The ICT4DMZ project is now running quite a while and after three amazing weeks in Maputo we are one big step further to reach our goals. Philipp and I (Paul Spiesberger) tried to bring the students of the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo on the right track.
In more than eight workshops we gave them the tools and the knowledge to start programming for their projects. At the beginning we tried to find out on which level their skills are and what we can expect. From that point on we knew that we will have to give them a short introduction to modern software development in a team as well. Up to that day the students were exchanging code with Dropbox and they had almost no structure or/and organisation for their teamwork. At that time we were glad that Florian and Anders did great work a few months ago. They helped them with team roles and project documentation a lot. So it was not necessary to cover that important part too. In order to give them an easy tool to handle their code and the organisation of their projects, we introduced them to GIT and Bitbucket. The students were impressed by the GIT workshop and we were happy to see over the next days that some of them were porting their “Dropbox projects” to their new GIT repositories. Working with Bitbucket-Issues was not that successful at the beginning, but we are sure that this will change over time. From that point on we were ready for programming and we split up the group by the two projects:
The goal of this project is to create a website which can handle complaints about a company or a product. It should gather information or feedback and help to improve their services. Philipp started with a short tutorial about the PlayFramework and helped to set everything up. After that he assisted with his expertise as much as he could.
The other group is working on an Android app for students to find POI like lecture rooms, Wifi hotspots or public power plugs at the UEM campus. I started to teach them the basics of Android programming and helped them to set up the project. Since Java programming and developing for Android are quite different, it took a little bit longer to write the first line of code. I tried to explain step by step the important parts and assisted as much as I could.
In total we worked about 27 hours in three weeks with the students. We had some troubles finding the right time slots for all students, since they had different time schedules during their weeks. Especially at the beginning we did some workshops twice, so no one missed the introductions to the technologies. After that, not all students attended to our workshops all the time, but we were never alone.
From now on, we will assist via Skype and e-mail remotely from Austria. We have a good feeling for the outgoing of the projects and hopefully the students keep engaged in the next months as they were during our workshops.
During our stay we also helped the UEM to use Moodle for a first test run. We hope that in the future this modern way of IT supported teaching will be expanded to other lectures and faculties to strengthen the teaching abilities at the UEM.
In addition Philipp and I were working hard on our master thesis. Philipp is doing research on big data for emerging countries and for that he conducted some expert interviews. I am interested in user interface design for mobile devices in emerging countries like Mozambique. So I did a survey with students to find out their mobile phone usage and habits.
Of course we also found time to travel and to take a look at this beautiful country. When you talk to people in Mozambique, experience the beautiful landscape and take the time to look behind the curtain, then you get the feeling that this country is moving fast forward. The question is in which direction. The currently discovered massive resources (minerals, oil, gas) can have a positive or a negative impact to the society. There is also a new party growing really fast and it is gaining more and more influence. In the last few months the country was almost slipping into a new civil war. But one week before we arrived, they managed to find a compromise and elections are going to happen in the future. But I think that despite the fact of great poverty, corruption and the lack of education, Mozambique has the ability to find the way to a great and rich future.
Last but not least I would like to say thank you to Emilio Mosse and Andrei Shindyapin. We are lucky to have this partner and friends in Maputo, who are willing to share their valuable time and love with us. Also a big thank you to the students for their great effort and time!
Philipp and I are excited to continue the work and we are looking forward to meeting our friends in Maputo again.
Modern software development workshops at the UEM Maptuo
was published on 03.03.2014 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under sub saharan africa
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From November 28-29 ICT4D.at was participating at the 2012 EU-Africa Cooperation Forum on ICT in Lisbon, Portugal and successfully presenting the ICT4D.MZ project to the community of experts, researchers, business people and policy makers in the context of ICT and EU-African partnerships.
