Mobilising African Civil Society around the importance of ICT policy for the development of the continent

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Maputo, 1-4 September 2003: Civil Society Priorities and Recommendation for the WSIS

10/07/2003, Gil Manuel:

7 de Outubro de 2003
African Conference on e-Strategies for Development
Maputo, 1-4 September 2003
Civil Society Working Group on Priorities and Recommendation for the World Summit on Information Society
(Extract of the document)

CONNECTING STRATEGIES and ITS APPLICATION

Connecting schools, or other similar institutions, to ICT tools, by itself, are not enough. It is necessary to link it to a definitive plan, vision or perspective.
The mobile telephony has a great potential that must be explored. The revolution in Africa is over all a revolution of mobile tools.
The use of broad bands must be considered, if we want to serve the rural populations.
The contents must be considered according to its application. Connecting people for what?
There is a need of using effectively the existing institutions and services before creating new ones.

ABOUT FREEDOM OF COMMUNICATION and INFORMATION

All Governments should approve a law on freed of information and communication
There is a need of consistent legal framework on the right of information dissemination

ABOUT PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN GOVERNMENTS and CIVIL SOCIETY

Governments should see the civil society as an important partner for development
And to use this partnership to catalyses the information on rural areas
The Government must encourage the civil society to participate in development efforts and in the mentoring of ICT initiatives
The NGOs has, in rural areas, human and technical resources on ICTs than governmental and private institutions. And also a capacity to get the resource for training, maintenance and update on ICTs. The Government should take that advantage and synergies to integrate civil society in national efforts of development
Each civil society must act in order to identify national focal points for the area of the ICTs and work for the recognition of those focal points bay the Government.

ABOUT LEGITIMACY

The question of legitimacy of NGOs is valid for all those governmental, civic, private and religious actors that had not been elect for definitive functions. The legitimacy it is acquired through dedication, professional and socially competent performance and results approved by those we serve. The legitimacy is therefore an important question for all actors in development, a quality obtained through transparency, good governance and positive results.

ABOUT PARTICIPATION and SOCIAL INCLUSION

It is necessary to find creative and consensual ways for the integration of civil society and its networks in governmental efforts for development
All ICT initiatives must aim at a total participation and social inclusion of all social groups, particularly the vulnerable ones, for example the disabled people.
When rural communities do not participate in projects we should ask ourselves if we are really doing the necessary for their participation. We need to give opportunity to rural communities.

ABOUT CULTURE, NATIONAL LANGUAGES, CONTENTS and RURAL COMMUNITIES

It is very important to know and identify the expectations of these communities and to guarantee that our initiatives fit their expectations. Many times what happens is that they say one thing and we make another. We need to strengthen our communication and dialogue with these communities that constitute the majority of our continent
These need to be done considering our local and national languages and a consequent gradual integration of local contents in our ICT initiatives
Each society has a proper way to make the things. We cannot stand on the position of consumers of contents. Today we hear, for example, BBC talking about what is going one in UK. We also hear BBC to get information on what is going one in our African countries. Tomorrow who knows, we will talk about ADPP (in Mozambique) and Mali experience and probably taking these experiences to BBC in future.
We need to build gradually, in Africa, pillars of the modernity that the ICT represent, having in account the need of doing it without breaching the values that our cultures, and our rural communities represent.

ABOUT GLOBALIZED, GLOBALIZERS and FREE FROM GLOBALIZATION

We belong to a minority of globalized and globalizers, that, independently of being in the centre or on the periphery of the globalization, has the privilege to access the means that the rural communities of our continents simply ignores and/or does not usufruct.
The effort to reduce the distance that separates the countries of the periphery of those of the centre of the globalization will have to be done in parallel with our effort to integrate in all processes the disadvantaged communities that constitute the majority of our continent and world
And probably does not exist another way to modify the actual level of sustainability of ICT in Africa. Probably making those technologies available to the mass in Africa is an important contribution to raise the actual levels of sustainability.

ABOUT RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT and TECHNICAL AUTONOMY

Our governments must dedicate more resources for research on development and ICT
The Government, civic and private actors must add to a generalized use of ICT, in the optics of the user, a gradual evolution for the participation of technicians of our continent on the assembly, design, maintenance and construction of those instruments.

ABOUT BAMAKO LIST OF PRIORITIES

On the Bamako list o priorities, the second priority must be the first. The human factor must always come in first place.


LIST OF PARTICIPANTS (Working Group)
NAME ORGANIZATION EMAIL
Gil Manuel LINK NGO Forum in Mozambique Sil@linkong.org.mz
Ernesto Pedro JCN-Mozambique chidungo@yahoo.co.
Victoria Mwanukuzi Vmwanukuzi@yahoo.co.uk
Manuko Zormelo Ghana Zormelo@ghana.com
Habib Cisse ISOC-Mali Bibcisse@yahoo.com
Isidro Manjate Mozambique Isiman@hotmail.com
Olga Tom UNESCO-Mo. o.tome@unesco.org
Jlio Marques ADPP-Moambiq. DinaBak@teledata.mz
Emmanuel Njenga APC Njenga@apc.org
lvaro Casimiro LINK NGO Forum in Mozambique Coord@linkong.org.mz


Maputo, 3rd of September 2003

Gil Manuel
Deputy Coordinator for IT
LINK NGO Forum in Mozambique
Maputo Mozambique
Tel. 258-1-496279 or 258-1-496280
Fax. 258-1-496304 or 258-1-496306
E-mail: sil@linkong.org.mz or gimavi_2000@yahoo.com.br
Cell. 082-463126

NB. This document is not an official translation

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