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Ungana-Afrika News > General News

General news reports from Ungana-Afrika's (in reverse chronological order):

11.2005 Participarion and WSIS

We are presenting our projects and ICT support concepts at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis. Ungana-Afrika representatives Toni Eliasz and Rudi von Staden are part of the APC member community delegation, and are availalbe for all questions and comments throughout the week.

11.2004 Participation in Mozambique ICT For Development Conference

Ungana-Afrika was invited to make a keynote presentation entitled "NGOs ICT Skills and Human Resources Development" during the international "Knowledge Economy and ICT4Development" conference at Maputo, Mozambique, 9th November 2004. The purpose of the presentation was to furnish the participants with understanding of the issues related to non-profit ICT capacity building and an introduction to the eRider support model. Additional topics included an introduction to how Ungana-Afrika is utilizing the eRider model in the region, and how an eRider model could work in Mozambique. For more information, or a copy of the presentation, please Contact Us.

Wireless 4 Development Global Conference and Research

In September 2003, several interest groups came together to host an international conference/workcamp on communication technologies for development and non-profit communities. The week-long event was hosted by freifunk.net (“free network” enthusiasts, activists and professionals) an held in Djursland – Denmark. Furthermore, the Open Society Institute (OSI) supported a specific "wireless4development" track. This track was designed for international delegates interested in wireless (and other innovative) networking technologies in developing parts of the world, and was attended by Ungana-Afrika's Ryan Jacobs.

Volunteers install community-built wireless network equipment

What is Wireless Networking? The electronic medium used to connect us to information resources (sharing data between computers, other offices, constituents, the general Internet, etc.) can take many forms. Typically "wired" solutions, that are limited to locations within reach of commercial/governmental telecommunications infrastructure, are used. Wireless technology, on the other hand, uses unlicensed radio frequencies to transmit data. This offers more flexible (and often less expensive) bottom-up connectivity alternatives.

Innovative communication methods, like wireless, are uniquely applicable to the development community. These technologies can help bridge some of the gaps in commercial connectivity options for remote or under-serviced areas. They also offer cost savings for localized network needs, and new community-driven opportunities. Along with the conference efforts in Denmark, Ungana-Afrika is working with other local projects/initiatives that share these perspectives (and are explore technical, social and regulatory considerations of connectivity technologies). The goal of these efforts is to help bring the benefits of connectivity to new places and people in the development world. For more details, see the following resources:

6.2004. eRider Training after Ungana-Afrika Welcomes 2 New eRiders

In early June, 2004, Ungana-Afrika welcomed two new people to the team; Thale Letheo and Tshepo Thlaku. Thale and Tshepo will be working as eRiders for Ungana-Afrika internal eRiding projects in South Africa. For more information about Thale and Tshepo, see the Our Team page.

During the first two weeks of June, these new eRiders underwent a training course to prepare them for South Africa eRiding. This training was hosted at the Ungana-Afrika offices in Pretoria and covered the fundamentals of eRiding, various relevant technologies and went in-depth into the consulting processes that are at the heart of eRiding. Thale and Tshepo also helped contribute to the ongoing development of this training and the relevant materials that are used in Ungana-Afrika's external eRiding capacity building projects. During the next few months these eRiders will undergo in-the-field mentoring with experienced eRiders from Ungana-Afrika.

Ungana-Afrika registers as an Independent Non-profit Organisation

On March 19th, 2004 Ungana-Afrika held its first General Meeting in which an organisational constitution was ratified. This marks the transformation of Ungana-Afrika from a project partnership (between OSISA and AIESEC) into independent non-profit organisation in South Africa. This change will afford Ungana-Afrika additional flexibility in scale, governance and management.

Ungana-Afrika still draws upon the strong support of OSISA and AIESEC and is funded primarily by OSISA.

CMS from Finland to Help NGOs

Ungana-Afrika has received a grant of R 255.000.- from the Finnish government to support activities in two Southern African countries. The project is aimed at testing and implementing Finnish open source CMS (Content Management System) in local NGOs to help them become self-sufficient in managing their websites.

Ungana-Afrika has recently completed training in Midgard and will soon be converting this website to run under a Midgard host. After this pilot phase, Ungana-Afrika will explore CMS implementation possibilities for NGOs in two Southern African countries.

For more information, read the full press release...

12.2003. Ungana-Afrika at the WSIS

The World Summit on Information Society took place in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2003, as hosted by the Government of Switzerland. WSIS was an event that brought together stakeholders with the scientific, technical, economic and policy expertise. Their goal was to help world leaders, the private sector, and the NGO community formulate and implement a shared vision for utilizing ICTs to connect marginalized communities to the Information Age.

This Summit was a great possibility for the representatives of non-profit sector from all over the world to meet and discuss the opportunities and challenges that ICTs bring. Topics addressed included "ICT as a Tool to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals" and "Empowering All Citizens" to name a few. Toni Eliasz from Ungana-Afrika took part in the WSIS events to promote global eRiding movement, and specifically introduce the Ungana-Afrika project of Southern Africa.

New design for the Ungana-Afrika website.

We hope you find our new website interesting, useful and easy to navigate. We added more information about our project, new resources for NGOs, web version of our Newsletters, team members' profiles and much more!

. ICTs in African Schools - Workshop for Practitioners and Policy Makers.

This week-long conference held in Gaborone, Botswana was organized by SchoolNet Africa and attended by the entire Ungana-Afrika team. Many important issues were discussed, such as the challenges of ICTs in African education, curriculum integration, content and capacity building, appropriate educational technologies in Africa and achieving affordability and sustainability. Numerous topics were of direct relevance to the activities and services provided by Ungana-Afrika while others brought valuable insight into other areas of importance (policy, networking, etc.). Read more about this conference in our Second Newsletter.

Ungana-Afrika Cocktail Party.

The official Ungana-Afrika project launch was a successful social event. Taking place in the attractive facilities of Gordon Institute of Business Science, the cocktail party was attended by representatives of the nonprofit as well as corporate sector. Although the presentation of Ungana-Afrika project received the guests' full attention, it was CIDA choir's professional performance that was rewarded with the most enthusiastic applause.

Image: CIDA Choir performs at the Ungana-Afrika Cocktail Party


Ungana-Afrika Induction Conference

Participants take part in a computer-based learning activity at the Ungana-Afrika Induction Conference

A four-day conference took place in the CIDA city campus in Johannesburg. eRiders from the Ungana-Afrika team received detailed training in nonprofit IT consultancy from international eRider trainer Teresa Crawford. The program of this conference was very diverse, and also included presentations by representatives of other NGOs and corporate interests, such as SchoolNet Africa, CINSA, CECS, CIVICUS, Sangonet, Witel Africa, SA Telkom, SANGOCO, etc. Read more about this conference in our first Newsletter.

Looking for a more historical background of Ungana-Afrika or additional news? Please see or History page or the In the Field news page.


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