Digital publishing and local content in Africa

12-03-2010 – Filed under knowledge-managementafricadigital-publishingebookliterature

Publishing is not an easy business these days. Books are being published more than ever before, but also less read. The arrival of the Internet brought with it many new ways of consuming information. Fast-food content is on its rise and books do not only struggle for attention as a…

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Culture of social networks in Africa on the example of trade

01-12-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dafricabusinessmarket-informationmobilesocial-networkvalue-chainweb2fordev

There are over one billion Internet users worldwide according to a list from Wikipedia. Every day thousand of people joining social networks such as Facebook. How can these social networks be used to boost business? Are there differences between countries or regions how such social networks work? Mark Davies from Esoko, explains…

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The race to map Africa and ethical issues around online mapping

03-06-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dlinksafricageospatialmappingopen-sourceopen-dataparticipationprojectsvisualizationweb2fordev

I started blogging at the Web2fordev gateway, from which I will crosspost some articles here from time to time to get some further discussions on web2fordev. I wrote the following piece together with Giacomo Rambaldi, the initiator of PPgis (Open Forum on Participatory Geographic Information Systems and Technologies). Online Mapping…

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Mobile Activism in Africa

11-05-2009 – Filed under activismICT4Dafricacitizen-mediaelectionsmediamobilenetworkzimbabwe

Why and how does the mobile phone play a role in activism in Africa? What makes it be different from other forms of activism? And what are the potentials and challenges behind it? I tried answering these questions two weeks ago at the Medien Jour Fix,  an interesting German network…

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What does local content have to do with low-bandwidth applications?

14-04-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dlinksafricabandwidthbloggingconnectivitymobilerural-developmentweb2fordev

High bandwidth access expands worldwide, finally in Africa too, but in many places the connectivity does not allow for an easy Internet usability, let alone the use of many tools for publishing own content and interacting easily with other users. Aside from many other challenges, one important to remark is…

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My take on the state of mobile phones for developments

25-01-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dafricaagriculturedevelopmentmobileopen-sourcerural-development

As an outcome from the virtual forum on mobile phones by FAO – where I experienced a great exchange with mobile phone practitioners worldwide – I was interviewed by the e-agriculture.org forum. During the interview, I tried to summarize my observations and discussions around mobile  phones for development from the…

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Future trends of mobile activism

15-12-2008 – Filed under activismICT4Dafricakenyamobileparticipationsmssocial-networksoftware

The simplest and most powerful form of mobile activism in the future will probably still be ordinary communication. However, in all fields of activism such as advocacy, awareness, research and protest, the mobile phone can be a strategic tool for communication, collaboration, coordination and collective action. In this regard we…

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Mobile phone innovation may not happen where you think it does

22-11-2008 – Filed under ICT4Dafricagpsinnovationiphonemobilesmssoftwaretechnology

The first days have passed by at the the Virtual Forum “Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas” and it has triggered some interesting discussions. One thread is around innovations and mobile phones. Being it software or ideas to extend the usage of the all purpose tools, cutting edge innovations are not…

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Kenyan bloggers need your support

14-01-2008 – Filed under activismafricademocracyelectionskenyamedia

Most of you probably have been following the news about Kenya lately. I was there only two months ago and had the opportunity to meet some interesting bloggers. Television was fully covering and broadcasting about the election’s campaigns at that time. When the elections took place on the 27 December,…

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Citizen journalism in Africa

06-12-2007 – Filed under communicationafricabloggingcitizen-journalismhuman-rightsmediamobile

Most countries are far away from reaching the level that Koreans have on citizen journalism, such is the case of the famous Ohmynews: “The Net and Netizens Watchdogging Government.” A pioneer of citizen journalism was certainly indymedia.org, which got famous during the WTO protest back in 1999 in Seattle. In…

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Notes from the web4dev conference

03-12-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricaconferenceconnectivitydevelopmentweb2fordev

Continuing with the web4dev conference in Nairobi, I wanted to add some more personal perspectives. During the conference, on the second day, twenty different workshops were offered. We, Nynke and I, gave a presentation that same day, and as with most other sessions, not many people showed up. We highlighted…

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Start of the web4dev conference: Major issue connectivity

28-11-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricaconnectivitymobiletechnology

I am at the Web4Dev conference in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference brings together people from all over the world to discuss how the web can contribute to development. One overarching topic are the Millennium Development Goals and how information and communication technologies (ICT) can help to achieve them. I will…

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Open Source Life?

