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Newsletters 3 February 2020

Kilima: Highlights from ISOC Africa – January 2020

Activities

Together It’s Possible: Text on Community Networks Accepted in AU Declaration 

A group of people who believed in change made it happen for the Internet in Africa. In October 2019, African Communications and Information Technology ministers came together at the African Union’s Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and Information Technologies meeting. The result was text in the 2019 Sharm El Sheikh Declaration acknowledging community networks as key.

Community Networks are Internet connections built, managed, and used by local communities. They are a proven complement to traditional access solutions. 

The text not only paves the way for more complementary solutions for Internet access, but it tells another story too: That great things happen when we work together.

To help, a group of partners spent the last two years working with policy makers across Africa on access issues. 

They are: 

  • The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), 
  • The African Union Commission (AUC), 
  • Representatives from CNs in Africa, 
  • The Internet Society and its Chapters in Africa 

They did it by creating a series of workshops aimed at creating awareness on the value of CNs. Since then, more and more policymakers and regulators started recognizing the role of CNs.

See the text by going to Article 29 in the declaration.

Community Engagement in Africa in 2019
  • 8 Online regional calls organized: 4 Quarterly calls in English and 4 Quarterly Calls in French.
  • 2019 African Chapters Advocacy Meeting successfully organized: 30 fellows from 26 African chapters and 01 global SIG (Internet of Things (IoT) SIG). Read more.
  • 5 regional calls organized on Internet issues (IoT, Community Networks, MANRS, Consolidation, Encryption)
  • 21 small grants awarded to 21 African chapters to implement small projects. Read more
  • 3 medium and large grants awarded to 3 African chapters to implement medium and large projects. Read more.
  • 1 new chapter: ISOC Lesotho Chapter.
  • 18 African chapters participated in ISOC Chapterthon 2019 and 2 chapters won the 2nd and 3rd prizes. Read more
  • 12 Chapters visited. These working visits allowed us to see the chapter’s local reality, strengthen the relationships with the chapters and its local partners, and explore how we can better work together. 
  • 6 Young African community members selected as IGF Youth Ambassadors 2019. Read more.

Upcoming Events

March 3-5: Ethiopian Internet Development Conference 2020, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

In the News

New license categories from Uganda Regulator includes one for Community Owned Networks!

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Community networks, communications infrastructure deployed and operated by citizens to meet their own communication needs, are being increasingly proposed as a solution to connect the unconnected.

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