Gender Equality in Free and Open Source Software

Title: Gender Equality in Free and Open Source Software
Source: Wikigender
Date (published): 22/07/2011
Date (accessed): 01/08/2011
Type of information: wiki post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Gender Equality is one of UNESCO’s global priorities, together with Africa. Within this framework, UNESCO seeks to promote women empowerment and to mainstream gender in all UNESCO policies, strategies and programs.
UNESCO’s believes that the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) model provides interesting tools and processes with which women and men can create, exchange, share and exploit software and knowledge efficiently and effectively. FOSS can play an important role as a practical instrument for development as its free and open aspirations make it a natural component of development efforts in the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Community “Gender equality in free and Open Source Software” aims at creating a network of different institutions, networks and actors that deal with the Gender Gap in FOSS."

via http://www.ictdev.org/

Orange, Google launch sms service in Africa

Title: Orange, Google launch sms service in Africa
Source: IT News Affrica
Date (published): 28/07/2011
Date (accessed): 28/07/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Telecommunications provider Orange and global search giant, Google have signed a partnership that aims to facilitate access to Google’s services across Africa, by leveraging Orange’s networks.

This will enable Orange’s mobile customers to stay in touch with their Google services and Google users to extend their network by using SMS-based services.
The Orange and Google partnership will leverage Orange’s SMS platform to bring Google’s services to African customers.
...

Through the development of SMS-based services that operate on all mobile networks (including GSM), Orange and Google will extend the reach of a wide range of internet services that were previously limited to smartphone and broadband users (through 3G, CDMA or WiMax networks) to all Orange mobile customers.
The “Gmail SMS Chat” service, which will eventually be launched across Orange’s footprint in Africa and the Middle East is already available in Senegal, Uganda and Kenya. It will be launched in four additional countries – Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry and Niger – in the coming months, and will be launched as a trial in Egypt (Mobinil). Orange and Google are now looking to extend this partnership to include other services."

Rural Mozambique gets Internet, mobile services

Title: Rural Mozambique gets Internet, mobile services
Author: Dammiao Dimingos
Source: IT News Africa
Date (published): 28/07/2011
Date (accessed): 28/07/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Mozambique’s Science and Technology ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mozambique’s Mobile Cellular (MCEL), to roll out community multimedia centers in the rural areas.

MCEL will provide Internet access, worth MZN 7.2 billion meticals (about US$255 million) to Mozambique’s six districts.
Teodato Hunguana, Mcel Mobile Board President, says the partnership between MCEL and the Mozambique government will provide Internet services, video courses, manuals, technical and professional skills development, and equipment for the training of local trainers."

Q&A: Google wants more African content online

Title: Q&A: Google wants more African content online
Author: Denisa Oosthuizen
Source: IT News Africa
Date (published): 27/07/2011
Date (accessed): 28/07/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"In an interview with ITNewsAfrica, Brett StClair, Head of Mobile, Google South Africa, talks about the evolution of mobile media in Africa and the exciting times ahead for Google on the continent.
...
Brett StClair: Gmail SMS is a great platform for both users and mobile operators. What is great about the service is that it provides internet-like services to more ubiquitous technologies like SMS, which have a reach across 500 million African mobile subscribers. These sorts of services are an important stepping stone to diverse services on the mobile Web, helping consumers understand what’s possible, and showing why smartphones are so useful and relevant. We offer SMS services across a number of our products, for example, SMS Search (using SMS to search for services and content), and Google Trader, which is a classified platform to allow consumers in Ghana to trade goods on phones, therefore creating business via mobile.

