click here. Application must be completed by 19 February 2014. There are no associated fees to participants who wish to do this course.

This MIL course is being launched in conjunction with UNESCO’s Women Make the News initiative organized around International Women’s Day, March 8. It is the second course to be offered by UNESCO-UNAOC University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue. The first targets teachers, policy makers and others professionals.

Further Information

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:40:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 22, 2014
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)  #     | 


Many don’t believe that women can be as successful as men in fields related to math and science. Coding and computer programming have particularly been male-dominated fields, in the West as well as in the Arab world.

This perception has inspired the formation of several all-women coding and electronics groups, such as Girls Who Code, Women Who Tech, Women 2.0, and Girls in Tech which have opened two regional branches this year, in Cairo and Dubai (Another regional branch, in Kuwait, closed three years ago).

Girls in Tech was launched last November to bring the "know-how" of Lean Startup Machine to Egypt - its three-day model of trainings, tutorial sessions, and workshops targeted at school students in underdeveloped markets - to Egypt's students. But since then, the political and economic climate has forced the local chapter of Girls in Tech to shift its strategy and build instead a local community that challenges girls to develop tech skills on their own. Looking for local technical partners to fill in for the leery American organization wasn’t easy, according to Karam, because Egyptian telecom companies are rarely interested in anything beyond their own bottom lines.

This community was launched during a big event in Cairo, during which members were able to share opportunities and advice to facilitate their work. Smaller, more informal networking meetings as well as customizable mentorship events are also in the making.

Mona Karam, founder of Girls in Tech’s Egypt branch, is 27 years old, and works in Research and Development at Vodafone. While the general impression, she says, is that it’s harder for girls to succeed in technology fields, she and her organization have worked on bringing several young women to the forefront. One of these is Dr. Maha Nassar, founder and CEO of Jupiter2000, who has been working in the IT field since 1996, specifically in electronic financial transactions. Another woman is Rasha Ali, CEO of Smacrs, which specializes in e-advertising and marketing and other e-services. Both participated in the opening ceremony for Girls in Tech’s local branch in Cairo back in April.

"Women's capabilities usually begin to be questioned after they graduate from college with majors related to technology, math, engineering, science, and business management", she says. Women, she adds, sometimes struggle to find support from even the people closest to them, as was the case with Dr. Maha Nassar who revealed, during a speech in the opening ceremony, how her husband discouraged her in the beginning of her professional career. Later, he became her biggest supporter as her company's customer database began expanding to the GCC countries.

The Girls in Tech team, made up of five women who work part-time, including Karam, as well as many volunteers, are developing a database of pioneering women in the fields of mobile apps development, online marketing, and online media. Few pure technical fields are included in this list, perhaps because of the continuing stereotypes that Karam seeks to challenge.

Karam also spoke of the group’s intention to partner with public schools that lack technical capabilities to organize small programs in traditionally male-dominated fields.

(Source: Wamda)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:35:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 19, 2013
The YouthConnekt Hangout, a web-based platform that uses social media channels to connect young people to role models, resources, entrepreneurship skills and employment opportunities, has been named the best innovative project by the United Nations.

The project was rewarded with a $75,000 prize during the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Africa Innovation Fair earlier this month.

YouthConnekt was initiated by the Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) in 2012 as a platform to connect innovative young Rwandans to participate actively in the country’s economic transformation.

“Building the skills of young people, harnessing their energy, and realizing their aspirations will help Rwanda improve its living standards and foster inclusive economic growth. Empowering them with opportunities to reach and apply their full potential are our most important challenges and our most vital opportunities”, said Lamin Manneh, the UN resident coordinator.

He indicated that although Africa had made significant strides in economic growth, it needs to be translated into opportunities for the youth to address poverty.
“Youth unemployment is a big challenge. If we want to develop, we have to harness development resources; no country can develop without involvement of youth”, he said. “An innovative approach to development is imperative”.

Manneh also called on people to transform Africa by linking job seekers to opportunities, but reminded that skills were the primary starting point in creating employment.
“People seeking jobs need skills and qualifications”, he noted.

While YouthConnekt Hangout so far requires internet access and literacy to participate in it, ICT Minister Jean Philbert Nsengimana indicated that thanks to Hehe Ltd, a Rwandan company, the online services will be linked to phone short messages (SMS) to increase access to the platform, especially in rural areas.

He added that the UNDP prize will be used to strengthen and expand the project and urged the youth to explore and seize available opportunities. “We want to build an active and innovative community that is confident in its ability to solve its own challenges by making a smart use of the abundant opportunities around us” he said.

“We are focusing on developing the youth because they are the future and are more innovative while taking on community challenges and turning them into opportunities”.
The hangouts sessions will be focusing on sharing information on opportunities for youth economic empowerment through employment, entrepreneurship, access to finance, Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D).

In addition, youth personal development as well as social and political empowerment will be promoted. Young people will also use the platform to contribute to ongoing policy discussions at national and international levels, with a focus on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

(Source: The Sunday Times)

Thursday, December 19, 2013 5:55:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


UNESCO has launched its Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Assessment Framework for the evaluation of countries’ readiness to create an enabling environment for MIL. The publication also aims to assess citizens’ competencies on MIL, particularly targeting teachers in service and training.

Since the rapid advancements in information and communication technologies took place, traditional notions of literacy have struggled to keep up with modern demands. The challenges are also linked to a growing influence of media and the need for better management of information and knowledge at professional and societal levels.

UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy programme represents a composite set of knowledge, attitudes and skills, necessary to access, analyse, evaluate, use, produce and communicate information, media content and knowledge in creative, responsible and ethical ways in order to participate and engage in personal, professional and societal activities. UNESCO believes that every citizen needs to learn and understand principles necessary for media and information providers to fulfil their functions in society, learn more about opportunities and threats coming from virtual world and manage resources. As such, MIL acts as a key factor for the participation in knowledge societies in the 21th century, ensuring capacities for lifelong learning and developing employability and inclusion for all citizens.

A central component of UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy strategy, the Global MIL Assessment Framework would enable Member States to carry out comprehensive assessments of the information and media environment, and to monitor at the regional and national level the extent to which citizens have acquired MIL competencies, particularly targeting teachers in service and training. This evidence-based information will subsequently help Member States monitor the effectiveness of the implementation of education and ICT policies in developing 21st century capacities, and help to design new strategies and action-oriented plans that fit best within country-specific contexts and conditions.

The publication presents an overall assessment framework composed of two tiers: country readiness, and assessment of competencies. It also includes a plan for national adaptation as well as concrete suggestions for data collection, analysis and application. It is intended as a living document to be further tested, adjusted and adapted to national needs and circumstances by its users – policy decision makers, teachers and local professional communities in information, media and education.

The Global MIL Assessment Framework is part of UNESCO’s commitment to the implementation of the Intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP) Strategic Plan, and particularly its priority on information literacy, and of the Plan of Action of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). It also contributes to the on-going debate on Internet Governance.

The UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Assessment Framework was prepared by UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector in close collaboration with UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics and with support of the Japanese Government.

The UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Assessment Framework can be accessed here.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, December 19, 2013 5:30:48 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 www.hwgo.com 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 www.hwgo.com. These partners include Johnson & Johnson, Indiatimes.com, Healthkart.com and Babyoye.com.

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)  #     | 
SWAZI youth recently attended a regional Web 2.0 training in Malawi.

This was courtesy of the Strengthening Youth Employment Opportunities in ICTs and Agriculture in Southern Africa (SOFIA) project. Patrick Masarirambi from SOFIA said this was part of the stakeholders’ meeting held in Malawi from November 25 to 29, 2013. He said this was a trainer of trainers on Web 2.0 and social media aimed at equipping youths in the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in agriculture.

“Participants came from the three countries, namely Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia. About five youths were selected from Swaziland to go for the training in Malawi“. Graduates from this training will be required to replicate the acquired knowledge in their centres and young farmer groups. “Running concurrently with the training was the regional advisory committee meeting which comprised members from the three implementing partners”, he said.

Masarirambi said Swaziland was represented in the committee by Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Director of Youth Affairs Bheki Thwala and Lulote Executive Director Patrick Masarirambi as the implementing partner. He said also present was sponsor representative from the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) Ken Lohento.

Masarirambi said the meeting looked into various issues that should be addressed so as to ensure the success of SOFIA. He said the training was facilitated by Chandrabose Sembho from Mauritius and it went well. “Participants from Swaziland held their own as they competed well in the training. “At least two of them, Vusi Shongwe and Wandile Nxumalo were among the best five participants as they scooped two of the five prizes.

“These trained youths are going to facilitate the national training on Web 2.0 sometime next year, where about 25 will be selected from all the regions in the country”, he said.

Masarirambi said communication and availability of internet through ICT would enhance the flow of information shared locally and internationally to update farmers on supplies, markets and the outbreak of diseases as well as availability of a new variety of seeds.

He said it had been shown that the use of ICT could significantly reduce marketing and production costs. Adding, he said this project would bring economic growth, thus cutting down unemployment among the youth and the levels of crime.

(Source: Swazi Observer)

Thursday, December 19, 2013 3:57:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 13, 2013
ICT can transform the way that education is delivered and open the way to a new pedagogy. It can make it easier for teachers to plan and find high quality materials, and it can help pupils to find out more about the subjects that they are studying. Critically, new technology can enable teachers to tailor their teaching more closely to the abilities of individual pupils.

This article is going to explore some initiatives taken by Tanzanian government in providing conducive environment for utilisation of ICT in the education sector. There are several projects at the national level, projects that have now been included as part of the national ICT policy for education.

(a) ICT Implementation in Teachers’ Colleges: This was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Education and SIDA aimed at introducing ICT in all teacher-training colleges in the country. The project was initiated in 2005 when a proposal was developed by Schools Online, an NGO based in the US and with offices in Tanzania at the time, and sold to the ministry as an initiative to improve access and quality of education in the country. The programme’s main goal is to improve the quality of teacher education by using ICTs in pre-service and in-service sessions. Tutors were expected to become ICT literate and able to use ICT as a tool for teaching and learning as well as for management and administration. The benefits of preparing ICT-literate teachers are expected to spill over to schools when implementing initiatives like e-school or e-learning.

(b) ICT Development in Secondary Education: The eSchool Forum which was formed after the education stakeholders workshop organized by the ministry of education in 2005, has submitted a programme proposal to the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. The proposal recommended the introduction of ICT in secondary education, in phases starting with 200 schools in phase 1 (2006 to 2008), a large scale rollout covering 2,000 schools in phase 2 (within five years), and nationwide coverage by 2015. The proposal covered a wide range of activities that need to be undertaken within the programme, including ICT infrastructure development in the schools, technical resources, student management at school levels (integrated EMIS), content and curriculum development, e-learning, sensitisation, human resources, and programme co-ordination and funding.

(c) Education Management Information System (EMIS): The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training is implementing a nationwide education management information system (EMIS) to produce and manage educational data and information. The EMIS is expected to collect, process, utilise, and disseminate education data to educational stakeholders on a timely basis. This project is currently being implemented at the ministry headquarters, however some regional and districts offices have been provided with computers and printers. Computer training has taken place for 19 regional education officers, 19 regional academic officers, 35 district education officers, and 34 statistical and logistics officers.

(d) Computer Procurement and Refurbishment for Schools: This project was managed by the Tanzania Computer Literacy for Secondary Schools Trust Fund, a local NGO based in Dar es Salaam. The project procured used computers and received donations from donors and other organisations, refurbishes these computers and uses them to equip computer labs in secondary schools. The project also train students in basic computer maintenance so that they can become the first-level support for the labs. This project was supported by IICD.

