APC Africa-ICT-Policy Monitor e-Updates No. 4



Dear all,

This is our first APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor e-updates No. 4 for year
2005 and we take this opportunity to wish you a fruitful new year.

As we have previously done, here is a selection of the latest additions
on the Africa ICT Policy Monitor Website chosen by our editors.

On the news front, we would particularly like to point out the ongoing
civil society online discussion forum on key policy issues revolving on
ICT policy priorities for Africa, internet governance and finance
mechanisms for ICT as part of the preparation to the upcoming Africa
regional conference on the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

For more on this discussion forum and other categories, please visit the
sections and links below for:

-          News
-          Information
-          Resources
-          Upcoming Events
-          Featured Organizations

And please do us send us feedback or contribute news or other relevant
information about your organization on the Africa ICT Policy
Monitor Website.

Kind Regards,

Editor

APC Africa Policy Monitor Website

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NEWS

* Kenya: Regulator licenses more Internet companies
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30354>
14/01/2005 (Tom Mogusu - East African Standard)-- Two more players in the 
Internet Backbone and International Gateway  market segment were licensed 
yesterday. The two - Kenya Data Networks  (KDN) and Jamii Telecoms-were 
licensed by the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) and are expected to 
compete with the Government-owned
Jambonet.

* Ghana: Accra to kick off with a high level training for Civil Society
participants <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30316>
13/01/2005 (APC)-- The African Regional Preparatory Conference for the 
World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to be held from 2 to 4 
February 2005 in Accra, Ghana is set to kick off with a high level training 
for Civil Society participants. The Civil Society Forum will take place on 
the 28th February as one of the pre-Conference workshops from 29 January to 
1 February 2005.

* ITU Launches Multipurpose Community Telecentre Initiative in Africa
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30287>
12/01/2005 (ITU) -- The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is 
launching an initiative to establish a network of at least 100 Multipurpose 
Community Telecentres (MCTs) in 20 African countries. The MCTs will provide 
critical access for communities to Information and Communication 
Technologies (ICT), to help ensure these communities can obtain the social 
and economic benefits that come with participation in the Information Society.

* Open Spectrum International Supports TRASA's Draft Wireless Policy for
Southern Africa <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30288>
11/01/2005 (Open Spectrum International)-- Open Spectrum International 
today submitted comments to the Telecommunications Regulatory Association 
of Southern Africa (TRASA) in support of their draft "Guidelines on 
Wireless Technologies Policy and  Regulation."

* Africa Prepares for Second Phase of World Summit on Information Society
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30318>
11/01/2005 (UNECA)-- Approximately 1,000 people from the private sector, 
civil society, media, government and international institutions will meet 
in Ghana, next month to discuss an “Action Plan on Africa and the Knowledge 
Economy” (APAKE), for expanding access to - and use of - information and 
communications technologies in Africa.

* Kenya: Lost opportunities for growth in ICT Sector
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30155>
10/01/2005 (John Walu - East African Standard)-- Attempts by the regulator 
to  revolutionise ICT have been jumbled, scaring off foreign investment 
from an otherwise lucrative sector. The new licensing framework was 
expected to ensure that Kenya has a more dynamic and competitive 
information and communication technology environment, improved access to 
infrastructure and services, as well as options in the provision of 
communications services that address the socio-economic needs of our society.

* Technology put to the test as parts of East Africa reel from effects
of Asian tsunamis
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30161>
10/01/2005 (Russell Southwood - Balancing Act’s News Update)
-- The relief effort in the wake of the Asian tsunamis has highlighted
the importance of using ICT. African aid agencies have become
significant ICT users and have sophisticated ICT managers. Communication
is key in when disasters occur as communications links are often
disrupted. Yet for disaster relief workers who arrive on the scene these
links are essential as they rely heavily on telecommunications to
coordinate the complicated logistics of  rescue and relief operations.

* Nigeria online businesses on the rise
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30164>
10/01/2005 (Chidiebere Nwankwo - BusinessDay) -- Nigeria, for long
locked and dragged back by brick and mortar methods in governance,
education and business is at last taking steps to cross the digital
divide. With the ongoing revolution in technology and the realization
that no country can move forward without first advancing
technologically, Nigeria has joined the countries currently reveling the
online bug.

* Uganda: Regulator to License 3rd National Operator
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30158>
07/01/2005 (David Muwanga - New Vision) -- The director of the Uganda 
Communications Commission (UCC), Patrick Masambu, has said they will issue 
a unified licence to a third national operator within 12 months of the 
expiry of the exclusivity period.

* Africa Civil Society Holds Discussion Forum on WSIS PrepCom II
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30085>
06/01/2005 (APC) -- Africa civil society organizations will be holding a
discussion forum to develop position papers on various policy issues in
preparation to the upcoming Africa regional PrepCom for WSIS in Accra,
Ghana later this month.

