World Summit on the Information Society 2017: High level policy statement by Alison Gillwald on 14 June 2017

BAlison Gillwald (PhD) Executive director, Research ICT Africa, and Adjunct Professor University of Cape Town.
 
Research ICT Africa is an African public–interest ICT research ICT policy and regulatory network that has provided technical assistance to African countries, multilateral agencies and development banks for over a decade. It is the only organization collecting comprehensive supply-side and demand-side data that is available in the public domain with national representative surveys underway in many of the African countries represented (and I should add by our Latin American partner network DIRSI and Asian partner network LIRNEasia). 
 
Based on this research I would like to comment on what we see as the central policy challenge as we move from voice into data services and Over the Top platforms, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence – that is, that as we increase ICT access and use so digital inequality is amplified. 

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AFRINIC/RIA Workshop on Internet measurement Initiatives in Africa by Admin on 23 May 2017

 Africa Internet Summit 2017
Nairobi, Kenya
                        Internet measurements workshop
30 May 2017
Co-organised with AFRINIC
 
 
Internet measurements is a well know research area in networking, but it is still at an early stage in many developing regions including Africa. Typically, Internet measurements provide information with regard to coverage of networks (e.g. WiFi and cellular networks), performance (e.g. Internet throughput and latency) and usage. Importantly, Internet development campaigners, as well as policy makers in the developing regions, have recognised the crucial role that Internet measurement data can play in facilitating evidence-based policy-making and advocacy. Such information is helpful in guiding policy formulation, as well as for policy makers and regulators to monitor the effect of regulatory and policy interventions and market developments.

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Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellowship call by Admin on 17 May 2017

The Open Web Fellowship program empowers the next generation of open Internet leaders and advocates by embedding them at leading human rights and civil society organizations from around the world, where they can positively impact the health of the Internet and bring critical strategic expertise to the organization. 

Research ICT Africa (RIA), the only African organisation selected, will be hosting a 2017 fellow in Cape Town, South Africa. The Fellowship gives an individual the opportunity to work with RIA, and benefit from the expertise of its staff and research environment to work on a project for a sustained period.

The  fellowship call closes Sunday May 21, 2017 at 11:59PM PST.

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Disentangling the broadband divide in Rwanda: supply-side vs demand-side by Onkokame Mothobi on 11 May 2017

 The Rwandan telecommunications sector has shown particularly strong growth in recent years, due to a vibrant economy and championing of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at the highest level. ICT is a central engine to driving Rwanda’s transformation to a knowledge-based economy. The SMART Rwanda plan 2015-2016 put broadband at the heart of the national socio-economic development agenda. 
 

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An evaluation of open access broadband networks in Africa:the cases of Nigeria and South Africa by Admin on 22 May 2017

It has become popular to include the open access term in broadband policy and planning documents since it gained popularity on the back of open source and open data movements. In this way, open access principles found their way onto 'best practice’ checklists where ‘open access networks’ are viewed as a positive factor. There is little evidence, however, that mandatory open access networks have increased competition in services, decreased pricing, and stimulated demand, as intended by various adopters and policymakers. It is becoming imperative to acknowledge how policy tensions can arise from applying open access principles to network extension in contexts of investment shortages and regulatory incapacity. 

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