(e) Tanzania Education Services Web site: This Web site publishes information on the education sector in Tanzania, including information about schools, examination results, and school administration. There is a wealth of information including contact information for 1,060 schools and 47 teacher colleges. This project was supported by IICD.

(f) Barclays/Digital Links/TEA Computer for Schools Project: Barclays Bank and Digital Links International have formed a partnership to spur the growth of ICT in schools across East Africa. A three-year programme has set targets to place 10,000 computers in approximately 500 schools.

Implementation of the programme is through collaborative partnerships with organisations in each country. For Tanzania, the Barclays ICT project for schools is implemented by Tanzania Education Authority (TEA), Tanzania Commission of Science and Technology (COSTECH), and Mkombozi Centre for Street Children.

We are now living in an information age whereby transformation has been happening around the world with the ubiquity of ICT. It is natural that this transformation must be reflected in the way we teach and the way we learn. Todate, such a transformation has not much been taken up by the government in an effort to offer a wide range of ICT services to the citizens especially primary schools.

In Tanzania most of schools have not gone through this technological process and very few have been equipped with an ICT infrastructure. In primary schools in Tanzania, ICT has been included in curriculum while in the secondary sector it has been started to be regarded as a different subject and geared towards a skills-based exam but for few private secondary schools.

ICT can be a powerful resource for supporting school-directed change. Funding for ICT in Schools will influence the direction and the speed of innovation over the next four years. It is our recommendation that resources are targeted to areas that will drive the priorities and strategies to make transforming the way we learn into a reality.

(Source: IPP Media)

Friday, December 13, 2013 4:47:12 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)  #     | 

As a part of its Voices of Youth Citizens initiative (formerly Digital Citizenship and Safety ), the Social and Civic Media Section of UNICEF commissioned InterMedia, along with its research partners, to conduct a study on the impact of digital technologies on young people. Specifically, the study focused on exploring how 152 children, 12 to 17 years old, in Kenya, use social media and other digital technologies, and what impact these technologies have on this group, particularly from the perspective of childrights.

The study involved holding digital youth clinics in four locations in Kenya, with children and young people who have access to mobile phones and the internet. It focused on understanding digital behavior, and perceptions of risk and safety among these active, young users of digital and social media.

Recommendations 

While the use of social and digital media is expanding rapidly among young people, parental support and the integration of digital media in education is lagging behind.  There is relatively easy access to entertainment and pornography, but there are fewer visible examples for parents and their children of how social media and digital technologies can be used for education, information, opportunity and empowerment. This will surely evolve as Kenya adjusts to the expanding information society; however, several recommendations emerge from this study that UNICEF can consider in the interim.

Download the Full Report here

(Source: Intermedia)

Friday, December 06, 2013 3:39:06 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, aiki.ng, 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)  #     | 
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
UNESCO organized a Youth Radio Workshop in Paris on 31 October for 27 attendees of the 8th Youth Forum at Paris Headquarters. During the workshop young people from all over the world had a chance to discover how to produce audio pieces for radio using practical exercises taken from the youth radio toolkit “Linking Generations”.
  


The workshop attendees, including youth delegates, observers, participants and organizers, learned how to write news items, prepare interviews and create vox pops. They also produced a number of audio pieces reflecting their views on gender equality and women’s empowerment in radio in their respective countries. Through radio young people shared their insights into the gender situation in Côte d'Ivoire, Rwanda, Mexico, France, Brazil, Germany, Senegal, Kuwait, Nigeria, Argentina, Ivory Coast and others. Some of them also highlighted challenges and successes in women’s political participation, in particular in accessing decision-making positions.

“The majority of journalists in my country lack proper training on media issues, and I believe it would be a good idea to organize a similar workshop in my country”, said Seleman Yusuph Kitenge, representative of Youth of United Nations Association of Tanzania. “There is a concern about media misleading the public, especially on crucial issues”, he added.

Towards the end of the workshop the participants created jingles demonstrating their support for World Radio Day 2014. Several participants from Africa expressed their commitment to celebrate World Radio Day within their youth organizations.

The theme of the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum was “Youth and Social Inclusion: Civic Engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development”. The Forum discussed youth civic engagement issues as well as the skills and competencies that are relevant and appropriate for young people to become employable or self-employed and to put their innovation, creativity and entrepreneurialism into practice.

Linking Generations” is a product of the Swedish funded project “Empowering Local Radio with ICTs” and is available online for use by radio stations, young people, policy makers, youth and radio advocates.

For more information on the toolkit, please read see the article: Linking Generations through Radio.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, November 28, 2013 4:19:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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.

SEED FUND: AFRICA

In December 2013, WeTech is launching a Seed Fund in Africa that will provide small grants to support individuals or civil society organizations to launch or expand initiatives for women and girls that increase their access to computer science-related training, jobs and leadership roles.

We are very interested in learning about your successful activities currently supporting women and girls in Computer Science and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and how we might support expansion and impact. We are also eager to hear your new, innovative ideas for programming in this space.

Please help us by sharing your opinion, experience and ideas in this survey by December 9th. By completing this survey you will receive information in December about the WeTech Seed Fund application as soon as it goes live.

In addition to your feedback we would appreciate your help to grow our network - please spread the word and share with colleagues!

ELIGIBILITY

To apply for a WeTech Seed Fund grant applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Current resident of an African country (including North and Sub-Saharan Africa).
-  Application must be submitted in English.
-  Applying as an individual (at least 18 years of age), or a representative of a non-governmental organization (NGO) or social enterprise based in Africa.
-  Ability to demonstrate previous experience conducting activities supporting women and girls in computer science or STEM fields.
-  Commitment to developing and contributing to a virtual community for WeTech Seed Fund grantees.
-  Demonstrated leadership potential (references will be required).
-  Proposed projects MUST have a tangible impact for women and girls in computer science and/or STEM- related fields.

PROJECTS

Preference will be given to projects that target under-served populations and locations, take a collaborative approach, have a high potential for growth and present an innovative use of technology.

Projects eligible for grant funding include, but are not limited to:
- Computer science workshops and trainings for women and girls
- Early incubation of female tech entrepreneurs
- Programming and app development training programs
- Speakers bureaus, role model and mentoring programs
- Networking events for women in computer science or STEM fields
- Community participation in ITU’s Girls in ICT Day
- Community education to generate support for computer science or STEM-related careers among parents and educators
- Hackathons and coding camps for girls
- Sponsorship of a Technovation Challenge team

TIMELINE

December 9, 2013: WeTech survey closes
December 18, 2013: WeTech Seed Fund Online Application opens
January 15, 2013: WeTech Seed Fund Application Deadline
March 1, 2013: Round One of WeTech grants announced

(Source: WeTech)

Thursday, November 28, 2013 4:10:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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)  #     | 

Until recently, many young Kenyans saw farming as an unskilled, unrewarding profession, suitable only for the retired or the uneducated. Now, however, a group of determined young farmers are challenging traditional prejudices and trying to explain the attractions of farming as a profession. They are the ‘Mkulima Young Champions’ and have become figureheads for a digital initiative to change the way farmers are viewed by young people. Using a range of technologies, they are proving that farming in Kenya really is a profitable 21st century career path.

The group – Mkulima means “farmer” in Kiswahili – was founded by Joseph Macharia, a farmer and agricultural expert, and is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. Its aim is to draw more young people into farming, help them learn from each other, trade, and overcome the challenges of agriculture together.

Daniel Kimani, one of the Mkulima Young Champions, is a typical example of the new breed of Kenyan entrepreneurs who are starting to see the opportunities farming offers. A trained engineer, he set up an aquaponics system to rear fish and grow strawberries. Now he earns KSh300,000 (2,600€) a month from it.

His system is resourceful and ingenious. Ammonia produced by the fish is filtered out of the ponds through stone-filled towers, providing free fertiliser and water for the strawberry plants that grow on them. Daniel is one of those proving to a generation of Kenyans that technologically-enabled farming is clever, lucrative and not necessarily labour intensive.

Since Mkulima Young started featuring champion farmers like Daniel and others, Joseph Macharia has noticed an appreciable change in young people’s attitudes.
“By having Mkulima Young Champions who are educated and young,” he says, “the attitude of the youth [towards agriculture] has changed, from viewing it as an activity for the old, to a profession that they can mint millions from”.

The initiative is about far more than publicity, though. Using radio, SMS and social media, it engages young Kenyans to discuss agricultural topics. Listeners to radio programmes can give feedback online, helping to shape the content and making it more relevant.

Meanwhile, Mkulima Young’s Facebook page, which opened in January 2013 and already has 19,000 followers, has become a vibrant place where young people post links, photos and videos, ask questions, discuss issues and interact with other young people who are passionate about agriculture.

The initiative was presented at the ict4Ag conference in Kigali, Rwanda, 4– 8 November.

(Source: eLearning Africa)

Thursday, November 28, 2013 3:35:02 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)  #     | 

A collaborative action research (CAR) study funded by Ericsson, and managed independently by a team of multidisciplinary experts from the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Columbia University Teachers College, University of Nairobi in Kenya, and Kampala University in Uganda, finds significant potential for improved teaching and learning with ICT tools. Specifically, the findings are only such when the tools are appropriately designed and adequately supported with infrastructure and ongoing professional development for teachers.

Investigators worked for one year to understand the effects, opportunities and challenges of integrating ICT into schools and teaching routines. To do that, university faculty and teachers worked in close collaboration at four rural schools in Kenya and Uganda.

Interviews, training workshops, surveys and observations conducted indicate significant improvements in teaching and learning when ICT tools and resources are well-designed with the school infrastructure and environment in mind, and when teachers are provided with on-going training and professional development in how to optimize these resources in their classrooms.

Research findings show that over the course of the study, guided use, training and professional development workshops offered essential support for teachers focusing on using ICT in their classrooms. There were significant increases both in teachers' reported skill and comfort with using ICT for educational purposes, as well as in the observed use of ICT in their classrooms. For example, where only 21% of teachers considered themselves to be "advanced" users of ICT at the beginning of the project; by the end, 45% of teachers were reporting themselves to be advanced users. There was also an 18% increase in reported use of ICT in the classroom over the course of the project.

Researchers compiled recommendations in several categories, including:

- Physical infrastructure, calling for policies for open access to hardware, electrical outlets throughout all classrooms and security;
- ICT infrastructure, where Wi-Fi networks, adequate airtime, and computers and projectors are basic needs;
- Teacher pedagogical skills and knowledge development along with basic ICT training, where professional development should be facilitated in partnership with local universities or Non-Governmental Organizations, among other steps;
- Open source teaching and learning resources, including use of Connect To Learn's online resource library and expanding the availability of locally relevant online resources;
- Student ICT participation and knowledge, which encourages teachers to assign online research and computer-based projects; and
- Public-private partnership implementation, urging each site to hire local facilitators to provide ongoing support to administrators and teachers, and forging partnerships with local decision-makers and telecommunications industry leaders to institutionalize the integration of ICT at all levels of education.

Download full report

Video about the ICT in Education Study

(Source: Ericsson)

Thursday, November 21, 2013 3:59:58 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)  #     | 
In the spirit of promoting gender equality in the Media, UNESCO and partners have launched a video calling for action on gender equality and women’s empowerment in and through media in the form of a Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMG).

