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Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

BBC to Launch Citizen Journalism Mobile App

“The BBC is planning a ’news gatherer’ app that will let ’citizen journalists’ file stories directly from their phones, which can be on the air within minutes.

Theoretically, the ”news gatherer app” will be able to feed user-generated content into the BBC’s content-management system, which is then edited by editorial staff and aired within minutes of submission.

The app is scheduled to launch using the HTML5-based web language to minimise reliance on specific handset operating systems, such as Apple iOS or Google’s Android, although a roadmap for the product is unclear.” READ MORE

More Mobile Phones than Light Bulbs in Uganda

“Here's an interesting data point on the growth of mobile phones in Africa - they may already outnumber light bulbs in Uganda.

This idea started with the cNet article For Uganda's poor, a cellular connection, where Dara Karr notes that 10% of Ugandas have electricity but 30% have mobile phones, suggesting that mobile phones could outnumber light bulbs.

From there Paul Boutin who asked if this was really true, could mobile phones really outnumber light bulbs? The response from Jonathan Gosier at App+frica gives us more detail.”  READ MORE

Space for Transparency
You Have the Right to Know

• “what your country is doing to fight corruption?
• whether the school that your children go to has received the right budget allocation?
• who your Prime Minister or President meets during the week?
• where political candidates get their funding?
• the terms of a contract for a new water and sanitation system?
• how your country’s budgets are spent and where?

In over 80 countries around the world it is possible to get this information by submitting a request to the appropriate institution using an access to information or freedom of information law.”  READ MORE

Internet Governance Forum
Opening Remarks, Internet Society, Lynn St. Amour

“It is a great pleasure to be here in Nairobi for the 6th Internet Governance Forum. I'd like to thank Kenya for hosting this conference. Where better to hold the meeting than in a country that is flourishing in terms of connectivity and innovation. The Internet is growing incredibly quickly in Kenya, and I would like to recognize those who contributed to providing this meeting with a world-class network - one that is IPv4, IPv6, and DNSSEC enabled. These standards were developed in the Internet Engineering Task Force, which has supported every aspect of the Internet's growth over the past 25 years through an open and collaborative process.

The IGF's importance to all of us who have a commitment to an open, thriving, accessible Internet cannot be underestimated. The opportunities for engagement are greater than ever and its purpose, as a forum for collaborating on Internet issues and sharing experiences and best practices, is extremely valuable.” READ MORE

Infrastructure is costly but necessary to development: Transparency is a must

“Sometimes it is easy to forget what an essential need infrastructure is. While getting ready to go to school or work this morning, did you spend much time thinking about the role that running water, electricity and all-weather roads played in getting you there? I know that I did not. However, a more critical look at the importance of infrastructure in Africa’s development is crucial for economic growth and poverty relief throughout the continent, as a lack of physical infrastructure is one of its most consistently overlooked problems.

Currently, 75 percent of Africans live without electricity, 95 percent of African agriculture lacks proper irrigation systems and the majority of rural communities have no road access that allows them to reach medical care and market places. These major constraints reflect the crucial need to prioritize the construction of basic public infrastructure. Without it, developing countries, particularly those in Africa, cannot realistically expect to achieve sustainable growth and development. However, the sector which delivers these assets, the construction sector, is prone to inefficiency, mismanagement and corruption.”  READ MORE

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Photo Credit: Flickr user fdecomite


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