The hashtag for the event was #EuroAfricaICT2012 and we covered the main panels and discussions live via our Twitterfeed. The steady stream of acronyms, abbreviations and ICT lingo fits nicely in the limited microblogging format and it was a good way to make sense of all the information coming up. The twitterwall behind the speakers’ panel was good for grasping the main talking points, but a bit of a distraction when presented during an ongoing session. It also functioned as an indirect Q&A-session for the audience to bring up issues not covered in the session. Thus the meta-reality feedback loop was complete.
The informative Welcoming speeches included talks by Commissioners from both the African and the European Union (Moctar Yedaly and Zoran Stančič). A Keynote Address by Ilari Patrick Lindy from the World Bank Institute draw our attention to an interesting study on eTransformation of ICT in Africa. Harry De Backer from the EEAS (European External Action Service) was giving an overview in how ICT funding has changed in the recent years.
We were happy to find out about other innovative projects in the field, such as the KINU Hub in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania co-founded by Catherinerose Barrett and the *iHub in Nairobi, Kenya presented by Jessica Colaço. Furthermore we were happy to meet Walter Mayer from ProGIS Software, an expert in Geo-information system and Felipe Batista from ARCTEL-CPLP, the Association of Communication and Telecommunication Regulators in the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries. We can also proudly report, that we have witnessed the official launch of the UbuntuNet Alliance and Africa-Connect.
The whole event was executed flawlessly by the very welcoming hosts, a rich experience and a overall nice time in the beautiful city of Lisboa. Obrigada! Obrigado!
Teeth for Africa – http://www.zaehnefuerafrika.com/en/
“Dentist family project”, started in 2006
1 hour from Arusha, in the Kilimanjaro region (Tanzania) there was a lack of dental health care
They took all dental care and other medical equipment they could get in Austria, put it in a container and shipped it to the local dispensary in Uchira
Worked together with local people to build up dentist surgery
Taught local technician to build tooth-protheses
Surgeries initially done by specialists from Austria – 3 family members are dentists – but since October 2011 there’s a local dentist
Several sponsors – university clinic, other dentists, dental companies
Cooperation with Med-Uni Graz
- students can have an internship in Uchira
Local dentist & technician are working together in the mean time and everyday dental care is working ok
Treatment is not for free because people have to get a salary, rent for rooms, …
- depending on salary of patients
Supporting the project – on the homepage
ICT4D – (what to do with) IT and mobile phones in “developing countries”
Laafi – rural hospitals in Burkina Faso – http://www.laafi.at/
Since 1994, 14 members, financing health projects in Burkina Faso
Costs are covered by donations and
Usually 1 hospital for an area with 10.000-20.000 people
- medical care in the hospital
- awareness about hygiene in the villages
- family planning
Burkina Faso has a national initiative to supply all areas in the country with hospitals – but there is no state budget for it; but the personnel is sent to hospitals which are built by other initiatives
- looking for projects
- working with village community and medical personnel
- co-financing by the village community (20-30%)
- local companies, local resources
- control and evaluation on the spot
- sticking to reliable project partners
Several projects in Burkina Faso
General medical situation very basic
- 1/3 Laafi calendar
- 1/3 private supporters
- 1/3 institutional donations
Social Media for NGOs
Prezi-presentation at http://prezi.com/npk3rwlixuks/social-media-fur-ngos/
Further material online
Resources at the Afrika-Camp site: http://www.barcamp.at/Speakers_AfrikaCamp_Graz_2011
Arabian Spring – a social media revolution – Prezi: http://prezi.com/hsdnvfkq_k7g/arabischer-fruhling-eine-social-media-revolution/
Social Media in Africa – Prezi: http://prezi.com/wumvtu_gvmdx/social-media-in-afrika/
Micro Credits as a measure to extend capitalist production
In the mean time more than 100 million people received micro-credits; counting all members of the family there are soon 1 billion people affected by microcredits
More and more institutions are entering the market (becuase they see the possibility for profit) which results into competition and more focus on profit than on information and assistance
Interest rates become higher and more and more people are not able to pay back the microcredits
- many cases for this (India, suicide of farmers)
- social pressure to pay back loans
- sometimes physical force is used to pay back loans