The video initially addresses the significant inequalities witnessed in the field of media and journalism in terms of gender and includes statements from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Christiane Amanpour of CNN, bringing attention to the urgent actions needed in the field.

In relation to the GAMG, the Global Forum on Media and Gender will be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 2-4 December.

The Global Forum on Media and Gender (GFMG) is a pioneering global event that intends to address gender equality and women’s empowerment in and through the media. A key output of the forum will be the establishment of a Global Alliance on Media and Gender which will coordinate systematic follow-up to one of the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPA), “Women and the Media Diagnosis”.

The video was co-produced with Gabinete de Comunicación y Educación (Communication and Education Research Group) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
Click to view the video and to share through social networks.

Further information

Thursday, November 21, 2013 3:20:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 14, 2013
The Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) in partnership with UNDP, ADMA, TIGO, HEHE Ltd, National Youth Council and University Students’ Associations launched on November 12, 2013, series of Google+ Hangout sessions called YouthConnekt Hangout. This platform will serve as a channel for Youth, ICT players or anyone interested in both sectors to contribute to the country developmental agenda through debates.

The platform will have a practical, results-oriented format, including interactive, multi-stakeholder panel discussions, partnership announcements, as well as opportunities for participants to showcase their ICT development projects to potential partners and donors. The hangout will provide an excellent networking platform for leaders from the public, private and financial sectors to meet and forge new partnerships for the future.

This will be a bi-monthly program that will centre on different themes such as Youth Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Youth Access to Finance; Role of Youth in Peace Building; ICT4D, Environment; Investment Promotion; Sports and Culture; Role of Youth in Regional Integration; Sports and Culture, Reproductive health, HIV / AIDS and Drugs abuse among others.

Young people will be engaged in global policy shaping for sustainable development through information sharing; will create new opportunities for young people for skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship in ICT.

The hangout also reflects on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to help in defining the future global development framework that will succeed the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana said that “This will promote Youth employment through debates, will create a network of information sharing among youth on opportunities around them”.

He added that “This platform will help young people engaged in conversation with their leaders and get first hand information on the available policies and strategies on youth empowerment. Will promote ownership of Governments’ Programs among young people through providing ideas and solutions to some of the challenges they face”.

YouthConnekt Hangout started on Tuesday, 12 November, 2013 launched by MYICT in presence of its partners in this programme. YouthConnekt Hangout will be a bi-monthly event taking place on Tuesdays from 4:00PM to 5:00PM.

During this time millions of people in Rwanda and across the world will be gathering in different places to follow live this hangout.

(Source: MYICT)

Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:54:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Telecentre.org Foundation, under its Telecentre Women Program, is pleased to announce the opening of a new online course on Digital Literacy for Women and Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship. It will run from November 14-30.

The course is aimed at providing women and youth the necessary skills to enable them to engage in employment, entrepreneurship, and lifelong learning so they can stay competitive amidst rapid changes. It will be a Training of Trainers (ToT) type of course where participants will also learn how to teach the content to the learners for whom this course was designed and developed, the women and youth, both in the online and face-to-face modes.

The course is open to anyone who meets the following requirements:
- Has good access to the Internet; and
- Is able to devote at least 3 hours a day (or 10 hours a week) for a total learning time of 48 hours.

A Certificate of Trainer Course Completion will be issued to those who will be able to complete all the requirements of the course.

Developed with the support of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and to be implemented in partnership with the Philippine Community eCenter Network (PhilCeCNet), the online course will be delivered in the blended online mode, a combination of synchronous online sessions and online interactions through social media.

Interested parties may contact our Telecentre Women Program Manager, Ms. Maria Teresa Camba, at tcamba@telecentre.org for slot confirmation before November 14. For more info about the course, check out the course description.

(Source: Telecentre. Org)

Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:49:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


As part of the Technology Salon, a list of resources around the topic was created to serve as a reference about ICT4E in Rwanda. Many ICT4E initiatives are being implemented in Rwanda. Let's look at how the Rwanda Education Commons, an online platform, TeacherMate, handheld computers focused on literacy and XO laptops from OLPC are being used for learning in Rwanda.

ICT is supported at national levels in Rwanda from Vision 2020 which seeks to transform Rwanda into a middle-income country and a knowledge-based society by 2020 to the National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) strategy which has ICT as the guiding policy to develop the Rwanda information and knowledge economy to the Ministry of Education's ICT in Education policy to integrate ICT at all educational institutions, at all levels.

Rwanda Education Commons
The Rwanda Education Commons (REC) was a USAID funded initiative with the Rwanda Ministry of Education (MOE), implemented by FHI 360 to promote the effective use of ICTs in education. In partnership with the MOE, REC expanded access to quality education by building communities of educators around the sharing of educational materials and resources. MOE was involved from the inception of the project, local staff were all Rwandan, and the project was housed and embedded within MOE's offices.
The REC program worked in four areas: policy, education content, hardware and software, and teacher professional development.

Teacher Professional Development
At teacher training colleges, many teachers were not computer literate when the project began. The project provided training to use technology and the REC platform at the teacher training colleges. As confidence grew, the use of REC for discussions, sharing information and accessing resources increased. Using technology moved from zero understanding to a basic competency. All teachers at the teacher training colleges used the portal. Coaches at the colleges now provide further training.

OLE: TeacherMates and OLPCs
TeacherMate is an application and tool that has pre-set lessons on literacy. OLE is working with Innovations for Learning, an organization that uses digital learning applications to improving student literacy, who created the TeacherMate. The OLPCs are being used to develop and remix open content for project learning activities.
A question asked was "which is better: the TeacherMate to OLPC?" Comparing the two would be like "comparing a cow to a goat". In other words, you can't, and you shouldn't. The objective and use of each one in the classroom is different. With the Teachermate the students engage with the content on one topic. The OLPC is creative, experimental and self-directed.

The Teachermate is game-based engagement. Teachers introduced the technology into the pedagogy and are using it as part of lessons with their students. The students learn the lesson and pass the test. It takes planning to decide how to use the OLPC in what classroom and context. With the OLPC the teacher become more like a facilitator in the classroom, and the potential for learning shifts and expands.

TeacherMate has specific skills built-in for literacy. It has a strong phonics component, introduces students basic phonograms and has dictation spelling activities to help students develop the skills needed to decode and spell new words. Teachers are learning how to identify, remix and adapt content on the OLPC. Open content is key. Some modules in English and math have been produced (The newly introduced OLPC tablets provide more content).

(Source: Technology Salon)

Thursday, November 14, 2013 3:01:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 07, 2013


“Women In African History: An E-Learning Tool” corresponds to the two global priorities of UNESCO – Priority Africa and Gender Equality – and represents a crucial step to expand and disseminate knowledge of the role of women in African history to counter prejudices and stereotypes in the framework of “The Pedagogical use of The General History of Africa”. In line with UNESCO’s Gender Equality Action Plan, the Project seeks to empower women through ICTs and access to information and knowledge to promote an accurate understanding of their role in the economic, social, cultural, and political development of the region.

“Women in African History: An E-Learning Tool,” implemented by the Knowledge Societies Division in the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO, is an internet platform that consists of multimedia content including comic strips, interactive pedagogical units, audio modules, and quizzes in order to highlight the role of women in African History.

The first phase of the project (2012/2013) is dedicated to the development of the architecture of the platform and the production of the first eight modules; a particular emphasis is given to historical women figures from Africa and the African Diaspora. In this way, the project develops ICT tools for knowledge acquisition and sharing that encourages the general education and ICT capacity of young women, promotes the use of ICTs, and capitalizes on intangible heritage to promote the link between culture, education, technological innovation and sustainable development.

Further details

Thursday, November 07, 2013 4:44:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

This publication is informed by the findings from recent research focused on three projects under the Connect4Change (C4C) Economic Development programme located in western Kenya, which focus on enhancing agricultural productivity and access to markets. The research investigated the linkages between the introduction and the use of ICT in farming and the interest of youth in farming and value chain development.

Attracting the youth into Agriculture: changing the perspective of farming from a back breaking, hardly remunerative, labour consuming task to a much more profitable and honest source of income.

Download the Full Report here.

(Source: IICD)

Thursday, November 07, 2013 4:39:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Telecentre.org 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.

(Source: Telecentre.org)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:39:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A new study commissioned by Intel Corporation and conducted by Penn Schoen Berland examining global attitudes toward technology innovation challenges existing perceptions on technology champions and hotspots. The research reveals millennials (ages 18 to 24) are the least enthusiastic about technology today yet are optimistic for future technology that delivers a more personalized experience, while women in emerging markets are the most optimistic about innovations in technology.

The "Intel Innovation Barometer" reveals millennials globally show a stark contrast to their reputation as digital natives who can't get enough technology in their lives. A majority of millennials agree that technology makes people less human and that society relies on technology too much.

However, millennials also believe technology enhances their personal relationships (69 percent) and have great hope that innovations will positively impact education (57 percent), transportation (52 percent) and healthcare (49 percent). This generation is also slightly more willing than their oldest cohorts to anonymously share birth dates, GPS records and online shopping history if it helps to improve experiences.

"At first glance it seems millennials are rejecting technology, but I suspect the reality is more complicated and interesting", said Dr. Genevieve Bell, anthropologist and director of Interaction and Experience Research at Intel Labs. "A different way to read this might be that millennials want technology to do more for them, and we have work to do to make it much more personal and less burdensome".

Millennials want future technology to make life better, more simple and fun. Eighty-six percent believe technology innovation makes life simpler, and more than one-third think technology should know them by learning about their behavior and preferences. They want experiences that help them stay in the moment and be their best selves.

Women Carry the Tech Torch
The survey revealed that older women and those living in emerging markets are enthusiastic about the role of technology in their lives. Globally, women over 45 years of age are slightly more likely than younger women to say that people don't use enough technology. They also are more likely to say that technology makes people more human, helping to deepen their relationships.

These female tech fans are even more pronounced in emerging markets such as China, where more than 7 out of 10 women over the age of 45 believe people don't use technology enough. Women in emerging markets across ages believe innovations will drive better education (66 percent), transportation (58 percent), work (57 percent) and healthcare (56 percent). Women in emerging markets would be willing to embrace technologies others may consider to be too personal to improve their experiences: software that watches their work habits (86 percent), students' study habits (88 percent) and even smart toilets that monitor their health (77 percent).

"Women historically have become avid users of technology when that technology solves a problem, helps us organize our lives and that of our families as well as aids us in saving time and time shifting", added Bell. "I have to wonder whether this data is showing that women are optimistic because they see technology innovation that is starting to deliver on the promise of better fitting into the rhythms of our days, helping with our specific concerns and needs, and creating new compelling experiences that women and men alike will find valuable".

(Source: Intel Newsroom).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:33:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Getting more girls interested in a digital career and getting more women into digital jobs would benefit the digital industry, women themselves and Europe's economy. This is the key finding of the European Commission survey on women active in the ICT sector, published last week.

According to the study, there are now too few women working in the ICT sector:

1.Of 1,000 women with a Bachelors or other first degree, only 29 hold a degree in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (as compared to 95 men), and only 4 in 1000 women will eventually work in the ICT sector.
2.Women leave the sector mid-career to a greater extent than men and they are under-represented in managerial and decision-making positions (even more than in other sectors).
3.Only 19.2% of ICT-sector workers have female bosses, compared to 45.2% of non-ICT workers.