12-11-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricacollaborationopen-sourceparticipation

As Japan is losing interest in the personal computer, Google announces recently the Android alliance to bring free and open source software to mobile phones. The revolutionary part of this is that proprietary software might be mostly for the personal computer; it will not longer be anymore for the mobile….

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Blog action day: E-waste, the downside of the growing web

15-10-2007 – Filed under activismafricacampaigningcomputerenvironment

Today is blog action day and this year’s topic is environment. Thousands of bloggers will devote their writing skills to create more awareness to our threaten environment. I decided to write about e-waste (electronic waste). As Internet grows everyday, so does the demand for electronic equipment that preserves and extends…

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Weekly links: Blogging for democracy and African ingenuity

15-09-2007 – Filed under linksafricabloggingmobile

Two articles on mobile for development Mobiles for the ‘world’s poorest’ is a new article from BBC, which describes how Jeffery Sachs Millenium village project applies mobile phones. Another article describes how PDAs are saving lives in Africa. Blogging for democracy around the world Interesting interview with Antony Loewenstein, who…

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4 examples for innovative mobile phone use in Africa

29-08-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricabusinessmobile

According to the latest statistics from the New York Times and the World Bank, the African continent is lagging behind in mobile phone subscribers and Internet users. However, African countries have one of the highest quota of mobile phone subscribers. The rate of subscribers varies a lot –between 724 in…

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Does Twitter make sense?

19-08-2007 – Filed under activismcommunicationafricamobilesharing

To begin with, I have to say, I am not a Twitter user. I have signed up for an account but have not used it at all. I, personally, prefer tools such as Skype. But still, I am willing to be convinced that it does bring an advantage for personal…

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Weekly links: ICT4D, TED in Africa and enterprise2.0

06-08-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dlinksafrica

Online platform for South Asian community development Still in beta, this group blog offers insights into ICT4D projects in all over South Asia. Stories are for example: wireless computer technology in Nepal or a rural ICT center along with Digital Photography Lab in Bangladesh. Best way to understand information and…

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Weekly links July (4): Africa and ICT

29-07-2007 – Filed under linksafricamobile

This week I selected some interesting articles on African countries and information and communication technologies. Mobile Phone Reporters in Africa White African has an interesting blog post on Africa’s Voices experiment on mobile phone reporters. For Ugandan Farmers, Agricultural Tips Just a Phone Call Away An example for a project,…

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Social webs in Africa

14-07-2007 – Filed under activismcommunicationICT4Dafricabloggingconnectivitymobilesocial-network

Today I was interviewed by the German radio station “Deutschland Radio Kultur.” The interview is now available as a podcast at blogspiel.de. The interview’s main topic was Social Webs in Africa, stressing general issues about connectivity in Africa and social web such as the blogosphere. Thanks to Sokari Ekine I…

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Challenges of web2.0 in Africa

18-06-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricabloggingcivil-societyconnectivitymobilewebnpk4devweb2fordev

Recently I met Toni Eliasz from Ungana-Afrika in Pretoria. We discussed over web2.0 in the context of development. His thoughts were interesting on that of the potential and challenges of the collaborative web, given his experiences in South Africa and the region. Ungana is a NGO which devotes its work…

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Do new web applications benefit the poor?

04-06-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricabloggingcomputerconnectivityopen-sourcesharingsocial-networkweb2fordevwiki

I was curious when an article titled Web 2.0 can benefit the world’s poor appeared on Scidev.net. The authors Waleed al-Shobakky and Jack Imsdahl see in new web applications, such as Google docs, a great potential for developing countries. They write, “Web 2.0 can help these students create documents, track…

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Mobile phones for development

07-05-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricamobilemobilewebnetworksocial-network

A lot has been debated about the one laptop per child initiative, but less has been said about the use of mobile phones for development. Even though according to a DFID and vodafone study “the number of mobile users is growing twice as fast in developing countries as in developed…

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