Planning for a new project & presentation at Ars Electronica

Although we haven’t announced any news during the summer, we were not only travelling and relaxing but we were also working behind the scenes.

One major outcome is a proposal for a new project in Ghana with exciting local and Austrian partners, which we want to start later this year.  The main objective of this project

is to equip teachers in public schools with skills in internet research and presentation to support their teaching and learning process” [quote from our proposal]

By assisting teachers to use the internet, we think several aspects in education can be improved. This in turn makes not only the teachers, but the students and other stakeholders benefit. By teaching teachers, we are aiming for a multiplier effect and replication across the country.

We will publish more about the project and our partners (Ghana: Worlali Senyo, Charles Amega Selrom, Gameli Adzaho;Austria: Prof. Emerita Maragete Grimus) as soon as we’re finished planning and have concrete dates.

However, we will present the proposal on 1. September in Linz at the event “Mein Beitrag zum Wandel” at the “Create Your World” subfestival of “Festival Ars Electronica”.

Check here for the exact time and date of the “Create Your World” event.

We’re proud to get the chance to present there and I’m sure we’ll get to know many interested and interesting people.

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Planning for a new project & presentation at Ars Electronica
was published on 27.08.2011 by Florian Sturm. It files under sub saharan africa
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oneVillageFoundation Ghana

The oneVillageFoundation is an international foundation aiming at promoting the use of

Information Communication Technology (ICT) to address World Urgent Issues, by providing a platform for an integrated approach to sustainable development” [from the oneVilageFoundation homepage]

It was founded in the US and currently operates also in Ghana, Nigeria and Taiwan.

Recently me and ICT4D.at fellow Worlali Senyo went to Winneba, Ghana, to meet the people behind oneVillageFoundation Ghana and to look at their projects.

Winneba is the main base of the oneVillageFoundation in Ghana, they have a building with offices and computer rooms there. Jacob Odame and Kafui Prebbie welcomed us and gave a short presentation of the projects which oneVillageFoundation is currently supporting, and the objectives of oneVillageFoundation Ghana in general.

In Winneba the foundation provides computer classes, an internet cafe, acts as local partner for appropriate technology company Inveneo and has a NComputing sample solution set up. The latter two help a lot in their efforts to give consulting for other organizations who want to introduce ICT solutions.

The computer room is built with the already mentioned NComputing device, a tiny and almost no energy consuming device which allows to split up the computing power of one PC to up to four workplaces – with monitor, mouse and keyboard each. This basically allows everyone to open up an internet cafe or easily equip a computer room with low equipment and energy costs. Due to the low power consumption it’s also possible to easily implement a backup power source as well as to minimize the cooling efforts – things which are of critical importance in a country like Ghana.

Another way the organization serves the surrounding communities is by sharing their internet conection with them. This is done with the German software Freifunk which allows to easily create large mesh networks by utilizing antennas and commonly available routers. This way only one participant of the network has to offer the conncetion to the intenet to make everybody profit. The same works in some cities in Austria with the initiative Funkfeuer.

oneVillageFoundation Ghana is also part of several international projects, such as the Wireless Africa initiative aiming at promoting Community Owned Information Networks or the EU-initiated Digital World Forum focusing on the use of ICT to leverage economic development in Africa and Latin America.

After a short walk through oneVillageFoundation’s facilities we had a discussion on how to get cheap internet to as many people as possible in Ghana – also mentioning several former UNDP efforts, the recent foundation of the Ghana Network Operators Group (ghNOG) which is a “forum for the exchange of technical information to ensure stability of the Internet Services in Ghana” and the Ghana Connect initiative.

It was inspiring to see the innovative and highly appropriate installations oneVillageFoundation implemented. Also I am curious if their solutions will spread over Ghana in the future, increasing internet access by simple means. Thumbs up for Kafui, Jacob and their co-workers who do a good job serving a lot of people.

If you want to know more about them and their projects check out the oneVillageFoundation homepage or the oneVillageFoundation blog.

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oneVillageFoundation Ghana
was published on 23.09.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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MobileActive08 interview: Introducing Streetwise

For the time being this is the last video interview that we will introduce through the MobileActive08 podcast series. And we have saved a really exciting interview to conclude this series!

In the video below Chris Williamson from Psitek (a South Africa-based innovative product development company) introduces Streetwise – a mobile computing device that aims to to provide students with lean Internet services, like e-mail or news. The entire device was designed and engineered by Psitek. It comes with a replaceable, durable keyboard and a GPRS antenna that provides Internet access through a SIM card. The device runs on a standard mobile phone battery, but can also be driven on a car battery.

Make sure to watch the second part of the video, where Chris shows this ground-breaking device and explains its features in detail.

Streetwise has also been mentioned recently on WhiteAfrican.com.

This is the 20th and last interview from our MobileActive08 video podcast series, shot at the conference in Johannesburg (organized by MobileActive and sangonet).

Stay tuned for the next video podcast series, which will start soon!

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MobileActive08 interview: Introducing Streetwise
was published on 06.04.2009 by Martin Tomitsch. It files under global
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Where to surf in Kigali? Kids know.

An article today in the online edition of a major Swedish newspaper, DN.se, tells about young Rwandan’s internet behaviours (in Swedish only). Rwanda has so far delivered 5.000 OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) units to kids, and plan to ship no less than 50.000 more units this year alone. The government has set up an ambitious IT plan for the country, which is to provide internet connection to all schools for older children, in most schools for younger children and all state offices by the year 2020.

The article goes on to say that Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is one of the best cities in Africa to get internet access with decent speed everywhere around, especially in cafés. Apparently the airport in Kigali has the best, free wi-fi connection available, and the article features four kids sitting outside the airport, googling on their OLPC’s for hours after pictures of their action heroes Jean-Claude van Damme and Bruce Lee.

(Photo by Anna Koblanck)

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Where to surf in Kigali? Kids know.
was published on 21.02.2009 by Anders Bolin. It files under sub saharan africa
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Affordable mobile phones from Nokia

Nokia released a press release today, announcing that they will introduce affordable mobile phones by the end of November. This is part of Nokia’s ongoing effort to bridge the digital divide. Retail prices for the mobile phones will be starting at 25 EUR.

Nokia further announced the release of Internet services for the emerging market. The services will be available in 2009. They will cover applications and domains like e-mail, agriculture, and health. For example, Mail on Ovi allows users to create an e-mail account directly on the mobile phone. A trial of this service will start by the end of November.

It will be interesting to see the impact of the new devices and services on developing countries in the next months.

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Affordable mobile phones from Nokia
was published on 04.11.2008 by Martin Tomitsch. It files under global
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Interesting projects – Nabuur

Just a quick link to Ethan Zuckermans blog, where he introduces a project called Nabuur.

It’s about volunteering in ICT4D projects in developing countries over the web – like translating a web page or doing research on questions like “How much does it costs to ship 30 computers from the UK to Ghana?”

It makes it really easy to help, even from in front of a computer in any developed country.

Here’s the link to the entry, check out the project.

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Interesting projects – Nabuur
was published on 08.08.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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