Africa: NGOs and Electronic Communication, 04/29/02

Africa: NGOs and Electronic Communication, 04/29/02

Africa: NGOs and Electronic Communication Date distributed (ymd): 020429 Document reposted by Africa Action

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Region: Continent-Wide Issue Areas: +economy/development++gender/women+


Despite limitations of resources and cost of internet access, large numbers of African non-governmental organizations, both on the continent and in the diaspora, are making effective use of internet communications tools, including e-mail and the web. This posting contains information recently sent to us from two such ventures, Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) and Ghana Computer Literacy & Distance Education (GhaCLAD).

For additional information see the websites of these organizations cited below. Other similar resources can be found on, a non-profit organisation that seeks to use technology to strengthen organisations working to improve the lives of people in Africa. Kabissa provides a variety of internet services to its partner organizations, and also collaborates with Fahamu ( and Sangonet ( in publication of the weekly Pambazuka News (, going to more than 7,500 readers. Pambazuka News provides African viewpoints on important advocacy issues as well as direct, timely access to essential news and information relevant to Africa, including links to hundreds of online resources each week.

Further sources can be found through links in the country pages at

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WOUGNET Update Newsletter - April 2002

Here is a list of what's new at the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) website - For comments or queries, please contact

To subscribe/unsubscribe to the WOUGNET Update Newsletter, send a message to with the following command in the subject or body of your message: subscribe/unsubscribe



* Ntulume Village Women's Development Association (NVIWODA) NVIWODA strives to create a window of opportunity for promotion of a sustainable social, political and economic empowerment of women. In line with this, NVIWODA established a Centre for Women Entreprenuership and Career Development to impart entreprenuerial and technological skills to the grassroot women. NVIWODA focuses on fully equipping women with technical skills as well as enabling women's access to modern information and communication technologies (ICTs), and is currently seeking partners interested in collaborating with NVIWODA in achieving these objectives.

* March 2002 update on Isis-WICCE activities around the Critical Area of Concern "Women and Armed Conflict". (a) Report: Women's Experiences in Situations of Armed Conflict,1987-2001: The Teso experience. The Report covers the experiences of women in situations of armed conflict in the districts of Soroti, Katakwi and Kumi, which make up the Teso region in Eastern Uganda. (b) Enabling Victims of Armed Conflict Smile again. As part of the efforts to rebuild the shattered minds of the women affected by the armed conflict, Isis-WICCE in conjunction with a team of medical doctors have embarked on a medical intervention exercise in Teso. This intervention is just a drop in the ocean. Many women and children will miss this opportunity given the meagre resources. Any body who can help one more woman live a happier life can contact Isis-WICCE.

* Gender Advisory Board Africa Region Secretariat The Gender Advisory Board Africa Region Secretariat collaborates with governments and all stakeholders, including international agents, nation, local government organisations and the society, on matters of Gender, Science and Technology for sustainable human development in Africa. GAB Africa is hosted by the Association of Women Engineers, Technicians and Scientists in Uganda (WETSU)

* Uganda Media Women's Association (UMWA) Call for Support UMWA announces a campaign seeking exemption from paying for technical services for Mama FM community radio station. UMWA has been granted 14 days by the Office of the President to appeal for an exemption from the Minister of Finance starting from March 28th. When the Office of the President - Department of Information does not receive a written permission from the Minister of Finance by April 17th then Mama FM will have to be disconnected but a debt totalling to Ug shs 7,623,000 has to be paid, and other funds have to be found if Mama FM will have to continue transmitting. UMWA is seeking petitions to be sent in by email or fax before April 7, 2002. Details of the campaign are available at:


a) African/International Women Organisations

* Centre d'Espoir pour Filles et Femmes (C.E.F.F. - O.N.G.) CEFF have launched their new website. Based in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, CEFF's goal is to advocate the girls' and women's rights in promoting their formal education and vocational training as well as to help them to find sustainable solutions through loans. The goal is to make them self-sufficient - to be economically independent.

b) Agriculture

* Update: CD-ROM for Rural Women in Africa A CD-ROM entitled "Rural Women in Africa: Ideas for Earning Money" tries to meet the demand of providing content material to use online once rural women have access to computers. Designed as a visual "computer book," it allows the user to easily navigate using only a click of the "mouse."

