AfrikaCamp Vienna – Interviews

(cc) Walter Krivanek, www.vividvisions.com

(cc) Walter Krivanek, www.vividvisions.com

Just a list of the people interviewed at AfrikaCamp – the interviews will be on the ICT4D.at youtube channel soon.

PS: We won’t upload all the material, partly because people didn’t want the interviews to be online, partly because the interviews were too short.

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AfrikaCamp Vienna – Interviews
was published on 03.02.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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AfrikaCamp Vienna – Sessions 2

(cc) Walter Krivanek, www.vividvisions.com

(cc) Walter Krivanek, www.vividvisions.com

Notes from Saturdays AfrikaCamp Vienna. Overview of the sessions can be viewed at the AfrikaCamp wiki.

Session 4 and 5 were our presentations, so I didn’t note down anything.

The platform ICT4D.at – who we are, what we do – Martin Konzett, Florian Sturm

ICT4D.at – UZI, the movie – Anders Bolin

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Business driven Philantropy – Business development platform

Big problem: poverty – can it be eliminated?

Businesses have to help

  • philantropy is not the same as charity

Solution:

  • social entrepreneurship
  • philantro-capitalism – business driven philosophy
  • microfinancing – really works

Example: Maya One

  • network of partners
  • spending 3% of profit to an NGO
  • school projects for child laborers
  • reward: partners help each other
  • cyclic

I have to admit that I didn’t really get the concept of this business driven philantropy – how is it different than just donating a certain percentage of the profit for a good cause just for marketing reasons? Maybe somebody can comment on that?

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OpenStreetMap – Helge Fahrnberger

There is no proper street map of Burkina Faso. The ones that exist are not accurate and quite expensive.

Solution:

  • crowd-sourcing mapping of the world
  • OpenStreetMap
  • CC licensed version of Google Maps
  • these maps can also be used for commercial reasons

Helges plan:

  • creation of a digital street map of Ouagadougou (capital)
  • donation to printing services there

Ouagadougou is currently not really present in Google Maps, but almost fully covered in OSM

Consequences:

  • it is very easy to create maps for any country
  • these maps are available for free
  • local people can map their city

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HandyÖkonomie in Afrika – Christoph Chorherr

How is money on mobile phones created?

At the ITHUBA project:

  • until now there is no internet because the cables are always stolen
  • but everybody has a mobile phone

Here there are ATMs all around, but how do you pay when there are no ATMs?

-> Mobile Banking

Mobile phone companies see a business there and support this development

  • a virtual currency is created
  • prepaid airtime
  • without interest
  • it is not possible to accumulate money, it would lose its value
  • economic theory: Schwundgeld

Money is transferred over wide distances this way

  • e.g. in Tanzania parents transfer money to their children this way
  • Kenya: M-Pesa

What would happen if a mobile phone company stopped its business?

  • all the airtime would lose its value
  • lacking trust

Nokia has a strong focus on driving forward these development

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AfrikaCamp Vienna – Sessions 2
was published on 02.02.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under middle east and north africa, sub saharan africa
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AfrikaCamp Vienna – Sessions 1

(cc) Walter Krivanek, www.vividvisions.com

(cc) Walter Krivanek, www.vividvisions.com

After attending AfrikaCamp Vienna yesterday, I want to share my notes on some of the sessions. As there were parallel sessions and we had two presentations, I couldn’t attend all of them. There is also the AfrikaCamp wiki on barcamp.at where the sessions are listed.

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HIV AIDS und Human Rights AdvocacyFlorian Schirg

Florian talked about his experiences when doing his civil service in Cameroon at a hospital.

Although the work there was quite rewarding and interesting for him, generally it is hard to motivate local people want to work there, as the connectivity in the area is quite bad and it is hard to get access to a mobile phone network or the internet. The only doctor working there right now is Austrian. The next internet connection is a one day travel away.

Now an Northern American church organization wants to install an ERP system there, to make processes more efficient.

Florian raised the question if this project would make any sense taking into account that

  • there are not enough employees
  • there are no local people capable of maintaining the system
  • electricity is not constantly available

and asked for input from the audience.

The subsequent comments from the audience were mainly critical towards the lacking communication between the Northern American sponsors and the local church and hospital. Most people agreed that the project was bound to fail and the approach not to involve local people was ignorant and antiquated.

Another remark was that enhanced connectivity would motivate more people to go there. With mobile network coverage and internet connection people wouldn’t feel as far away any more.

Organization in Vorarlberg: http://www.kamerunpartner.com
Church: http://www.oseelc.org/
Blog: http://florian.nomadlife.org/

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Peak oil und Afrika – Michael Cerveny

Peak oil: the climax in oil production followed by a constant decline and a sharp raise of the oil price – what are the effects on Africa?

Energy is the most important resource in the world, especially oil can cover the worldwide consumption. The production of oil will have its peak some time between 2010 and 2030 which will cause a sudden scarceness and result in a price explosion. This will definitely change the world, how will it affect different societies?

Consequences in Austria:

  • everything will become more expensive, especially energy-intense products and food
  • standard family:
  • about 3000€ additional costs for heating per year
  • 700€ more for fuel per year

How will it affect Africa?

Comments from the audience:

Agriculture in Africa is not that energy-intensive, it’s more labour-intensive. That’s why maybe the peak-oil will affect Africa less than other regions of the world.

Most of the African countries would have enough production to sustain themselves without imports. If the countries manage to organize the work efficiently and build up an active market, they would not be dependent on foreign countries so much any more. Inner-African trade is also important.

Right now the agricultural market in many countries of Africa is destroayed through subsidized imports from Western countries. Raising costs for industrial agriculture could correct this imbalance.

In many African countries the Western lifestyle serves as an ideal for a lot of people. So people here have the obligation to change their behaviour before demanding changes from others.

It is substantial to foster education, but on the other hand also production in these countries. NGOs often don’t invest, but donate. This does not help to develop a healthy economy.

Video cast from Christoph Chorherr interviewing Michael Cerveny.

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Web 2.0 für große NGOs – Björn Stockleben

New donation-platforms such as Betterplace or Kiva offer their users a very personal connection to development assistance projects. For big NGOs this project-based approach is not practical as projects are organized at different levels of the organization. So the existing platforms are not used by big NGOs. How can they overcome this dilemma?

Björn suggested a cetral approach for a donations-platform, where all the organizations can upload their projects. To offer an enhanced persoalization, the project desctiptions could be accessed through an API and made visible depending on where they are integrated.

Comments from the audience:

Do NGOs even want that? Is there a demand for this type of platform?

It is important to identify oneself with the NGO and the project as donator. There is no sense for NGOs to compete with 1000 others for donators, if they cannot offer a personal connection to the projects.

Decentralization is vital, every NGO can create their own network with the tools which are already there (e.g. Facebook, …).

NGOs do not have the interest to create a network, when it comes to surviving, the aims are put behind.
-> This is not true, there are a lot of networks such as Globale Verantwortung or Ökobüro. Networking takes place in the exchange of experience, when it comes to donations every NGO works on its own.

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AfrikaCamp Vienna – Sessions 1
was published on 01.02.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under middle east and north africa, sub saharan africa
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