But if the trend were reversed and women held digital jobs as frequently as men, the European GDP could be boosted annually by around € 9 billion (1.3 times Malta's GDP), according to the study. The ICT sector would benefit since organisations which are more inclusive of women in management achieve a 35% higher Return on Equity and 34% better total return to shareholders than other comparable organisations.

The study also suggests that women who work in the ICT sector earn almost 9% more than women in other parts of the economy, and also have greater higher flexibility in arranging their working schedules and are less susceptible to unemployment (by 2015, there will be 900,000 unfilled ICT positions in the EU).

European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said: "We now know, beyond doubt, that more women in a business mean a healthier business. It is high time the IT sector realised this and allowed women a chance to help the sector and Europe's economy benefit from their enormous potential".
The study also suggests four priority areas where action should be taken:

1.Building a renewed image of the sector among women and society, with actions such as disseminating most appealing ICT topics for young women (exciting, diverse, profitable etc.);
2.Empowering women in the sector, e.g. promoting, together with industry, harmonised European educational curricula to foster clear and straightforward ICT careers paths;
3.Increasing the number of women entrepreneurs in ICTs, e.g. improving access to seed and venture capital programs for women entrepreneurs;
4.Improving working conditions in the sector, e.g. by highlighting the improved performance of businesses employing women.

Further details

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:28:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


In several countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, women have equal access to Internet than men, but  women have disadvantage respect the use. This situation limits both personal and professional development of the female population than growth with equity in the countries of the region under the new technological paradigm, a new study released last week by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

The rate of Internet use among women is on average 8.5 % lower than of men in 10 countries with available information included in the document “Women in the Digital Economy: Overcoming the threshold of inequality”, whose findings have feeded the work of the XII Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, which was held last week in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The digital economy includes the telecommunications infrastructure - particularly broadband networks - industries of information and communications  technology (ICT) - hardware , software and applications- and the degree of users' digital literacy.

In all countries has increased, in recent years, the proportion of men and women who report using the Internet from any access point , but only in Brazil , Mexico and Uruguay the gender gap narrowed. In the rest of countries widened. The difference between women and men is nearly 5 % in Chile (39.3 % vs. 44 %) , a country that has one of the highest rates of use of this technology. In Peru, meanwhile, 26 % of women and 34.1 % of men say they are users.

This gender digital divide is more common in urban than rural areas and mainly affects older women of all educational levels. In El Salvador the difference between women and men with tertiary education is five points ( 70.3 % versus 75.5 %), while in Honduras is almost three percent (71.2 % and 74 %). In Brazil , on  other hand, 4.3 % of women and 7.4 % of men 65 years older report using internet, the same happen in countries like Costa Rica (3.1 % and 7.1 %) and Ecuador (2.1% and 4.1 % ).
The prevalence of Internet use increases, as well as the income level of households rises, but the gender gap is smaller in those groups where the technology is less accessible. In Uruguay, the least unequal country in this area, 34.5 % of women in the first quintile report using Internet against 63 % in the fifth quintile.

The only situation where inequality is reversed is in the case of women employees, showing Internet use rates higher than those of men. The latter data indicates that having skills for use of ICT can be a powerful tool for the employment of many women.

But, almost half of the women in the region (representing 50.9 % of the population, over 300 million people) have no any link with the labor market: the female economic activity rate reaches 49.8 % ( for male the rate reaches 78.7 % ) and one per every 10 women are employed in domestic service, one of the lowest paid work and less social protection.

Ensuring women's economic autonomy, increasing their labor market participation and recognizing the unpaid work that they perform mostly, are some of the main challenges that the countries of the region are facing, raises the ECLAC. And as  in the digital economy the gender inequalities, present in the rest of society, are reproduced, policies that prevent occupational segregation, wage gaps prevention and promote a fair gender division of labor are necessary.

Full Report (In Spanish):

(Source: CEPAL)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:20:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Mobile Monitoring Station, a team of student entrepreneurs from Chile, won the 9th annual Intel Global Challenge at UC Berkeley, a global business plan competition that encourages student entrepreneurs to tackle some of the world's most pressing issues through computing technology. The competition provides a unique entrepreneurship experience by giving teams access to top venture capitalists and investors in Silicon Valley.

Mobile Monitoring Station, comprised of team members from engineering research and development company SoluNova, Chilean mining company Coldeco and the University of Chile, created a set of portable sensors that collects industrial workers' biomedical data, such as heart rate, in real time. The sensors, which are applied directly to the workers' clothes, transmit valuable biomedical information to devices such as smartphones, which then push the data to the cloud. The solution will be offered as a service, supplying industrial sites with the hardware and software for a monthly fee per worker. The winning team, driven by the lack of existing data on industrial workers' exposure to health risks, expects the sensors to result in a considerable drop in health dangers in this industry.

"At Intel, we know that innovation is critical to growth for individuals, businesses and economies", said Staci Palmer, Intel's director of Global Strategic Initiatives and Marketing in the Corporate Affairs Group. "Through the Intel Global Challenge at UC Berkeley, students around the world gain lifelong entrepreneurship and innovation skills they can apply throughout their careers, in fields ranging from healthcare to transportation".

The Intel Foundation awarded $100,000 total in cash prizes, including a $50,000 grand prize and three $10,000 awards for teams taking first place in the following categories: Internet, mobile and software computing; computing for social innovation; and hardware and computing. In addition, four $5,000 special awards were presented.

Innovations from the three first-prize winners included industries ranging from technology to healthcare. Gameleon of Bulgaria developed a cloud-based platform that allows anyone to create, publish, play and monetize Web games with only a browser, regardless of programming skills or experience. Karmashop of Mexico created a crowd-funding platform that allows users to customize how they receive donations and, in return, gives donors "Karma Points". For example, through a Karmashop campaign raising money for community members affected by the recent floods in Mexico, donors have the option to contribute items including drinking water, first aid and shelter. Tensive of Italy developed implantable biomaterials for the reconstruction of large bone and tissue defects, caused by osteoporosis, trauma or tumor removal. The patented technology replicates the patient's blood vessels and accelerates the natural regeneration of bone and tissue.

(Source: Intel Newsroom)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:05:57 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)  #     | 
Innovation for Girls’ Education is a perfect theme for the 2013 International Day of the Girl Child. It recognizes the importance of preparing girls for a changing world; a world in which technology will play an increasingly significant role. It suggests the need for new ways of working, to provide quality education where ‘business as usual’ has failed. It speaks of the shift in the ‘girls’ education dialogue’ from one of access and learning, to one of empowerment.

This can be seen in the growing number of new initiatives that seek to build girls’ confidence and sense of agency. Many of them have been implemented by UNGEI’s partners and showcased on this dedicated space. In an uncertain and increasingly interconnected world, education has the power to transform people and promote positive, shared values. For girls, education can also transform society, by building the self-confidence of girls and women, improving their position in society and challenging inequalities.

Around the world, governments, civil society and the private sector are introducing innovative approaches to girls’ education. The World We Want platform recently hosted a three week interactive dialogue on Innovating for Girls’ Education, where practitioners shared stories about promising programs that expand access, promote learning, address social and financial barriers or collaborate through new partnerships. This has become a space rich in resources and ideas that can be adapted and implemented to address girls’ education challenges.

…in India
In the slums of Gomtinagar in Luchnow, India, girls from very poor families attend Prerna, an all-girls formal school run by a private NGO (Study Hall Educational Foundation). The school meets in the afternoon to accommodate the needs of girls whose economic circumstances require that they work. Community and parents play an important role in making the school a success. For example, girls’ parents must sign an agreement to protect their girls from child marriage. What is innovative about this school is the main goal. It is not so much about learning outcomes as life outcomes. Their goal is to support girls to become women who see themselves as equal persons having the right to equal participation in an unequal society, and to be equipped with the appropriate skills for such equal participation. Classes from preschool through grade 12 are interactive and activity-based. The girls study gender and empowerment along with science and math, and they are supported by a strong peer and teacher network. So far the results have been impressive with girls staying, achieving and graduating to take up either work or further study.

….in Kenya and Uganda
In Kenya and Uganda, the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), seeks to prevent the dropout of girls from school due to early pregnancy and marriage. The project - Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health: Fulfilling African Girls’ Rights - focuses on strengthening awareness, knowledge and skills among teachers, peer educators, community leaders and parents. It applies methods proven to work in FAWE’s approach to girls’ education and their Tuseme youth empowerment clubs. It provides mobile interactive platforms, and support to adolescents in assisting implementation of school re-entry policies for teenage mothers.

…and in Africa
In rural areas of Africa, Camfed works with young people to develop an innovative curriculum, ‘My Better World’, to empower young people to take charge of their well-being. This curriculum is founded on the recognition that a narrow academic focus does not adequately prepare young people for life beyond school. By developing a broad range of qualities such as self-reliance, resilience and problem-solving, young people will be empowered to take ownership of their own well-being; learning to ‘be well’ (have their needs met) and ‘do well’ (act to improve their life or the lives of others). The delivery of My Better World is led by networks of young women who are volunteering to work as Learner Guides. Through a mobile-phone based platform developed by Camfed, the Learner Guides freely connect young people across regions and provide them with learning modules and peer mentoring beyond the classroom.

The International Day of the Girl Child celebrates the importance of girls and how education can be the force that propels them to reach their full potential. It also provides a platform to showcase innovation which breaks boundaries for new partnerships, engages girls and women in the design as well as the delivery of programs, enables girls to achieve new levels of ambition, or extends existing programs to reach marginalized girls.

To help governments, civil society and others to present their innovative work in education, UNGEI launched a Fund for the Documentation of Good Practice in Girls’ Education and Gender Equality which provides an opportunity for good practices to be systematically documented and shared within and between countries and regions. These stories will be collected and showcased on our website.

Furthermore, UNGEI’s new mini-podcast series entitled Changing the World for Girls will highlight the experience of a range of girls’ education advocates, researchers and practitioners. The first in the series will be released in the coming weeks. To learn more about what it takes to educate a girl, we also invite you to view this film where we explore such questions and how best …To Educate a Girl.

UNGEI stands committed to and will continue fight for the right of girls to get an education. We will also continue to support the Global Partnership for Education’s mandate to ensure that all girls complete primary school and go to secondary school in a safe, supportive learning environment.

(Source: UNGEI)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:39:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 declaring 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

This year, the theme for the day is “Innovating for Girls’ Education”.

Despite remarkable gains in the last decade, millions of girls are still being denied their right to education:

31 million girls of primary school age are out of school. Of these 17 million are expected never to enter school. There are 4 million fewer boys than girls out of school.
Three countries have over a million girls not in school: In Nigeria there are almost five and a half million, Pakistan, over three million, and in Ethiopia, over one million girls out of school.

There are also 34 million female adolescents out of school, missing out on the chance to learn vital skills for work and life.

Unless we make quality education for all a priority, these girls will not acquire the skills they need to transition to young adulthood, secure stable employment, understand and exercise their rights as citizens, and continue learning throughout life.

Finally, girls who do not complete an education are more likely to join the ranks of the illiterate women that represent two-thirds of the 774 million illiterate people in the world.

..we must focus where needs are greatest, we must help countries accelerate towards 2015, and we must shape a new agenda to follow. This agenda should build on achievements and tackle new challenges. This must start with education. There have been great advances in enrolment since 2000, but 57 million children remain out of school. We need a new goal for education – focusing on equity and quality, throughout life, especially for girls and women”. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the General Assembly Special Event on MDGs, New York, 25 September 2013.
 