Since the first field test of the programme in February 2001, the women farmers at the Nakaseke telecenter have been greatly empowered by the programme and are outspoken in their support for the project, for the information given, and for future possibilities. (Report includes pictures taken at Nakaseke)

c) Development

* Baobabconnections

The Baobabconnections project wants to provide an environment for young people from Africa and the Netherlands to share stories and express opinions about globalisation. If we want to know what globalisation is, how it affects the world in general and our world in particular, we need to meet at the Baobab tree and talk about it. The website will host an extensive information database on globalisation as a useful resource tool for people that want to formulate and share their own ideas on the website.

* Child Development Foundation

The Child Development Foundation is an initiative concerned with the education of disadvantaged children in Mbale, Eastern Uganda. C.D.F's mission is to provide education assistance to the needy so as to enable them enjoy equal social, economic and political opportunities with the rich who have all opportunities at their disposal.

* Family SupportNet

Family SupportNet is a website designed for individuals with disabilites of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and their families to access disability resources on the Internet. The site includes links to international communities, accessible activities for families, health issues, education, disability issues and more.

* Potential Resource Center

Potential Resource Centre (PRC) is a Ugandan non-governmental organization of young professionals whose aim is to identify the potential resources within themselves, their immediate communities, the country and the international communities and turn and/or exploit the potentials to achieve social, economic and personal professional development goals.

d) ICT-related organisations

* Computers for Africa Computers for Africa collects used computers, refurbishes them, and ships them to African high schools and non-profit organizations. We are developing a model whereby U.S. cities can partner with villages in Least Developed Nations to help bridge the international digital divide.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ EVENTS & NEWS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 2002

* Global Women's Voices: An Online Dialogue-Featuring Global Women Leaders From Around the World In recognition of International Women's Day, March 8, women leaders from Brazil, India, Uganda, and the United States, discussed the successes and challenges facing women in different parts of the world in a series of live chats from March 5-7 at: Global Women's Voices: An Online Dialogue was a joint initiative of OneWorld U.S., Feminist Majority Foundation,, Women's EDGE, Global Health Council and Digital Freedom Network. Rehema Baguma, WOUGNET Administration Board member, participated in the online dialogue.

* FOWODE: seeking book writer Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) has been implementing the Women's Intergenerational Learning and Documentation (WILD) Project. Its goal is to build women's leadership skills through intergenerational learning and documenting women's contributions to the political process of Uganda from the 1940s to date. The main output of this project is a book, which records women's experience in their leadership carriers over generations. More than 30 stories have been recorded on audiotapes and later transcribed. FOWODE is now looking for a writer to read, analyse and put together the above stories into a book of up to 250 pages following set guidelines.

May 2002

* Call for women artists The University of California-Berkeley African Studies Center is engaged in an academic exhibition of fine art opening this fall (August-December 2002) involving East African artists. The focus of the exhibition centers on the Uganda Women's Movement, and will feature original works by artists of both sexes, accompanied by information related to this topic. Art works are expected at the Center by end of May 2002.

June 2002

* Horn of Africa Regional Conference on Women and ICTs The Horn of Africa Regional Conference on Women and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is to raise awareness on ICT amongst women in the Horn of Africa region and to explore opportunities for harnessing the technology to work as a tool for their development. The conference is organised by the African Centre for Women, Information & Communications Technology (ACWICT), a non-governmental organisation in Kenya committed to promoting the use of ICTs amongst women in the African Region.

September 2002

* Youth Employment Summit, Egypt, September 11-15, 2002 The Youth Employment Summit will be the first time diverse stakeholders convene to focus their attention on addressing youth employment. The Summit in Alexandria will be the launch pad for the Decade Campaign of Action to promote youth employment. Leading up to September 2002, the YES Secretariat is raising awareness on the issue of youth employment to develop the necessary support systems for youth to have productive and sustainable livelihoods.

To list your event/news on the WOUGNET website, send details about the event/news including contact information to:

Note: The Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) website and mailing lists are hosted by Kabissa - Space for Change in Africa (


Ghana Computer Literacy & Distance Education (GhaCLAD)

To: From: Osei Darkwa <>

April 9, 2002

GHACLAD remains committed to the inclusion of Ghana and the rest of Africa in the mushrooming information technology movement and in working with organizations in promoting technology-based education. Our goal is to assist such institutions tap into and use such information that is available for the purpose of raising the level of the quality of education in Ghana and other parts of Africa.

Since the GhaCLAD 2000 conference, we have been working behind the scene on a number of initiatives to reposition the organization, to assist in providing a number of IT-related services to support the non-profit sector in Ghana, the United States, and other parts of the world. Here is a brief project update and a list of planned and new services GhaCLAD is currently providing to support the development of information technology.