People receiving microcredits often don’t make the step to become independent entrepreneurs and therefore become workers who have no option, only to sell their work force
–> Extension of the capitalist production circumstances
–> People become dependent on private companies/NGOs/institutions and not the state anymore (social system)
–> Makes situation of the people worse, not better
–> The assumption that “social capitalism” works is wrong, as soon as there is competition, the companies who don’t care about social standards win – in general and in our current system
Mojoproject – www.mojoproject.org
Started as building project TU Graz – connected with ITHUBA
– Mojo fullscale stodio – not for profit
– Mojo architectural studio – for profit
Trying to improve the situation by providing education
Active in South Africa & Tanzania – 2 schools each
Building schools in townships & rural areas
- Also important who runs the school
- Focusing on educating women
- Integrating young local men in the building of the schools – teaching them crafting skills on the job
Planning, building and also raising money themselves
- student project as initial kickstart – half year of a lot of work
- need project partners – universities, NGOs, companies, many sponsors
Open for additional projects from other organisations
Final aim – local people learn building skills and can act independently
Learning from the slum Kibera – from a land use planning perspective
Taking lessons from Kibera to architectural planning projects in the West
- slum in Nairobi
- ~1 million inhabitants
Hierarchy of space
- 1. public spaces for all
- 2. public spaces for private activities
- 3. spaces for reaching other places
- core elements – living space and courtyard
System that emerged without architects
- Partition between public and private spaces much more logical & natural than in the west
- clear borders between private and public – also athmospherical
- small clusters of private spaces gathering around public spaces
- spaces spiraling from public to private spaces
Systemic approach – inside vs. outside
- clear “rules” that distinguish places inside and outside these different spaces structures
- addition of structures from North to South
- Kibera as an “island”
Public space as more flexible entity – created and changed based on community input
No strict partitions as in the West – no more fighting fore public space
Learning from “slum cultures”
- If you are off-the-grid and need to use batteries, don’t used lead car batteries, which can cause big problems if/when they tip over, even if they are commonly available. Use sealed AGM batteries instead.
- Let’s be honest: In most cases, there are too few computers in a school for too manystudents, and it is difficult to integrate their use into normal instruction. Don’t make things more difficult by segregating computers into their own special rooms (e.g. computer labs). Instead, take the technology to the teachers and students where they are currently teaching and learning — in the classroom itself — and use tools like projectors and interactive whiteboards that impact as many students as possible at one time. (While you’re at it, be prepared to spend more on teacher training and support than on the technology itself.)
- Given a choice (and there is a choice more often that you might think!), always search for local products (or, barring that, products that can be assembled locally) instead of immediately looking to import goods from abroad — this can be key to keeping costs down and keeping your supply chain as local as possible. This approach applies as much to the PVC material that they use for the portable ‘interactive whiteboards’ that they have assembled as to lesson plans, which are developed locally.
- Here’s a short promotional video from Cybersmart Africa showing off its work. (A hint: watch it first with the sound off to focus on what classrooms in participating pilot schools actually look like)
- Here are some interviews with school leaders (don’t turn the sound down on this one!) and a short explanation of how text messages (SMS) are being used in conjunction with low cost interactive whiteboards to support teachers.
- Cybersmart has also posted 17 student-made videos, put together as a result of a special ‘digital storytelling’ initiative it sponsored. The idea here was first to gain the confidence and support of parents and community leaders by extend traditional storytelling customs into the digital realm, before moving on to other things. The result: 17 portraits of contemporary village life in Senegal.
AfrikaCamp Graz will bring together people interested in Africa and IT to talk about projects, ideas and generally to network. We’ll definitely be there and maybe present lessons learned from our Zanzicode project or our upcoming project in Ghana.