ITNewsAfrica.com: In a recent article published in The Africa Report, “Is Google good for Africa”, one of Google’s VPs for the region speaks about the lack of information in Africa. How would you comment this statement?
Brett StClair: Our VP Carlo D’Asaro Biondo’s statement referred to the fact that Africa has only one web domain for every 10,000 people, versus a global average of 94 domains for every 10,000 people. In other words, information that is important and valuable to Africans is not yet available online. At Google we want to help create and enable more African content online. For example, we are launching Google products in many African languages, including the wide-reaching Swahili, Amharic, Zulu, Afrikaans and more. We launched MapMaker across the continent so that anyone can map their local roads, village, hospitals or schools. Great recent examples include mapping health locations in Korogocho in Nairobi and mapping new parts of South Sudan. These efforts and many more will help bring information online, and make the web more useful and relevant to Africans. And of course, before long they will be accessing this info on their mobile phones."

The contextualization and implementation of a teacher competency framework for ICT4E in Guyana

Title: The contextualization and implementation of a teacher competency framework for ICT4E in Guyana
Author: Marcia Joy Thomas
Source: Educational Technology Debate
Date (published): 27/07/2011
Date (accessed): 28/07/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"The Government of Guyana has recognized the huge potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to empower Guyanese to meet developmental challenges and strengthen the economy. The role of ICT in International Trade is making industries more competitive, in facilitating e-commerce, in the health and education sectors and in simply making a wide range of information and services available electronically is fully recognized.

The Government has therefore outlined various policies that are aimed at creating an environment that will foster technology use and encourage investment in ICT , with the Education sector being one of the most critical areas. This is because narrowing the digital gap is more than just providing physical access to computers and the Internet; people must understand how to put it to good use. The ICT in Education Strategy comprises the following elements:

Focus on Professional Development
Policy makers within the Education sector recognized that – in order for the government to achieve its objectives – emphasis had to be placed on teacher professional development in the areas of ICT in education, and therefore looked at ways to contextualize and implement the process."

Gartner: mobile payment market is growing slower than expected

Title: Gartner: mobile payment market is growing slower than expected
Source: Gartner, Inc
Date (published): 21/07/2011
Date (accessed): 27/07/2011
Type of information: press release
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Worldwide mobile payment users will surpass 141.1 million in 2011, a 38.2 percent increase from 2010, when mobile payment users reached 102.1 million, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide mobile payment volume is forecast to total $86.1 billion, up 75.9 percent from 2010 volume of $48.9 billion.

Despite these strong growth projections, Gartner analysts said the mobile payment market is growing slower than expected.

“In developing markets, despite favorable conditions for mobile payment, growth is not as strong as was anticipated. Many service providers are yet to adapt their strategies to local requirements, and success models from Kenya and the Philippines are unlikely to be translated to other markets,” said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner. While developing markets have favorable conditions for mobile payments, such as high penetration of mobile devices and low banking penetration, this is no guarantee of success, unless service providers adapt their strategies to local market requirements.”
...
Gartner expects Short Message Service (SMS) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) to remain the dominant access technologies in developing markets due to the constraints of mobile phones. Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) will remain the preferred mobile access technology in developed markets, where the mobile Internet is commonly available and activated on the phone. Mobile app downloads and mobile commerce are the main drivers of WAP payments, and WAP will account for almost 90 percent of all mobile transactions in North America and about 70 percent in Western Europe in 2011.

Money transfers and prepaid top-ups will drive transaction volumes in developing markets. These are seen as the "killer apps" in developing markets, where people value the convenience of sending money to relatives and topping up mobile accounts. This is most obvious in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where these two services will account for 54 percent and 32 percent of all transactions in 2011."