With girls constituting the majority of out of school children, gender equality and girls’ education remain a central concern in initiatives undertaken under GEFI’s umbrella which aim to reach countries and groups left behind.

Further Information

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:23:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 10, 2013
Young social entrepreneurs seek to change the world with technology

ITU Telecom has announced the winners of its third annual Young Innovators’ Competition. Open to young social entrepreneurs between ages 18 and 26 from around the world, the competition seeks innovative digital solutions in the form of start-ups or initial concepts meeting global developmental challenges. The winners will be heading to ITU Telecom World 2013, the leading networking, solutions showcasing and knowledge-sharing event for the global ICT community in Bangkok, Thailand, 19 - 22 November.
From over 600 entries from 88 countries worldwide, 10 submissions were selected as having the greatest possible social impact and potential for business success:

- Al Dalilah Advanced Operational GPS represented by Ahmed Fawzi from Egypt – an advanced tracking and first response system using meteorological data.
- Broad Street Maps represented by Hannah Judge from the USA – producing individualized healthcare maps to support health organizations.
- KUMBA Connect represented by Keston Perry from Trinidad and Tobago – an interface connecting unemployed Caribbean migrants with technical skills based in the UK with Caribbean-based companies.
- Land-Sea Digital Bridge represented by Nguyen Tran Hoang from Viet Nam – an HF digital radio communication system connecting fishing boats and shore stations.
- M-Tambula represented by Brenda Katwesigye from Uganda – providing the elderly with easy access to public services using Interactive Voice Response over mobile phones.
- NduruApp represented by Thomas Kioko from Kenya – a one-stop mobile app to manage all aspects of road safety.
- Open Curriculum represented by Varun Arora from India – an online platform for local K12 educational material for standard, primary and secondary schooling.
- SalvageHub represented by Oscar Ekponimo from Nigeria – a web and mobile platform to reduce food wastage at individual and retail levels.
- SiSwApp represented by Timothy McDermott from Australia/ Swaziland – an English-SiSwati  translation app aimed at migrant workers.
- Tudlo Disaster and Emergency App represented by Yvone Loremia from the Philippines – a multi-purpose information platform for emergency and disaster situations.

At ITU Telecom World 2013 in Bangkok, the Young Innovators’ Competition winners will take part in an accelerator programme to take their projects to the next level via one-on-one mentorship sessions with start-up mentors and business experts, hands-on workshop training, peer mentoring from the winners of the 2012 competition, and the opportunity to showcase their projects to the event's influential audience at the InnovationSpace on the showfloor. The winners will also be competing for up to USD 5,000 prize money for great concepts, and up to USD 10,000 for innovative start-ups.

“These are bright young minds with creative technological solutions to developmental challenges both in their communities and in the wider world”, said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Toure. “Bringing the competition winners to the forefront of the global ICT stage at ITU Telecom World connects them with the event's influential audience, with the entrepreneurial experiences and with the success stories of their expert mentors and their peers from 2012. These are the connections and conversations that matter, with the power to make a real difference in the world”.

For further information on the Young Innovators Programme and Competition, please see world2013.itu.int/event/young-innovators-competition-2013/

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, October 10, 2013 1:44:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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)  #     | 


Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s communication technology minister, has described the country’s young people as the early adopters of technology, responsible for the high internet penetration rate amongst the youth.

Speaking yesterday at the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) Forum in Abuja, Johnson said: “Internet penetration is fastest amongst the youth. This is not surprising as young people, when they can afford them, are predominantly early adopters of technology”.

She said it was apt that the forum was focusing on the use of ICT by young people, especially how they use such technologies to engage on governance and developmental issues.

“Nigeria recently became the location of the largest user base of Facebook users in Sub-Saharan Africa”, she said. “About half of the 11 million Nigeria users are under the age of 25, which perhaps underscores the importance of understanding how young people make use of ICTs”.

On the importance of the forum, she said it would allow developing nations like Nigeria which have developed national broadband plans to learn from developed countries like the United Kingdom, which is already implementing similar policies.

She said: “While an increasing number of countries, including Nigeria, have recently developed or are developing National Broadband Plans; countries that had done so earlier provide important opportunities to learn about the implementation of such plans. These countries provide valuable insights on what works and why; as well as what can be improved upon and what to avoid during implementation”.

(Source: Humanipo)

Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:42:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana urges young people to embrace the use of ICT. He called upon girls to welcome ICT to maximize opportunities it offers.

This has been revealed during an ICT Literacy and Awareness campaign in Nyamagabe District in Southern Province during the two days campaign on Thursday and Friday where hundreds of girls trained in ICT.

Girls’ models in ICT explained their sisters of different secondary schools in Nyamagabe the importance of embracing ICT, sharing their expertise and incite them to love technology.

Minister Nsengimana at that occasion stated that the number of girls in ICT sectors is still low, which pushed the ministry to focus more on empowering girls to embrace technology. He called upon girls to welcome ICT to maximize opportunities it offers.

“Knowledge is power and wealth”. he reiterated that opportunities of ICT must reach all sectors of Rwandans regardless economy, level of education, location, and that none could lose its opportunities. He added that “Our economy will no longer bas on raw power but will be knowledge based”.

He called upon all residents to embrace it for their benefits and their own development. He commended private sectors for being good partners with the government to foster Rwandans technological level. “As we foster ICT, we develop our economy and self-reliance”, he noted.

Minister pointed out that ICT offers many chances that were not there in past. “ICT gives opportunities that were not in past and gives new jobs that were not created. We want to make awareness of these opportunities”, Minister Nsengimana stressed.

Lillian Uwineza, 17, a student at TTC Mbuga stressed that using ICT helps them to learn more; “Now I’m able to surf on the internet and I can gain more knowledge and excel in the class”.

The purpose of this campaign is to drive the awareness and usage of ICT services, content and applications, to increase the ICT Literacy, educate and train Rwandans and business people on the potential of ICT to drive competitiveness, efficiency, transparency as well as civic participation.

The government has invested heavily in information and communications technology (ICT). Since the inception of the first national ICT strategy and plan in 2000, Rwanda has significantly transformed the way business and society uses technology.

The Ministry of Youth and ICT in collaboration with other Ministries as well as its various stakeholders in ICT promotion adopted the five-year ICT literacy awareness campaign. This campaign has been officially launched in January in Rulindo District, Northern Province. So far one District per province across Rwanda hosted this campaign.

(Source: Ministry of Youth and ICT - Rwanda)

Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:34:18 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)  #     | 


Application Deadline: Monday, December 2, 2013

The Generation Google Scholarship was established to help aspiring computer scientists excel in technology and become leaders in the field. Selected students will receive 10,000 USD (for those studying in the US) or 5,000 CAD (for those studying in Canada) for the 2014-2015 school year. As part of the scholarship, current high school seniors who are entering their first year of university in 2014-2015 will be required to attend Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) in the summer of 2014. Current undergraduate or graduate students will be invited to attend the Google Scholars’ Retreat in the summer of 2014.

Who can apply?
Generation Google Scholarship for current high school seniors

To be eligible to apply, applicants must:

- Be a current high school senior
- Intend to be enrolled in or accepted as a full-time student at a university in the US or Canada for the 2014-2015 school year
- Intend to pursue a Computer Science or Computer Engineering degree, or a degree in a closely related technical field
- Exemplify leadership and demonstrate a passion for computer science and technology
- Exhibit a strong record of academic achievement
- Be a student from an underrepresented group in computer science (African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Female, or a Person with a Disability)
- Be available to attend Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) in the summer of 2014.

Further details

Monday, October 07, 2013 2:31:45 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)  #     | 
 Friday, September 27, 2013

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 http://worldwewant2015.org/education2015
Go to Week One discussion and participate: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/391846

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: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/education2015

(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 Telecentre.org 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: http://www.itu.int/accessibility

Follow ITU on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ITU/103018419782973

Follow ITU on Twitter: https://twitter.com/itu

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, September 26, 2013 11:01:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The Department of Communications has partnered with Neotel and Huawei to promote ICT skills among girls. Neotel, in partnership with the Department of Communications (DOC), Gauteng Department of Education and Huawei, announced last week the winners of the IgniteIT ICT Schools Competition.



This saw three Gauteng schools - Kingsway Secondary School, Phomolong Secondary School and Willowmoore High School – walk away with R200 000 worth of prizes, including an ICT laboratory and e-class solutions with interactive boards, projectors, LCD screens, routers and related equipment, sponsored by Huawei.

According to Huawei regional corporate communications manager Annette Mutuku, the IgniteIT ICT competition aims to develop and encourage ICT skills among girls, and break down barriers that prevent women from entering a predominantly male industry.

According to recent statistics provided by the Institute of Information Technology Professionals VP and director Moira de Roche, women comprise 55% of the total South African workforce, but only 20% of the ICT workforce.

Mutuku explains the competition required learners to use ICT to find a solution for challenges faced in their communities. "It was interesting how many learners chose road-safety as their focus", she says. The winning entry by Kingsway Secondary School was titled "A trans media story-telling report on distracted driving". Mutuku says the ideas showcased by the students needed to be practical and possible to implement.

Christina Naidoo, COO of Huawei SA, says the IgniteIT competition is just one of the ways Huawei commits to boost women in ICT. "Huawei also gives preference to female candidates in selecting managers when candidates' qualifications are on an equal footing", says Naidoo. "In SA currently, our female staff have taken up key management positions such as COO and regional directors, among others, as a testament of our promoting women in ICT".

Neotel MD and CEO, Sunil Joshi, echoes Naidoo's statement, saying Neotel recognises the shortage of skills in the ICT sector and has initiated a number of projects to encourage youth and young women from disadvantaged backgrounds to consider career choices in the sector.

(Source: ITWeb)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 10:18:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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: http://techcampalgeria.org/

(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:
http://www.itu.int/en/bynd2015/Documents/bynd2015-global-youth-declaration-en.pdf

(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: http://ideas.itu.int/
· 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)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 11, 2013


- Young people from 60 countries share their ideas with world leaders
- There was 80 participants in Marathon for developing mobile and web tools.

Although their appearance and origin are diverse, around 500 young people between 18 and 25 years old gather in the country to converse in the same language: the technology.

The young people, including 120 Costa Ricans, are attending the World Youth Summit: BYND 2015, an encounter that challenges them to sculpt their future with weapons offered by today's technology.

The event is held from Monday September 09 until September 11 at the Crowne Plaza Corobicí.

During the first day, the attenders were integrated at various conferences, workshops and talks with a common goal: to draw conclusions and generate ideas that become the raw material to meet the  new called Millennium Development Goals, among which are reduction of poverty, child mortality and hunger and achieving universal primary education, promote gender equality and protect the environment.

With this desire, during the afternoon of Monday also began a marathon or “hackathon” that promotes the development of tools (such as apps) for mobile devices (phones and tablets) and web platforms.

Luis Diego Oreamuno, one of the coordinators, considers that the young people will work for 24 hours to create technology solutions in three areas: education, sustainability and health.

"We conducted a previous session with experts, we formed teams and now they can identify problems and propose a solution from technology", he said. Representatives from technology companies like Microsoft and Cisco talked with young people and gave them some advice. One of them, Howard Charney, Cisco vice president, said that "there is not a single person as intelligent as a group of people".

Those words went into the ears of young people as Cesar Lopez, from Technical School Don Bosco, who entered with five other partners to participate in the “hackathon”. " This event aims to generate different solutions to the problems facing the world today. It's a great opportunity to express different ideas of a new generation that has grown up surrounded by technology", Lopez held.