It’s the second AfrikaCamp in Austria, the first took place in Vienna in 2009 and we did some coverage here on our blog – AfrikaCamp Vienna Aftermath.
So, if you’re in Austria at that time, make sure to join the AfrikaCamp.
What: AfrikaCamp Graz 2011
When: 26. November 2011
Where: Graz, exact location will be announced at the AfrikaCamp page
Inaugural TEDxYouthInspire will bring together those with “A Good Head & A Good Heart”
On Saturday, April 10, 2010, from 8:00AM – 6PM GMT, the inaugural TEDxYouthInspire conference will be held at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT in Accra, Ghana. The free one-day event, a first for young African visionaries ages 14-25, will welcome a host of youth speakers, a Ghanaian dance ensemble and an Academy Award-nominated short film. Organized along the theme “A Good Head & A Good Heart”, taken from Nelson Mandela’s 1995 autobiography Long Walk to Freedom, TEDxYouthInspire will exhibit how radical thought and integrity of spirit combine to create unlimited possibilities for a brighter future. “The outpouring of support for TEDxYouthInspire exemplifies the need for more events like this for young people,” says Raquel Wilson, event curator, “As our speaker line-up suggests, youth everywhere are ready to solidify their contributions towards making the world a better place.” TEDxYouthInspire welcomes the following speakers to give the talks of their lives:
Iyinoluwa E. Aboyeji, 18, a Nigerian teenager with a passion for philosophy, global politics and economics, is President of the Board for University of Waterloo publication Imprint. Using his weekly column “E is for Error” to discuss development and post secondary education, he aspires to be a tenured professor by age 25.
The Asanti Dance Theatre is a dynamic ensemble that combines traditional, contemporary and freestyle dancing along with drumming. Founded in 2003, the group raises awareness of prominent issues facing West Africa and is dedicated to developing and preserving the cultural heritage of Ghana.
Yawa Hansen-Quao, 26, is a women’s empowerment activist and firmly advocates that “one cannot love an Africa one does not know.” Believing that women must play a central role in spurring economic and social advancement in Africa, Yawa supports travel as a tool to “transform people without permission”.
Mac-Jordan Holdbrookes-Degadjor, 25, a social media activist, is passionate about Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), youth empowerment and ending poverty through education. With three blogs to his credit, he often writes about global events, social entrepreneurship, traveling and how it feels to be a geek in Ghana.
Shirley Osei-Mensah, 18, is an Internet entrepreneur and student at Keystone National High School. Unable to attend a regular classroom, she takes all coursework online and uses her web exposure to inspire others, provide tips about entrepreneurship and advise on earning an income online.
Esi Yankah, 25, is founder and president of The Africa Mentor Network and creative director for Yankah and Associates. Cautious to always live a life that is cheerful and purposeful, she does not believe that entrepreneurs are an extraordinary breed of people; rather, as she explains, “We just back our faith with action.”
Ghana Google Country Manager Estelle Akofio-Sowah will host TEDxYouthInspire.
TEDxYouthInspire is sold out, however, a live web steam of the event will be available online at LiveStream. Individual and corporate sponsorship packages are still available. Additional information about TEDxYouthInspire can be found by visiting www.tedxyouthinspire.org. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tedxyouthinspir or Facebook at www.facebook.com/tedxyouthinspire.
We are proud to announce that our flickr group Images FOR Africa reached 10.000 pieces some days ago. From the Images FOR Africa description:
We want to collect ‘Images of Africa’ that are ‘free to use’ according to a Creative Commons License: Social documentary, structures, public transport, village life, poverty, nature, wildlife … everything!
There is no special purpose other than spreading/providing Africa related, CC licensed photos in media:
so they can be used free of charge by e.g.:
– Africa related NGOs/NPOS to do proper media-work,
– local business initiatives for their web presence,
– upcoming journalists,
We took this round lot of 10.000 and created a flickr gallery where we curate the best picks from the group. Based on this beautiful sample we are looking forward to print some shots and try to organize an exhibition.
