About the Africa ICT Policy Monitor Project

The APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor's primary goal project is to enable civil society organisations to engage in information and communication technologies (ICT) policy development to promote an Information Society based on social justice and human rights. The ultimate aim being that governments and policy makers recognise that access to and the use of ICTs is a basic human right.

The project, initiated in late 2001 has continues to research, collect, interpret, produce and disseminate ICT policy information; build the awareness and capacity of civil society to understand these issues; and assist civil society organisations to formulate their interests in ICT policy and to support their lobbying and advocating for policies that promote a just Information Society.

The ICT Policy Monitor project goals and objectives are implemented in a similar way to related APC Internet rights projects already underway in Latin America and Europe, to build civil society awareness of ICT policy issues in the context of other basic human rights, and to provide a means to monitor and engage ICT policy issues in the interests of social justice and human development.

Objectives of the ICT Policy Monitor in Africa:

  • To develop an information resource for civil society organisations that wish to be active in ICT policy.
    This involves researching and analysing ICT policy from a civil society perspective including running and updating the monitor websites as a clearinghouse for relevant information. The product team has also been producing a regular newsletter (Chakula) to disseminate this information.
  • To raise awareness in civil society organisation of ICT policy issues.
    This includes actively seeking out civil society organisations (in non-ICT fields) and informing them of the work of the ICT policy monitor project; running email lists for discussion on these issues; and making interventions in civil society conferences and workshops to promote ICT policy issues.
  • To empower civil society organisations to develop ICT policy that meets their needs, and to encourage CSOs to lobby for an Information Society that builds social justice and human rights, at national, regional and global level.
    This work continued through publications using a framework for CSO ICT policy and supporting CSOs to use it and linking CSOs active in developing ICT policy. The project team is also building a network of national ICT policy activists to increase the impact at regional level and in the WSIS process.

We are also in collaboration with other organizations and partnerships around related project activities such as running civil society training workshops on Internet policy that is being funded by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO).

The APC is also the lead component implementer for the CATIA project component 1C - ''Africa-Led Advocacy on ICT Policy Reform'' on ICT policy advocacy for a well-informed, lively and inclusive policy debates across Africa, shaping the local policy environment.

Examples of ICT policy issues under the microscope

  • Access to ICTs (e.g., Telecentres, access in rural areas)
  • Communication Rights, Censorship and Freedom of Expression
  • ICT Policy and Regulation
  • The Digital Divide
  • Media and Content development
  • Language diversity and Culture
  • Intellectual Property Rights and Knowledge Management
  • Internet Governance
  • Legal Perspectives and ICTs
  • Free Software, Open Source and alternative technologies
  • Privacy, data surveillance and Security
  • Capacity building and Training
  • Gender equality in ICT
  • Minorities and ICT
  • E-commerce, E-applications, E-governance and E-democracy
  • World Summit on Information Society – WSIS