Also Akhtar Badshah, director of Microsoft 's Corporate Citizenship, made his contribution of inspiration: "A ¨hackathon¨ is a way to unleash creativity , integrating different people and perspectives. To give answers to the problems", Badshah encouraged.

(Source: La Nacion Newspaper)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 1:43:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 29, 2013
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)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 22, 2013


Multilateral Project Co- funded by the European Comission, under LLP Programme / Comenius: http://ictgogirls.eu/
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).

Objectives:
- 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: http://www.slideshare.net/elearningcesga/ict-gogirls-project
or visit https://www.facebook.com/ICTGoGirls
Any question:
Maria R. Malmierca, coordinator: mjrm@cesga.es

(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)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 15, 2013
In recognition of International Youth Day, Microsoft introduced on 12 August, the 4Afrika Scholarship program, as part of its 4Afrika Initiative, through which it will provide mentorship, leadership and technical training, certification, university-level education, and employment opportunities for promising African students.

Mentorship will be provided by Microsoft employees from around the world, and employment opportunities will include internships and both part-time and full-time jobs within Microsoft, as well as with the company’s more than 10,000 partners across Africa.

Through the company’s 4Afrika Initiative and YouthSpark program, Microsoft has committed to helping millions of Africans get critical skills for entrepreneurship and employability. The 4Afrika Scholarship program is one way the company intends to meet that goal, by helping ensure that promising youth have access to the education, resources and skills they need to succeed, regardless of their financial situations. To help redress gender disparity in higher education in Africa, the company is actively encouraging young women to apply.

Microsoft also announced that in the coming year it will provide 4Afrika Scholarships to 1,000 youth to pursue associate degrees in computer science and business administration with the first participating higher-education institution, University of the People. The institution is an online university dedicated to the democratization of higher education, which is affiliated with the United Nations, the Clinton Global Initiative, New York University and the Yale Law School Information Society Project.

“Together with participating education institutions, Microsoft’s goal with the 4Afrika Scholarship program is to level the playing field for talented young African minds who might not otherwise have the resources, enabling them to get the education and skills they need to thrive in technology-related fields”, said Patrick Onwumere, director of youth enablement, Microsoft 4Afrika. “The 4Afrika Initiative was designed to help ensure that Africa can become globally competitive, and investing in our highly motivated youth is a critical step toward making that a reality”.

Students wanting to apply for these first 4Afrika Scholarships to attend University of the People must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma and be proficient in English, since all coursework is taught in English. They must also have access to the Internet to participate in the online classes. To help address the connectivity issue, the company is making working space available in its Microsoft Innovation Centers in Tunisia, Tanzania, Uganda and Botswana for successful applicants near those locations. In addition, Microsoft is working with various partner hubs across Africa to make similar arrangements for students in other locations.

“University of the People works hard to ensure that university-level education is a possibility for the masses, and through the 4Afrika Scholarship program, Microsoft is helping us extend that possibility even further in Africa”, said Shai Reshef, president, University of the People. “We are proud to be working with Microsoft to help create amazing opportunities and open new doors for Africa’s youth”.

Applications for 4Afrika Scholarships to University of the People can be submitted online at http://www.uopeople.org/4afrika. The first 4Afrika Scholarship students will begin classes in November 2013. Further information about the 4Afrika Scholarship program is available at http://www.youth4afrika.com.

(Source: IT News Africa)

Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:57:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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)  #     | 
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 http://ideas.itu.int. 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 http://ideas.itu.int, register, and get started! Don’t forget to identify Telecentre.org 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 (syapa@telecentre.org) 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 www.bynd2015.org.

(Source: Telecentre.org)

Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:17:51 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
Critically Acclaimed 18-Week Series Introduces U.S Audiences to Their Global Neighbors, Offering Unique Perspectives Into Unfamiliar Lives, Experiences and Stories from Around the World.



Season premieres Sunday, June 2 at 10 PM ET on the WORLD channel (Check local listings) and available online at http://worldchannel.org/

Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the WORLD channel announced last May the lineup for season six of Global Voices, the critically acclaimed international documentary television series premiering on the WORLD channel (Check local listings). The first original series to launch on WORLD, Global Voices was included in the New York Times’ Mike Hale’s list of “Favorite TV shows of 2012”. This season will set out to present even more compelling stories often overlooked by American media, by offering a unique lineup of programming, introducing U.S. audiences to their global neighbors and opening a window into unfamiliar lives, experiences, and perspectives from around the world.

Slated for Sunday nights at 10pm ET, from the beginning of June through the end of September, this weekly series premieres Sunday, June 2, followed by a repeat broadcast of the entire season for an additional 18 weeks. The series will present the U.S premieres of nine documentaries funded by ITVS, as well as encore presentations of other acclaimed ITVS programs. In addition to the WORLD channel broadcast, each episode will be available online, post airdate, beginning the following day for 21- 30 days at worldchannel.org. All full-length episodes are free and available online anytime during the allotted timeframe.

This season’s Global Voices spans the globe and offers rare insights into the lives of people in countries as far away as Indonesia, India, El Salvador, Iraq, Tanzania, Japan and Ethiopia, providing a global perspective and diverse viewpoints about our global world community.

The season opens in Indonesia, with the U.S Premiere of Where Heaven Meets Hell (Air Date: June 2), by Sasha Friedlander. Deep in the rain forests of Eastern Java, Indonesia, lies the active volcano, Kawah Ijen, where 500 sulfur miners carrying backbreaking loads, traverse treacherous terrain amidst spectacular vistas and toxic gases. Friedlander relays the stories of four of these miners, who risk their lives and health daily in an industry we rely on for sugar, matches and cosmetics. This visually stunning and intimate film chronicles their attempts to escape the endemic poverty and lack of education that haunts their community. Drawing strength from their families and Muslim faith, these miners inspire us as they search for meaning in their daily struggles and triumphs.

In the next U.S Premiere, When Hari Got Married (Air Date: June 16), directed by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, we meet Hari a 30-year old taxi driver in the Indian Himalayas. He is getting married to a girl he has never met, but has fallen in love with her over the mobile phone.

Hundreds –possibly thousands – of children disappeared from El Salvador in the midst of the country’s civil war in the 1980s. Niños de la Memoria (Air Date: June 30), directed by María Teresa Rodríguez, follows three of those children as they return to their native country in search of identity and answers.

Invoking Justice (Air Date: July 14), Deepa Dhanraj’s film, explores the lives of Muslim women from a small town in South India, who set out to deliver justice in their own courts, posing a radical challenge to their traditional Muslim community and clergy.

Other premiere programming highlights include The Lost Dream (Air Date: July 28), directed by Jehan S. Harney. Nazar and Salam helped the coalition forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom and were forced to flee their homes. As they begin their new lives in the United States, they wonder if their sacrifice was worth the costs. In the Shadow of the Sun (Air Date: August 11), directed by Harry Freeland, is an intimate story about two very different members of a remote island’s albino community in Tanzania, as a wave of brutal killings targeting people with albinism sweeps their country. The List (Air Date: September 8), directed by Beth Murphy, introduces us to a modern-day Oskar Schindler story, about Kirk Johnson, a 26-year old American aid worker, fighting to save thousands of Iraqis whose lives are in danger because they worked for the United States to help build Iraq.

The season concludes with two films about family and identity. Directed by Kaspar Astrup Schröder, Rent a Family, Inc. (Air Date: September 22) follows Ryuichi, a Japanese businessman, who owns a company that rents out fake family members and friends, but his own family doesn’t know. The season finale Girl, Adopted (Air Date: September 29), directed by Susan Motamed and Melanie Judd, spans four years in the life of one irrepressible girl. The film offers an intimate look at the struggle to create identity in the aftermath of adoption across race and culture.

In addition to the nine programs making their U.S. broadcast premiere, the series will also include nine award-wining programs, many in which have previously premiered on PBS’s Independent Lens series. These films include: Garbage Dreams, directed by Mai Iskander; Unmistaken Child, directed by Nati Baratz; Bolinao 52, by Duc Nguyen; Behind the Rainbow, directed by Jihan El Tahri; Blessed is the Match, directed by Roberta Grossman; Taking Root, directed by Lisa Merton and Alan Dater; A Village Called Versailles, directed by S. Leo Chiang; Journals of a Wily School, directed by Sudeshna Bose; Egalité for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution, directed by Pat Aste.

For a complete lineup of Global Voices films and schedule, please visit: worldchannel.org

(Source: ITVS)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 9:46:17 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)  #     | 
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)  #     | 
A project aiming to provide high school students with the needed and most recent academic materials has been launched in Liberia. The Project is being launched by the ASHESI University in the Republic of Ghana, and is currently piloted at the RICKS institute in Monrovia.

Three students, currently in Liberia for the pilot the project, Mohammed Kessir, Martha Adjou Kinu and Kpetemeni Siakor, the project is intended to give education through Technology.

Siakor said: "For a very long time people have known ITC as a course by itself but I think Technology is a tool and if it is tool, it is a means, not an end in itself. This is about using technology for the purpose of giving education so this is not about giving people Technology it is about giving education but deliver through Technology".
Siakor said the project is a software network project that is used to download the most recent textbooks and academic materials from the website for students who find it difficult getting access to the needed materials for their studies to prepare them for future public exams.

Siakor told FrontPageAfrica that with the latest revelation made by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that the country's education system is a mess and needs attention points to the need for more help high school students with access to textbooks to help them prepare for public exams.

Siakor said the project was initiated by him at the University and because of the significant impact it has made in the lives of students, the administration of the ASESI University decided to help in making it bigger for a lager impact.

Siakor also disclosed that because of the importance of the project, the University solicited outside help from some individuals.

Siakor said, the software sever is currently posted at RICKS, but they are currently accepting other students and schools administrators who have interest in accessing the facility.

"The purpose of this project is not to make students lazy, or get teachers out of the class but it is only intended to support learning and prepare people for exams, Siakor said".

(Source: All Africa)

Friday, August 02, 2013 10:56:33 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 http://world2013.itu.int/event/selection-process/

For information on ITU Telecom World 2013, please visit http://world2013.itu.int/ or contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
+41 22 730 5046
+41 79 249 4861
sanjay.acharya@itu.int

For more information on the Young Innovators’ Competition, please visit http://world2013.itu.int/participate/innovate/or contact young.innovators@itu.int

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Friday, July 26, 2013 10:48:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Young ICT Developers Community, an ICT network aimed at training young Nigerian professionals in web/mobile application, IT Security and network technologies has been launched by PortalS Network and Software Solution Limited in Lagos.

Emeka Onwenu, PortalS’ managing director (MD), said the community is in line with the Nigerian government’s YouWin initiative.

He told This Day the community is meant to promote technology acquisition, individual productivity and economic development.

Onwenu said: "PortalS is courtesy of the ongoing federal government entrepreneurship initiative to build creative businesses and individuals towards national development.
“The vision of the federal government in respect to the national development by 2020 truly demonstrates a sound objective proposition for a better future of growth and advancement, mostly as it affects the young entrepreneurs of which without a truly defined action-based strategy will only remain a forecast dream, hence the initiative to instill the knowledge in various field on ICT in the young ones".

The community is also pushing to create ICT social innovation hubs at secondary schools across the country.