1. Launching of the Asante Akim Multipurpose Community Telecentre (AAMCT)

This is the first major project we embarked on after the GhaCLAD 2000 conference. The AAMCT is the first solar-powered multipurpose telecentre in Ghana (see details at For the first time in the history of Ghana, rural underserved people now have access to computers, the Internet, and electronic networks. This project is being used to promote rural electronic commerce, computer education, and "digital culture." You can now listen to music from the village of Patriensa at This pilot project will be duplicated around the country through GhaCLAD's Telecentre Franchise Network (TFN). If your organization is interested in becoming part of the TFN, kindly contact us for additional details.

2. GhaCLAD Technology Camp 2002

The Tech Camps will run from late July through early September, 2002. The focus of the Tech Camps will be on children, teens, and youth groups from ages 7-25. The camps will offer participants the opportunity to receive exciting hands-on experience with fascinating technology, while stimulating creative minds-on learning. Participants will have a wide selection of high-tech interests to choose from, with classes offered in three primary disciplines: computer knowledge, multimedia production, and renewable energy. Specific activities will range from learning hands-on computer skills (building computers, designing web sites, programming, developing software, networking computers, using Internet search engines, developing VR panoramas, etc.); graphic design (visual communications, digital illustration, image editing, 3D modeling and animation, digital photography, and digital production techniques); and designing renewable energy projects (learning and installing PV models, SHS, solar cooker).

In all, a total of five (5) Technology Camps will be organized by GhaCLAD within the Greater Accra region. Four of the Camps will be in Accra. The remaining camp will be in Tema. Details will soon be published on the GhaCLAD website. Interested participants will be able to register on-line to attend the Tech Camps.

3. IT-related Services to support Non-Government Organizations

Internet use is growing in Ghana. There are about 10 registered ISPs in the country. And, new Ghanaian PoPs (Point of Presence) are planned in Bolgatanga, Tema, and Cape Coast, where ISPs have established further satellites. And, the country continues to see an increase in Internet cafes.

Even though there seems to be a dearth of any substantial countrywide programs, individual Internet usage continues to grow. While over 150,000 Ghanaians have access to the Internet, under 10% of all Ghanaian NGOs have reliable computers and access to the Internet. The main barrier to Internet use for most Ghanaians is cost. With an average computer costing over US$1000, and the cheapest dial-up monthly access at between US$35-$40, access to the Internet for most Ghanaians is limited.

With parallel offices in the United States and Ghana, GhaCLAD is now in a position to provide IT-related services to non-profit organizations in Ghana, the United States, and other parts of the world.

Among the specific IT-related services that GhaCLAD currently provides are as follows:

Website Development: The continuous demand for some form of cyber presence among NGOs drives the demand for GhaCLAD to offer this service. Over the years, we've been able to train our volunteers to use cutting-edge tools to design award wining websites (see Kindly contact us for details about this service. Web Hosting Services: GhaCLAD provides web hosting on our server on the domain. Kindly contact us for details.

LAN/WAN Services: GhaCLAD is now in a position to offer LAN/WAN solutions to support non-profit organizations who might have a need for such services. Kindly contact us for details.

Computer Repair Services: If your organization is located in Accra or Chicago, GhaCLAD can build, upgrade, or repair your computer for you. Kindly contact us for details about this service.

IT support services: GhaCLAD now provides an array of support services to address the IT needs of non-profit organizations in Ghana and the United States. This includes full IT -service technology consulting and staffing, providing non-profit organizations with temporal trained and experienced professionals to compliment their existing IT resources, and to help complete projects.

Placement and Outsourcing Services: GhaCLAD recruits IT personnel internationally for both short- and long-term placement with non-profit organizations in Ghana. This is done through our GhaCorps services (See details at

IT Training in Various Coursewares: Fact is, there is very little training offered to the non-profit sector for computer literacy/familiarization. GhaCLAD now provides IT training services to improve computer skills; and expertise needed to perform daily routine tasks. The training is instructor-led (if your organization is located in Accra or Chicago), online self-study, or online instructor-led. The bundle includes hands-on computer labs, flexible training schedule, and informative and interactive learning CD-ROM. Contact us for details about our non-profit support training program. If your non-profit organization is located in the Greater Accra area, and you are interested in our training program, kindly contact our LaBone local affiliate office at 021-784-778. If your organization is located in the Ashanti region, kindly contact the Asante Akim Multipurpose Community Telecentre at 024-417527/531-24626/531-24626 for registration details and class schedule.

We look forward to serving you.

Osei Darkwa GhaCLAD President


Message-Id: <> From: "Africa Action" <> Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 11:09:55 -0500 Subject: Africa: NGOs and Electronic Communication

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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