The Internet can open up a world of opportunity. With half the world’s population unconnected, it’s urgent that we shape a tomorrow that benefits everyone.
Let’s build a digital future that puts people first.
Closing the digital divide is critical and community networks offer a solution. These are “do it yourself” networks built by people for people.
You can promote, donate to, or even build a community network yourself. You can also work with your local community and government to help create change!
Community Networks Can Bridge the Digital Divide
The Groot-Aub Community Network (CN), that is run and supported by the ISOC Namibia Chapter members Nicola Bidwell and Quentilian Louwe received a double boost this year. Funds of US$2,500 have just been provided for networking and solar equipment by ISOC’s Community Network Development Assistance Programme Africa. These funds will enable community members to extend the network across the settlement.
Additionally, Groot-Aub CN is the southern African site in Afchix’s http://www.afchix.org/,initiative to promote women in establishing, using and managing CNs. The Afchix initiative, one of 12 winners in USAID’s 2018 Women Connect Challenge, https://www.usaid.gov/wcc , builds the capacities of women in CNs to serve disadvantaged communities in Senegal, Kenya, Morocco, and Namibia. The initiative uses gender sensitive approaches to involve women as leaders and focal persons in designing, installing and maintaining CNs, both locally and through fellowships to develop and support experienced women from each of the four countries.
Namibia also features in a new book on Community Networks. An article featuring Quentillian Louwe discussing the Seeds of Groot-Aub, https://www.giswatch.org/en/country-report/infrastructure/namibia and an article by Nic Bidwell on her research on CNs around the world. Nic undertook this research with Association for Progressive Communications (APC), which has also taken took her to Accra, Ghana to run a workshop for women in CNs at The Web Foundation’s African Women and Girls in Technology (supported by ISOC-global) and to the IGF2018 in Paris.
Community Network Summit
Aiming at engaging community networkers and give them hands on experience in the setting up of some nodes in the expansion of networks, the Community Network summit took place in the Zenzeleni rural area in South Africa. Our Chapter member Quentillian Louw was one of the fellows for this summit. Who wished that the expansion of the community networks increase in Namibia and hopes for further engagement of community members in the setup of the community networks
Venue: Wild Lubanzi Trail Lodge, eastern Cape,South Africa
Date: 02 – 07 September, 2018