(Source: Humanipo)

Friday, July 26, 2013 10:38:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 18, 2013


THEME: Promoting Female Participation in ICT

DATE: 25th August – 31stAugust 2013
VENUE: Tamale Girls Senior High School, Tamale, Ghana

Overall objective:
To reduce gender inequalities by increasing women and girl’s ability to effectively use information and communications technologies.

Specific objectives:
To improve enrollment and the performance of girls in the study of science and technology-related subjects in secondary schools and at higher levels of education.
To increase the capacity of female teachers to provide effective ICT education to girls.

Target group:
100 Junior High School girls, aged 12-17

Estimated results:
Female junior high school students’ ICT skills have been strengthened.
Female junior high school students’ interest in ICT has been boosted.
Female junior high school students’ view of women working in ICT-related professions has improved.
The awareness of female ICT teachers of the specific needs of female students in ICT education has increased.

Further details

Thursday, July 18, 2013 2:15:59 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
According to the World Bank and African Development Bank report, there are over 650 million mobile users in Africa.

Isolated from myriad information communication technologies, rural youth in Namibia have turned to mobile phones to engage in social debates and access information.
Selma Alweendo is from Okaukamasheshe Village. On a late Sunday morning, Alweendo is already consumed up in her phone. At that moment, she projected all sorts of reactions-smiling, shaking her head in disbelief and humming while she scrolls through her phone.

A closer observation, she is compiling a text as she listens to a radio show on a youth commercial radio station. “There is an interesting show on radio. I am submitting my contribution via Facebook”, she said on Sunday.

“What else is there to do here in this village? This place is isolated from any other facilities. We have no computers, no television and no newspapers. But thanks to my mobile phone, in addition to phone calls and messaging, I am able to engage and create accounts on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter”, Alweendo added.
Alweendo is one of the many young people in rural areas socially excluded from many developments, including mainstream information means, who have turned to mobile phone to engage in social and national debates.

Alweendo justifies that there are a limited activities to engage in and rarely any modern facilities reach their village. “If I want a newspaper, I will have to travel about 20 kilometers to Oshakati, the nearest town. In fact I have to spend about 40 Namibia dollars (about 4 U.S. dollars) to get to town. I would rather save that and spend it on airtime for data to browse”, she told Xinhua News.

With the airtime, Alweendo said that, she is able to do more on her cellphone as compared to having travelled to town. “I can even read the newspapers online. But internet is expensive in Namibia and slow here. One minute you are facebooking, and in a few seconds next thing you know you have ran out of credit”, she added.
“But if I run out of credit, I ask people I know to transfer me a minimal 2 Namibia dollars. Imagine if five people transfers me 2 Namibian dollars, it takes me far”, she giggles.
The rapid and increased use of mobile phones widely attributed to increasing connectivity and spread of network coverage across the country. Namibia has 99% mobile network coverage across the country, according the mobile service provider MTC’s website.

Tutaleni Asino, a scholar and educationalist at Penn State University during the e-learning conference held in Windhoek late May, said that mobile devices such as phones excite young people and encourage engagement. “Many people in Namibia do not have computers and even more do not have internet. On the other hand, just about every mobile phone these days can connect to the internet”, argued Asino.

Certainly, according to Asino, mobile devices have and are changing society whether we want to admit it or not.

Further details

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 5:43:31 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)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 20, 2013
Desafio Intel provides entrepreneurship education and Silicon Valley immersion for the best computing startups by university students and recent graduates from across Latin America. This program contributes to developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America by providing a bridge between these high potential young entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley, converting them into the most competitive tech start-ups in Latin America. Through Desafio Intel, the participants will receive training, mentorship and access to the best practices of entrepreneurship from Silicon Valley and around the world.

The eight finalist have been announced – meet the teams who will be representing their countries at the Finals at YouNoodle Camp this year. Congratulations to all the entrepreneurs!

Appetite+, Venezuela
Have you ever wondered what apps your friends have? Or what apps they actually like? How about a better way to discover cool new apps? Appetite+ is a social network for app-discovery that allows you to see into your friends Iphone to find great apps they use.



FractalUp, Peru
There is no clear order when learning in the noisy world of education. eLearners need a guide map and good quality content. FractalUp assists your learning search with graphical paths. It’s more precise than googling and less tedious than wikis, because it shows your position, using a Dynamic EdTech Engine.

LUX Sensor, Brazil
Our startup is developing an OptoElectroMechanical system to analysis fluids and gas by measuring refraction index using a high sensibility method patented by UNICAMP. Our system is the solution for fuel-optimized engine control for fuel quality, required by the automaker to get efficiency and performance demand by the government.

Mobile Monitoring Station, Chile
Measurement of worker-related variables, such as heart rate or air pollutants is usually done with fixed sensors. This limits the spatial coverage and does not give a true picture of the workers status. We propose gathering this information with wearable sensors and upload readings to a centralized cloud service. A service business model, with a cloud-based interface and leased hardware, allows customers to have a worry free experience, focusing solely on the important information gathered directly by workers in the field.

Modular Thoracic Strap for the Automated Monitoring of Vital Signs, Costa Rica
Detect potential health problems in a person, giving notice of the state of vital signs in the exact moments of crisis by creating a modular thoracic band based on medical parameters; with the purpose of facilitate the work of those responsible for the care of patients with certain physical limitations.

SchoolControl, Mexico
SchoolControl is a communication platform through which teachers, students and parents can find school information, such as: grades, announcements, calendars, events, reports, tasks, homework and details about the academic performance of the student. Access to all this information, using any desktop, mobile devices such as, iPhones, iPads, WP7s, & Blackberries.

WeHaus, Argentina
Home Automation Made Simple – Value added service for telcos.

Whelmo, Colombia
Whelmo is a light weight bracelet to wirelessly monitor harms to a baby’s health. Whelmo can measure the baby’s heart rate, blood oxygen level and location, and send the information to a mobile device. Whelmo will help you protect your baby when you can’t be at his side.

(Source: Desafío Intel)

Thursday, June 20, 2013 4:22:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 14, 2013

Ericsson Kenya finally joined the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) efforts in celebrating Girls in ICT Day on Friday May 31, by inviting and hosting 20 high school students at their headquarters.

The day is usually celebrated on the fourth Thursday of April, but Ericsson chose to wait a month in order to fit with the Kenyan school calendar.
The students, drawn from Alliance Girls, Pumwani Secondary, Starehe Girls, Embakasi and Huruma Girls, were invited to the company’s premises for an open day where they got encouragement from Ericsson staff to join the field of ICT.

Margaret Mutisya, Ericsson human resources manager, said: “As part of the initiative, nearly 90 countries organized events empowering more than 30,000 girls worldwide in 2012. The Ericsson’s Kenya “Girls in ICT day” marked on May 31, 2013 is therefore part of a global initiative but with local execution”.
During the session invited students, who are top performers in their respective schools, were treated to motivational talks and paired up with staff members who would demonstrate the operations of the telecommunications company.

Mutisya added: “This is our first Girls in ICT Day event and we’re committed to track the academic progress of the girls to monitor how those who’re pursuing careers in ICT are performing, with a view to incorporating them in Ericsson’s management trainee programmes”.

The “Girls in ICT Day” – which has been marked since 2010 - is an annual event meant to celebrate women’s achievements in the field of technology and promote tech opportunities to young girls worldwide.

Futher information

Friday, June 14, 2013 1:38:53 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
30 June deadline approaching for submission of technological solutions to development challenges.

Only four weeks remain for young social technopreneurs from around the world to submit applications to the ITU Telecom World 2013 Young Innovators’ Competition and win up to USD 10,000 in seed funding. The deadline is 30 June 2013.

The third edition of the annual Young Innovators’ Competition seeks innovative ICT-based solutions to six Global Challenges. It is open to any young person between the ages of 18 and 26 with an original concept or start-up with the potential to impact the world and improve people's lives through the use of connected technologies (ICTs).

Submissions must address one of the following Global Challenges:

- Improve employment opportunities for young people and migrant workers
- Reduce food and water wastage at individual and retail levels
- Facilitate access to public services for the elderly
- Improve natural disaster prediction and response
- Improve road safety for both drivers and pedestrians
- Protect sensitive personal data and inspire the creation of local digital content

Ten winning finalists will be selected to attend  in Bangkok, 19-22 November 2013. ITU Telecom World 2013 is the leading platform for debate, networking, innovation showcasing and knowledge-exchange for the global ICT community. Young Innovators’ Competition finalists will take part in workshops, pitching sessions, mentoring and networking, in addition to receiving up to USD 10,000 prize money to further develop their project. Competition details are here.

For more information visit world2013.itu.int/#itu_2013 or contact:
Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
+41 22 730 5046
+41 79 249 4861
sanjay.acharya@itu.int

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Friday, June 07, 2013 8:39:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 30, 2013
Robotics are a key factor in enhancing industry, fostering scientific innovation, and ultimately, boosting GDP and increasing the quality of African life.

A new robotics platform is poised to attract young engineering enthusiasts in Africa to pursue robotics.



A new robotics platform is poised to attract young engineering enthusiasts in Africa to pursue robotics.

Junior Robotics, an EXPO21XX online exhibition, spotlights all things robotics for kids. The exhibit showcases a variety of robotics projects happening in the K-12 scene, but also touts robotics teams, university programs, businesses, and events.

Certain barriers in delivering technology and education must be removed before robotics can become widespread in African studies. Accordingly, no African project is yet on the platform, but that will soon change once African students become more exposed to the hands-on nature of robotics. What’s more, the availability of platforms like Junior Robotics to schoolkids is certain to advance the innate creativity that kids already have. After all, what kid hasn’t experimented building a contraption with random bits of junk?

Collaborating with EXPO21XX are youth groups such as Best, S.P.A.R.K., US National Robotics Week, Robotix, Roboteka, T’N'T, and others. For the latest news about the Junior Robotics platform, go here. For even more information about how robotics is becoming more popular in Africa, check out the 2012 post on the Universities Robotics platform.

Further details

Thursday, May 30, 2013 6:05:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women (WAAW) Foundation is launching a high quality,  exciting and technically challenging one week residential Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) camp for African Girls in Senior Secondary School (9th to 12th Grades). The theme of the camp is Robotics and Renewable Energy. The camp will be help from July 28th to August 3rd in Lagos, Nigeria.

Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women (WAAW), in partnership with the Womens Technology Empowerment Center (W.TEC) Nigeria will launch its one - week residential Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) camp at the Laureates College in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria from July 28th to August 2nd, 2013. The theme of the 2013 camp is ROBOTICS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY.

The Director of WAAW STEM Camp initiative, Ms. Ifeyinwa Okoye said "The camp will use an integrated learning approach centered on the theme to show how robotics, computer science and programming are useful for solving significant problems in Africa, including electricity generation. The girls will learn to use locally available items and tools so that when camp is over, they will be able to continue to innovate with what they can find in their communities".

The Robotics STEM camp, the first of its kind in Africa, will include hands on activities, lectures, tutorials, experiments and field trips, all led and presented by female role models as an avenue to interest and excite the girls about STEM careers.

Camp applications open in March online at http://www.waawfoundation.org. Campers will be selected through a screening process and individual interviews. Successful candidates will be notified the first week of June 2013.

When asked about the criteria for qualification, the Executive Director of WAAW, Mrs. Ebele Agustates that "This camp is for African girls between the ages of 13 and 17 years who are currently enrolled in Senior Secondary School (SS1) through SS3 within the African continent. We feel that this is the age where girls are making crucial decisions about their careers. This is when we can make a lasting impression on the girls and help them form peer networks that they can draw on throughout their careers".