Click on the image to get to the gallery:
Just a short remark on the group: A lot of people add their images ‘blind’ and don’t license the images as “creative commons” before they post to the group. We assume that these flickr users at least read the group rules but don’t know about creative commons and want to support the cause anyway.
If you want to use the picture for some purpose, just write the user who shot it. Describe what you will use it for and reference to the group rules. If the user is not ok with it, we will have to remove the picture from our group pool. Just send a message to our flickr account in that case.
“Images FOR Africa” hits 10.000 pieces
was published on 21.02.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under east africa, middle east and north africa, sub saharan africa
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16 years ago, an Internet Community from Ghana connected West Africa to the Internet and transferred this knowledge to other countries in Africa. Sadly, this community has been ignored over the years and no wonder Ghana has lost its presence on the global internet space with an internet penetration rate lower than the average on the African continent.
The President of Internet Society, Ghana Chapter (ISOCgh) Mr. Daniel Obuobi in a welcome address recounted how Internet Technology workshop had started in 1993 and since then to 2000 eight countries have held such workshops. The localizing of such workshops became more important so as to reduce the cost of travels and increase participation as well as build capacity on the continent. The results, was the birth of African Network Operators Group (AfNOG) with Internet Society (ISOC) facilitating and providing support. In this same regard, the ISOCgh accepted the challenge of localizing AfNOG EO track (Unix System Administration) home. This got strong approval from ISOC and the University of Cape Coast opted to facilitate the process by hosting the first ever AfNOG EO localization workshop/conference.
To feather extend the localization drive the Ghana Network Operators Group (ghNOG) was born on the 31st day of July, 2009 at the University of Cape Coast for which I am more than excited to be part of. The ghNOG is a “forum for the exchange of technical information to ensure stability of the Internet Services in Ghana” with the aim of creating a community for sharing experiences and technical challenges on setting up, building and running IP networks in Ghana.
The event begun on 27th July with participants from government, education, industry and Non-governmental organization been taken through Unix System Administration using the Free BSD (ghNOG-1). Topics covered included; Unix concepts, FreeBSD installation, DNS concepts, configurations and delegations, Apache and Virtual Hosts, Email systems using exim, System Log Management and Backups. The climax of the event was the outdooring ceremony of the new baby ghNOG. The President of ISOCgh hoped to see a vibrant ghNOG working closely with ISOC Ghana to organize technical workshops, conferences and annual meeting at various venues across the country to build capacity.
Mr. Michuki Mwangi, Senior Education Manger, ISOC in a short message was excited to be part because one Ghana was close to his heart and also he attended an AfNOG training that was organized in Ghana in 2001 which marked the start of this career and has made him who he is today. As he puts it “to give back to the community that help changed me”. Mr. Michuki was an instructor at the workshop. Sharing with the audience a story on Skunkworks in his home country Kenya. Skunkworks is mailing list of young and upcoming engineers who with little or no resources are helping solve problems, making great innovation and helping local authorities to know where to go for help. “Its not perfect but has filled a void” Michuki said. He recommended that, Ghana develop these communities along a common line that bring the youth, young engineers together to harness their talent since it was difficult to get find such talents in our part of the world in a group.
AfNOG Convener and board member of ICANN, Prof. Nii Quaynor in his message applauded the development of internet operators groups which in May 2000 gave birth to AfNOG in Cape Town South Africa. At the 10th anniversary of AfNOG in Cairo, Egypt in May 2009, the role of NOG’s became even more apparent and important and as he noted “the growth of the internet network simply demanded more technical capacity of operators who had to coordinate and communicate better”.
The Internet Technical Community through ghNOG will deliver;
- ghNIC domain name registry,
- W3C office,
- AfrNIC training office and more… he added.