* South Africa: ICASA Fails to Act for the Poor
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=30022>
03/01/2005 (AllAfrica) -- If everything goes according to plan, the 
Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) will today (3rd January 
2005) present its recommendations to the communications minister on new 
Telkom price controls.

* Kenya: Year ends without the much-awaited ICT policy & regulations
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29916>
29/12/2004 (Benson Kathuri - East African Standard)-- Another year has gone 
without the much-awaited Information and Communication Technology policy. 
The process of developing an ICT policy  has been going on for several 
years with several drafts, most of them unofficial, having been discussed 
in government circles.

* Kenya: Telkom reduces tariffs
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29855>
28/12/2004 (Alari Alare - East African Standard) -- Telkom Kenya has 
drastically reduced Internet tariffs by up to 69  percent after the 
government licensed two operators to compete with the
main internet backdone and international gateway provider - JamboNet.

* Nigeria: Interconnect problem worsens as phone lines hit 8.5million
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29865>
28/12/2004 (Uchendu Amuta - BusinessOnline)-- Phone calls across the 
various telecommunications networks in Nigeria have become more difficult 
as total number of telephone lines hit 8.5million. The problem is more 
noticeable among mobile (GSM) networks where in recent times, it has become 
increasingly difficult to communicate across the four networks, MTN, 
Vmobile, Globacom and M-tel.

* APC Africa Hafkin Prize 2004-5 : Recognising Community Connectivity
Projects for Economic Development
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29627>
22/12/2004 (APC) -- "Connectivity is a term referring to the means by which 
people are connected to or are able to access communications channels such 
as the internet, email, computer and people networks." The theme for this 
year's Hafkin Prize recognises community initiatives that use the internet 
and other digital communication networks to access markets, skills and 
opportunities to derive real economic benefits. The prize is now accepting 
applications until February 14 2005.

* Kenya: Regulator to Act Tough On Backbone Licensing
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29621>
21/12/2004 (Alari Alare - East African Standard)-- The Communication 
Commission of Kenya (CCK) will enforce strict rules for issuing licences to 
Internet backbone and gateway operators. A number of existing Internet 
Service Providers (ISPs) have been ordered either to apply for the 
international gateway operators’ licence as different entities or give up 
their ISP licenses.

* Africa accounts for 8.3% Internet users worldwide
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29623>
21/12/2004 ( Uchendu Amuta - BusinessDayOnline)-- Only 12million Internet 
users out of the 699million users in the  world , representing 8.3% are 
located in African countries, including Nigeria, as at 2004, according to 
recent report by Yoshio Utsumi , Secretary-General of International 
Telecommunications Union.(ITU)

* Nigeria: Regulator qualifies companies for universal access telephone
project <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29624>
21/12/2004 (Uchendu Amuta - BusinessDay)-- The Nigerian Communications 
Commission (NCC) is in the process of qualifying telecom firms wishing to 
participate in the country’s Universal Access (AU) telecommunications project



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INFORMATION

* Building Cyberlaw Capacity for eGovernance: Technology Perspectives
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=he_1&x=30384>
15/01/2005 -- An abridged definitive conceptual framework is presented
for Electronic Governance (eGovernance). The framework relies on the
time-proven principle of introducing a concept by progressing from the
‘known’ to the ‘unknown’. It takes note of the need to define Electronic
Governance from the more well-known concept of Good Governance that
predates it. The framework is informed by the author’s several years of
experience in an advisory role in the concepts, planning and
implementation of eGovernance in Commonwealth member countries.

* New ICT Book Launched: “ICT4D ­ Connecting People for a Better World”
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ne_1&x=29682>
23/12/2004 -- No doubt, information and communication technologies (ICT) 
have dramatically changed the way individuals, organisations and 
enterprises interact. But are they a priority for development cooperation, 
empowerment and poverty reduction? In a new book, jointly published by the 
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Global Knowledge 
Partnership (GKP), key innovators, government leaders, development experts, 
grass-roots practitioners and leading CEOs offer new and often unexpected 
answers to this and other questions. In
addition, readers of “ICT4D ­ Connecting People for a Better World” will
find a wealth of information related to concrete implementation of ICT
for development projects.

* The draft of the E-Government Strategy for Mozambique completed
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=he_1&x=30374>
14/01/2005 -- A team of Mozambican experts from the ICT Policy
Implementation Technical Unit (UTICT) and the Technical Unit of the
Public Sector Reform (UTRESP) is finishing the first draft of what will
hopefully become the E-Government Strategy. This draft will be submitted
for consultation and public debate, involving the public sector, civil
society, the private sector and partners of the international
community.