The STEM Camp Program will include:
- Students building a robot to solve green energy challenges such as trash sorting.
- Students building renewable energy systems such as solar and Wind Mill systems.
- Students exploring science, engineering and Math topics to support camp theme.
- Students participating in intense team building exercises.

There will also be time for fun! The camp schedules a number of activities that include swimming, pizza parties, baking classes, dance classes, career fair, wii playing and karaoke. Participants will experience dorm life, cafeteria food and learn what it is like to be on a college campus.
"The learning objective is to ensure girls think of Science and Technology as tools to help them innovate to enable real problem solving in their communities", says Dr. Unoma Okorafor, the founder of WAAW Foundation organization.

Participants are African girls (ages 13 – 17) who show high aptitude and interest in STEM disciplines.  drawn both from government or public schools fed by low income families, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn about or be exposed to possible STEM careers, and from private schools. The aim of the camp is to challenge traditional African societal beliefs that female education is wasted resources and demonstrate that STEM innovation helps solve real problems in the communities in which our participants live.

See here the STEM Camp Application.

(Source: Pressroom WAAW)

Thursday, May 30, 2013 5:59:30 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)  #     | 
The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana commends Africa Digital Media Academy for teaching Rwandan Youth on using ICT to produce better videos and create more jobs.

This has been revealed while the Workforce Development (WDA) was receiving a WSIS Project Prizes 2013 given by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) where the Africa Digital Media Academy was voted as the best project in media category. This award has been given to Rwanda last week in Geneva during the WSIS Forum focusing on post-2015 development agenda.

Minister Nsengimana said that Africa Media Academy is helping Young People in Rwanda to get skills to produce better contents using mainly ICT.
He said that “You can create a job by establishing a company to produce contents then people outside can buy what you produced”. Minister Nsengimana added that when someone want to sell a digital good is easier because it can be sold online.

Africa Digital media Academy (ADMA) is a vocational training program located in the city of Kigali was initiated in March 2012 by Workforce Development Authority (WDA) together with Pixel Corps Ltd, provides students with skills necessary to work in all areas of the digital media industry.
The State Minister in charge of TVET, Albert Nsengiyumva urges students at Africa Digital Media Academy to higher by working hard to be able to create more jobs after completing their studies.

Jean Pierre Birutakwinginga, a student at ADMA noted he learnt the film production techniques; “This is a great opportunity for us to explore our talents in this new innovative discipline of film making”, stressed Birutukwinginga.

The WSIS Project Prizes is an annual contest which recognizes excellence in the implementation of projects and initiatives which further the WSIS goals of improving connectivity to information and communication technologies (ICTs).

This center prepares its students for production work needed in digital media. Through live, hands-on learning in the computer lab and production studio, with distance learning from television experts in the U.S, students are given instructions to proceed at their own pace with support from the instructors. The emphasis is on student collaboration with the community as the foundation for effective learning.

More information

Monday, May 27, 2013 3:50:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
YouthConnekt Month has been launched in Rushashi Sector in Gakenke District. A computer lab has been officially opened to facilitate Youth get skills in ICT.

Youth are happy to get this room because they’ll be able to learn more things especially in ICT. And this will help them be connected with other fellows around the globe.
The Deputy Mayor in charge of Social Affairs, Zephyrin Ntakirutimana commends Gakenke Youth for contributing in building our country through YouthConnekt Month.
“I urge you to help vulnerable people and to embrace the culture of working together as Youth, this will be a foundation of your future life and a career”, says Ntakirutimana.
Youth pledge to construct a house for Marie Nyirabavakure in Gisiza Cell, Muramba Village in Janja Sector.

Youth from all districts across Rwanda will participate in different activities ranging from those in line with economic empowerment, social contribution and the use of ICT as tool for development as well as activities related to sport and entertainment.

Under the theme, “The Promise of a generation”, other activities will include visiting different youth initiatives to witness their contribution in national development and the role of ICT.

Further details

Monday, May 27, 2013 3:44:57 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, Telecentre.org, 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 bynd2015@itu.int or visit our website at www.itu.int/bynd2015.

(Source: ITU4u)

Monday, May 27, 2013 3:29:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Ericsson and mobile operator Airtel have partnered to expand the Connect to Learn Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solution, now enables 600 students to use ICT through cloud-based technology.

The two institutions, St. Anthony and Maera secondary schools in the Malawi Millennium Village of Mwandama, in Zomba district,  will now be connected to the initiative with students being joined by teachers in benefiting.

Fifty-five laptops, broadband internet access, online educational resources and training are included in the programme.
Matthews Mtumbuka, IT director of Airtel Malawi, said: “An investment in the education of our young people is an investment in our future. We recognize the transformational impact our industry can have on education, and are proud to collaborate with Ericsson on this initiative”.

Connect to Learn is a collaboration between the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Ericsson, and Millennium Promise in a bid to use ICT to deliver high-quality education to students.

Kara Nichols, Executive Director of Connect To Learn, said, “Because of investments and work by our partners, Ericsson and Airtel, the students and teachers are able to benefit from access to global news, information and the latest educational content”.
“They can also collaborate with fellow students and teachers around the world through our School-To-School Connections program, even from their remote locations”.

Further information

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 12:12:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU WSIS Forum 2013
High Level Dialogue 1
Women's Empowerment in the Information Society: Systemic, Scalable Strategies
14 May 2013, Geneva, Switzerland
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a tremendous pleasure to be with you this afternoon for this very important High Level Dialogue on Women’s Empowerment in the Information Society.
In the second decade of the 21st century, we are all very much aware of the power and importance of ICTs in every aspect of our lives – and ICTs increasingly play a vital role in all societies, in all countries.

ICTs are also a huge enabler for women in all communities – and especially in the developing world.

Even a simple mobile phone enables women to stay in touch with family and friends; can provide women with access to all kinds of valuable information, such as healthcare and reproductive information; and can be a valuable tool for marketing skills and selling products and services.

With ICTs we can deliver basic education in areas such as literacy, entrepreneurship and e-agriculture in ways never before imagined – and given that women do most of the world’s work, this offers enormous potential for improving the lives not just of women but of all the world’s people.

I am proud to be able to report that ITU – the UN specialized agency for ICTs – has partnered with the Telecentre.org Foundation on a Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign.
This campaign, launched in 2011, is on track to train one million women in basic ICT skills – and indeed by March this year we were already past the two-thirds mark, with 680,000 women from 147 organizations trained in 85 countries.

For its part, the UN Broadband Commission – which was created three years ago by ITU and UNESCO – set up a Working Group on Broadband and Gender in September last year, in answer to a direct appeal from Geena Davis, to harness the power of broadband to empower women and girls.

The working group had its first formal meeting in Mexico just over a month ago, chaired by Helen Clark, the UNDP Administrator, and I was very pleased to have been able to take part myself, along with the co-Chair of the Broadband Commission, Carlos Slim.

The Commission has also endorsed a new advocacy target, to achieve gender equality in access to broadband by 2020.

Ladies and gentlemen,
In a world where there is a large and growing skills shortage in the ICT sector, we need to get more girls involved in science, technology, engineering and maths – the STEM subjects – and we need to get more girls taking an interest in ICT careers.

ITU has adopted a three-pronged approach to increasing the number of women in ICT careers:

Firstly, to create demand among girls and women for careers in ICT, especially through our annual Girls in ICT Day initiative, which takes place on the fourth Thursday in April;
Secondly, to ensure a better supply of STEM education to girls and women; and
Thirdly, to achieve long-term sustainability by encouraging ICT businesses to attract, recruit, retain and – last, but very much not least – promote women. This involves issues such as pay gaps, recruitment strategies, making the work environment more attractive to women, and of course the work-life balance.

How can we move this strategy forward?

As you may know, UN Women and the UN Global Compact developed a core set of principles for all kinds of businesses offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

These principles are known as the Women’s Empowerment Principles. The WEPs were developed following an international multi-stakeholder consultation process, which began in March 2009 and culminated in their launch on International Women’s Day in March 2010.

Nearly 600 companies around the world have now signed on to these principles.

One of the recommendations made by ITU during the discussions on Women’s ICT Careers, at the Women, ICT and Development meeting in Washington DC in January, was to develop a Roadmap for the Tech Sector.

This roadmap would address the challenges and barriers to engaging more girls in STEM studies, as well as those that prevent women from fully-engaging in ICT careers and advancing to the highest levels.

I am therefore delighted to be able to announce that ITU, UN Women and the UN Global Compact have agreed to launch an international multi-stakeholder consultation process to develop a Tech Sector Roadmap designed to tackle just these challenges.

We will look forward to working with a wide range of stakeholders – including WICTAD and the Broadband Commission Working Group on Gender – as we develop this roadmap.

ITU looks forward to bringing its experience in promoting girls into the ICT pipeline and women into ICT careers.
In addition, ITU can promote the Tech Sector Roadmap among its 700+ Sector Members, which include many of the world’s leading ICT companies and top academic institutions.

I am sure that my colleague here from UN Women will also wish to share her thoughts on the Tech Sector Roadmap.
Distinguished guests,

This high level panel has been convened to identify systemic, scalable strategies for empowering women in the Information Society – and I believe that the Tech Sector Roadmap is a perfect example of this, and will make real progress in enabling girls and women to step up to technology and seize the amazing career opportunities ahead.
We have much to look forward to – and I wish you a very constructive dialogue!

Thank you.

(Source: ITU)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 11:31:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 16, 2013


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)  #     | 
In cooperation with the Jordan National Commission for UNESCO and Arab Women Media Center, UNESCO has been working to incorporate media and information literacy (MIL) into the Jordanian school curriculum by providing high school teachers and students the training to gather, analyze and utilize information through new and traditional media, and to develop debating skills so that they are able to express themselves in a professional manner.

A closing event was held under the patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Education, Dr. Mohammed Al-Wahsh, at Al Hussein Cultural Center to mark the achievements of this pilot project. The students practiced their newly developed debating skills and took part in a debating competition on the topic of “Freedom of Expression via Modern Tools”. Electronic newsletters produced as a part of the project that highlighted vital issues in their communities – with a special focus on youth and gender – were displayed at the event, while students gave testimonies of their experience and learning from the MIL training.

“MIL is one of the essential capacities that enable people to interpret and make informed decisions as users of information and media, as well as to become skillful creators and producers of information and media messages in their own right”, said Dr. Anna Paolini, Head of UNESCO Amman Office and Representative of UNESCO in Jordan.
Implemented throughout the second scholastic semester of 2012-2013, the project targeted 40 male and female students aged 16 and 17 from four UNESCO Associated Schools in Amman, Ajloun and Aqaba. The schools – Princess Taghreed School and Modern Systems Schools in Amman; Prince Faisal the First School in Aqaba; and Kufranja Secondary School in Ajloun – represented the southern, northern, and central areas of Jordan.

Officially titled “Integrating Media and Information Literacy into Jordanian Schools”, the project consisted of two phases. The first was training the teachers that would be involved in the project, followed by the second phase where specialists and teachers provided hands-on training to the students on journalistic writing skills, debating techniques, web search, website development, and management and dissemination of information through modern media tools. By introducing MIL and demonstrating its importance in education, the project aims for MIL to be adopted into the Jordanian curriculum so that it can be taught on a sustainable and impactful basis.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 8:03:54 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 www.itu.int/wsis/implementation/2013/forum/

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:28