Mobilizing for Development - Civil Society and ICTs in Southern Africa


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Presentation made at International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) on 13 November 2008 in Washington, DC.

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Mobilizing for Development - Civil Society and ICTs in Southern Africa

  1. 1. Mobilizing for Development Civil Society and ICTs in Southern Africa David Barnard Executive Director SANGONeT 13 November 2008
  2. 2. Overview of Presentation <ul><li>Socio-political context in Southern Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Role and contribution of SANGONeT </li></ul><ul><li>ICT challenges and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile phones and Africa </li></ul>
  3. 4. Civil Society and ICTs - The Challenges <ul><li>NGO ICT characteristics - low ICT uptake and awareness, lack of involvement in ICT policy issues and very few ICT NGOs </li></ul><ul><li>Macro ICT trends, policy and regulatory environment influences impact and progress - e.g. cost, access, affordability </li></ul><ul><li>Internal NGO challenges impact on ICT uptake </li></ul><ul><li>Funding for non-profit technology not a priority </li></ul><ul><li>NGO sector not perceived as a “market” by IT sector </li></ul><ul><li>Role of NGO boards and senior management </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile technology presents new opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy, policy and technology support - need for integrated approach </li></ul>
  4. 5. SANGONeT Vision & Mission <ul><li>Vision </li></ul><ul><li>A strategic leadership organisation influencing social transformation through ICTs </li></ul><ul><li>Mission </li></ul><ul><li>A non-profit organisation that supports the effective use of ICTs in Southern African civil society by providing quality services and initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  5. 6. Key Interventions <ul><li>1987 - Worknet </li></ul><ul><li>1993 - SANGONeT </li></ul><ul><li>1996 - ISAD </li></ul><ul><li>1997 - Women’sNet </li></ul><ul><li>1999 - Africa Pulse </li></ul><ul><li>2000 - Service Provider to Facilitator </li></ul><ul><li>2003 - Thetha ICT Discussion Forums </li></ul><ul><li>2003 - WSIS 1 </li></ul><ul><li>2005 - 1 st SANGONeT “ICTs for Civil Society” Conference </li></ul><ul><li>2005 - WSIS 2 / Civil Society Open Source Petition / NGO Portal </li></ul><ul><li>2006 - NGO Web Awards / Regional Thetha Forums / SANGOTeCH </li></ul><ul><li>2007 - State of ICTs in the South African NGO Sector Study </li></ul><ul><li>2007 - Citizen Journalism in Africa / 20 th Anniversary </li></ul><ul><li>2008 - MobileActive08 Summit </li></ul>
  6. 7. Core Focus <ul><li>Providing information / generating knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thought leadership / deepen knowledge on NGO sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brokering ICT services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulate ICT investment / partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facilitating discussions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning and knowledge exchange around ICT issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>= Content, Technology, Advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>Linking civil society through ICTs </li></ul>
  7. 8. SANGONeT Programmes <ul><li>Linking Civil Society Through ICTs </li></ul><ul><li>ICT Advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>Annual ICT Conference </li></ul><ul><li>MobileActive08 Summit </li></ul><ul><li>Thetha ICT Forums </li></ul><ul><li>NGO Web Awards </li></ul><ul><li>NGO CEO Circle </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Services </li></ul><ul><li>SANGOTeCH </li></ul><ul><li>Technology Planning </li></ul><ul><li>IT Managers Forum </li></ul><ul><li>Telecentre Initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>NGO ICT Research </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Society </li></ul><ul><li>Information Services </li></ul><ul><li>NGO Pulse Portal </li></ul><ul><li>Prodder NGO Directory </li></ul><ul><li>NGO Pulse e-Newsletter </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen Journalism in Africa </li></ul><ul><li>SN-Announce </li></ul><ul><li>NGO CEO Circle </li></ul>
  8. 11. Growth in Global Mobile Users “ Mobile subscriptions continue to increase at a rapid pace. Between 2003 and 2006, the number of mobile subscriptions doubled, reaching 2.8bn subscriptions at the end of 2006. Between 2006 and 2010, operators around the world will add 1.4bn subscribers, raising the total base of mobile subscribers from 2.8bn to 4.2bn and the resultant global penetration rate from 44% to 63%. Of the 1.4bn subscribers added, roughly 87% will come from emerging economies.” Pyramid Research, “The Next Billion: How Emerging Markets are Shaping the Mobile Industry”, October 2007
  9. 12. Mobile Phone Explosion in Africa <ul><li>Rapid uptake of mobile phones across Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Most prevalent, interactive information and communication channel on the continent </li></ul><ul><li>Africa is the first continent with more mobile than fixed-line subscribers </li></ul><ul><li>30% population coverage / around 60% by 2012 </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile market is growing 50-60% per annum </li></ul><ul><li>More mobile phones than bank accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Most people living below $2 a day are in some way connected to the global grid via the mobile phone, either directly or indirectly (shared use) ‏ </li></ul>
  10. 14. Civil Society and Mobile Phones <ul><li>Rapidly growing number of rural mobile phone subscribers </li></ul><ul><li>Access to advice and information on-demand services </li></ul><ul><li>Many application providers already reaching millions of users </li></ul><ul><li>Home grown (Africa) solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Many initiatives now aiming to serve bottom of the pyramid </li></ul><ul><li>But, the mobile phone space is complex… </li></ul>
  11. 15. Looking Ahead <ul><li>Increase ICT investment and awareness, and involvement of NGOs in ICT policy processes </li></ul><ul><li>Improve the efficiency and impact of NGO sector – exposure to new tech developments </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that NGO sector is an active participant in, and contributor to the Information Society </li></ul><ul><li>Support sustainability efforts of NGO sector </li></ul><ul><li>After 21 years – we are only starting now!! </li></ul>
  12. 16. Contact Details <ul><li>David Barnard </li></ul><ul><li>Executive Director </li></ul><ul><li>SANGONeT </li></ul><ul><li>Tel: (+27) (11) 403-4935 </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>