* The Report of the Task Force on Financial Mechanisms for ICT for
Development <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=he_1&x=30142>
10/01/2005 -- The World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), the first
phase of which was concluded in Geneva in 2003, recommended that “while
all existing financial mechanisms should be fully exploited to make
available the benefits of information and communication technologies, a
thorough review of their adequacy in meeting the challenges of ICT for
development should be completed by the end of December 2004. This review
shall be conducted by a Task Force under the auspices of the
Secretary-General of the United Nations and submitted for consideration
to the second phase of this summit.” The Secretary-General asked UNDP to
take the lead in setting up Task Force on Financial Mechanisms, in
collaboration with the World Bank and the United Nations Department of
Economic and Social Affairs and other key partners.

* Telecommunications Sector Policy Review Executive Summary Draft
1-01-2005 <http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=he_1&x=30383>
10/01/2005 -- The current telecommunications policy and regulatory
environment in Uganda was established through the telecommunications
sector policy framework of 1996, the Uganda Communications Act of 1997
(Laws of Uganda Cap 106), and the licenses that were issued to the two
National Operators. Key components of the policy strategy were the
creation of an independent regulator, implementation of a limited
competition period (specifically in basic telephony services, cellular
telecommunications and satellite services) and the unbundling of the
Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Corporation.


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RESOURCES

*A Guideline for NGOs for active participation in the WSIS 2005 in Tunis
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=re_1&x=30385>
The diploma thesis available here studies the impact of civil society on
the World Summit on the Information Society. Based on an analysis of the
Youth Caucus’ work it describes which practical steps are necessary to
feed NGO interests into global summit processes.
Produced by: Thomas Biebl

* New Handbook on Media Law in Southern Africa
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=he_1&x=29628>
The Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) and the Konrad Adenauer
Stiftung (KAS) have published a new handbook on media laws in Botswana,
Swaziland and Zambia, enabling journalists and press freedom advocates
to better understand the conditions under which media function in these
countries.


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UPCOMING EVENTS:

*26/01/2005*
World Social Forum 2005 <http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/home.asp>
The World Social Forum for 2005 will be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil
between January 26 -31. The World Social Forum has emerged as an
important space for dialogue between civil society actors dedicated to
alternative globalisation and the idea that "another world is possible".
The last Forum in Mumbai, India in January this year was attended by
80,000 people from over 130 countries and 2,660 organisations.

*27/01/2005*, Ghana
ICT for Government 2005 - An African Regional WSIS PrepCom Pre-Event
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=ee_1&x=25851>
ICT for Government 2005 is the third working conference on
Information and Communications Technology solutions for government
operations, egovernment and national development. ICT for Government
seeks to promote public/Private sector partnerships for the development
of solutions for all levels of government.

*28/01/2005*, Ghana
Africa Civil Society Forum
<http://africa.rights.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=he_1&x=30316>
The African Regional Preparatory Conference for the World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS) to be held from 2 to 4 February 2005 in
Accra, Ghana is set to kick off with a high level training for Civil
Society participants. The Civil Society Forum will take place on the
28th February as one of the pre-Conference workshops from 29 January to
1 February 2005.

*02/02/2005*, Ghana
WSIS Africa Regional Conference <http://www.wsisaccra2005.gov.gh/>
The African Regional Preparatory Conference for the World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS) will be held from 2 to 4 February 2005 in
Accra, Ghana. The theme for the conference is: Access, Africa's key to
an inclusive Information Society. The conference will be preceded by
pre-Conference workshops from 29 January to 1 February 2005.


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FEATURED ORGANIZATIONS:

*Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)
<http://www.citad.interconnection.org/>*
Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) is a
non-governmental and non-profit organization that is committed to the
use of information and communication technologies for development and
promotion of good governance. It was established first as a single
project (Computer Literacy Project) in 1996 but was expanded in 2000 to
include other projects.

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ABOUT APC

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an international
network of civil society organisations dedicated to empowering and
supporting groups and individuals through the strategic use of
information and communication technologies, especially internet-related
technologies. APC and its members in more than 30 countries pioneer
practical and relevant uses of ICTs for civil society. APC is an
international facilitator of civil society's engagement with ICTs and
related concerns, in both policy and practice.
APC: http://www.apc.org.

APC and ICT Policy Advocacy in Africa

APC's Communications and Information Policy Programme aims to contribute
to more enabling ICT policy environments through promoting inclusive
policy processes. In Africa APC is doing this through the Africa ICT
Policy Monitor project which aims to enable civil society organisations
to engage in ICT policy development to promote an information society
based on social justice and human rights.

APC's Africa ICT Policy Monitor: http://africa.rights.apc.org

The APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor is supported by HIVOS and the
International Research Development Centre (IDRC).


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