Information Society Observatory Newsletter, July 2011

Sustainability First: In search of telecentre sustainability

Title: Sustainability First: In search of telecentre sustainability
Author: Harsha Liyanage
Pages: 171 pp.
ISBN: 978-955-599-507-8
Source: BookRix
Date (published): 05/04/2011
Date (accessed): 26/07/2011
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"Sustainability First is a research project carried out to capture the key sustainability lessons emerging from this mix of dynamic and evolving efforts, which is unique due to the involvement of such varied participants, which include grassroots leaders, corporate executives, bureaucrats, and politicians. Although the word “sustainability” implies broader social, cultural, political, and environmental aspects, the attention of the current research was focused mainly on economic sustainability. The research was carried out over nearly two years, beginning in January 2007, and involved a deeper cross-section of the telecentre ecosystem, which started with telecentre operators from individual telecentres in South Asia, Africa, and South America and extended through the senior managers of selected corporate, civil society, and government institutions in Brazil, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Although this book derives its main lessons from five key case studies, which feature ATN (Brazil), Grameenphone CIC (Bangladesh), D.Net (Bangladesh), Drishtee (India) and Sarvodaya-Fusion (Sri Lanka), the overall content of the book was not limited to those lessons, but was derived from the broader spectrum of telecentre experiences studied in Africa, Asia, and South America. This book attempts to capture the rich lessons of that relatively complex larger research study in order to uncover the key constraining factors that work against telecentre sustainability, and then to derive key strategies for success from selected telecentre networks.
...
Table of Contents
...
Preface – Sustaining Telecentres in Development Landscape
Introduction
Research Methodology
Chapter 1 Sustainability Dream – Why is it Unsustainable?
Chapter 2 Sustainability – What Makes it Possible?
Chapter 3 The Silver Lining of the Sustainability Cloud; Building partnerships for telecentre sustainability, case study – ATN, Brazil; Tapping the bottom of the pyramid, case study – Drishtee, India Exploring the knowledge market at grassroots, case study – D.Net, Bangladesh • Telecentres as a corporate social responsibility, case study – Grameenphone CIC,
Bangladesh; Evolution of a social enterprise, case study – Sarvodaya-Fusion, Sri Lanka
Chapter 4 Social Enterprise Approach to Telecentre Sustainability
Conclusion and Recommendations
Bibliography "

Nigerian tech incubators set to mentor and train entrepreneurs

Title: Nigerian tech incubators set to mentor and train entrepreneurs
Author: Nmachi Jidenma
Source: TNW Africa
Date (published): 24/07/2011
Date (accessed): 26/07/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Two tech incubators in Nigeria, Co-creation Hub and the Institute for Venture Design are set to train Nigerian tech entrepreneurs in venture formation and entrepreneurship.

Co-creation Hub Nigeria, a non profit social enterprise founded by Bosun Tijani and Femi Longe aims to provide a shared work space for technologists, social entrepreneurs, government, tech companies and investors to collaborate on innovative tech ideas and solutions for the country. Located in Yaba, Nigeria, the hub is strategically located in the vicinity of prominent Nigerian universities such as the University of Lagos. This would hopefully help strengthen the hub’s collaborations with academia and give it the benefit of having student and faculty research in technology influence the hub’s ideas.
...
Another incubator set to train and mentor Nigerian tech entrepreneurs is The Institute for Venture Design. In partnership with the Center for Design Research at Stanford University, the Institute is poised to incubate a community of people with shared culture to create wealth in Nigeria."

Agricultural Information, the Global Food Crisis, and Effective Use

Title: Agricultural Information, the Global Food Crisis, and Effective Use
Author: Michael Gurstein
Source: Gurstein's Community Informatics
Date (published): 25/07/2011
Date (accessed): 25/07/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Community Informatics colleague Ajit Maru, in a posting on the Community Informatics Research elist suggests some disturbing questions concerning the relationship between “Information Access” and “effective use” and its possible links to the rising food crisis globally.
He comments on the increasing shift of governments to making agricultural information available primarily in electronic form via the web or through mobile access. This is inevitably linked to declining support for the provision of agricultural information through the more traditional face to face connections of agricultural extension...
...
To add to these very important comments… There is currently an overwhelming pre-occupation of donors and those concerned with ICTs and development with “mobiles for development” that is with additional means for the infrastructure for “accessing” information. However, there would appear to be little or no related concern (or resources) for ensuring that the pre-conditions for ensuring the effective use of this information particularly by rural small-holders—that the information to overwhelmingly non- or only marginally literate end users is in the multiple languages of the end users, is accessible on devices available to end users a, provides sufficient information context to be usable by end user, is structured in such a way as to enable necessary collaborative action by small-holders and so on."

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