The two key success factors Prof. Quaynor noted were; extent of engagement of the community and policy environments. One interesting question he asked was the “e-Readiness of our Judiciary to handle IT related cases at IT speeds” an experience his own company Network Computer Systems (NCS) had suffered from.
“the Internet Technical Community is our only weapon to prevent the digital divide”
Concluding his speech, he wished ghNOG and its trainers and trainees to be missionaries/ revolutionaries who will champion internet development and selflessly serve their communities. “Ghana deserves an Internet renaissance” he added.
In the keynote address by the Hon. Deputy Minister of Communication Hon. Gideon Quarcoo, commended ISOCgh for its work in bringing to the forefront the importance of the Internet as an indispensable tool that we can use to accelerate the socio-economic development of the country and creating a forum for the exchange of technical information, sharing of experience and capacity-building for the industry given the constraints. The Minister called on all the internet fraternity to join hands with Government in addressing the security threats confronting the development of the Internet in general. He noted that in the area of legislation, the Ghana’s Electronic Transactions Act, 2008 (Act 772) which among others, will help develop a safe, secure and effective environment for the conduct of electronic transactions.
He charged the ghNOG to complement Government’s efforts and provide practical and meaningful measure that can help control the menace of security. The Ministry of Communication has developed a comprehensive e-security policy that has identified eleven priority areas to secure the country’s systems, infrastructure and information he added. A copy of which he is presenting to ghNOG for study and guidance in its operations. He also mentioned an e-Security Policy document which was part of the Ministry’s arrangement for the establishment of a national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). He again noted that the Ministry was enjoying goodwill from Industry and this will enable it establish a governing Board for the Internet Registry and facilitate multi-stakeholder participation in the management of Ghana’s domain name space.
“Government is also working to reduce the cost of bandwidth to promote the growth of the industry” he added.
He stated “Let us collectively strive first and foremost, to protect the internet and build confidence in its usage. There is so much expectation out there, and we dare not fail in our endeavour”
The Ghana Network Operators Group (ghNOG) was then formally declared duly launched by the Hon. Deputy Ministry. And promised the Ministry’s and Governments support and cooperation to the community at all times.
The board for ghNOG was inaugurate and were made of 6 members with Mr. Ernest Brown as interim Convener.
Presentation sessions were organized;
- Mr. Ayitey Bully, Technical coordinator, AfrNOG presented on the Role of NOGs in National Development.
- Prof. Dakubu, GARNET, UG presented on Roles of NRENS in National Development.
- Prof. Nii Quaynor, Convener, AfNOG presentation was on IGF: A Multi-stakeholder Process
- Towards an Improved National Internet Infrastructure: Prospects & Challenges -by Ezer Yeboah-Boateng (for GISPA)
- Mr. Issah Yahaya Director, Ministry of Communication presented on New ICT Initiative for Accelerated Development
- Presentation on ccTLD as a Backbone to Information Society was by Eric Akumiah, GM, Africa Top Level domain organization
ghNOG will be have a series of training workshops in the months details of which will be had available on the site.
The International Journal of ICT Research and Development in Africa (IJICTRDA) is a new journal on research, advanced analytical methods and techniques, leading e-innovations, and development policies in information and communication technology adoption and diffusion in Africa and around the globe.
Topics that will be covered in the journal include ICT applications in agriculture and rural development, agribusiness supply chain management, coordination and integration, food security, poverty alleviation, food and agricultural marketing linkages, and rural financial service delivery.
The Editor-in-Chief currently invites authors to consider submitting articles to be featured in the inaugural issue of the journal. Articles may report on empirical research investigations, theoretical frameworks, case studies and major trends in ICT applications in food and agriculture, and rural development.
Being member of the Editorial Advisory Board of IJICTRDA, I’m especially looking forward to seeing submissions on case studies with an emphasis on interaction design and the design process in general. We will also cover published articles on this weblog, once the first journal is out.