Acacia and Connectivity Africa, the two African ICT4D programmes of Canada’s International Development Research Centre, awarded six small grants for research on the effects of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on African communities, and for innovative ICT applications in support of sustainable development on the continent.
The grants of up to CAD $30,000 each were awarded as part of the 2004 ICT R&D Small Grants Programme, out of a total of almost 50 applications.
The winning proposals include a plan to develop a prototype low-cost, solar powered computer in rural Nigeria, a study of how ICTs are changing the work of African journalists, and a project to assess the impact of ICT skills on employment prospects for youth in rural areas of Kenya and Tanzania. Many of these small-scale research projects aim to address the policy and practical barriers that prevent marginalized communities from communicating and accessing information using new technologies.
IDRC supports the use of ICTs for African development through the Acacia Programme Initiative and Connectivity Africa. Acacia is a programme to empower sub-Saharan communities with the ability to apply ICTs to their own social and economic development. See: Connectivity Africa supports innovative approaches to improving access to ICTs on the African continent.
WINNERS OF THE 2004 ICT R&D GRANTS
Alternative billing methods for Internet services
Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), Tanzania COSTECH will develop alternative methods of measuring and billing for Internet use that will render the services more accessible and affordable to low-income users.
Contact: Ali Ayub Kalufya.
Expérimentation de livres électroniques pédagogiques en éducation supérieure
Centre d’études supérieures du multimédia et de l’Internet (CESMI), Sénégal; Informatique documentaire édition électronique (IDEE), Canada/Sénégal. This project involves the production of a collection of electronic law books, which will be tested at the Faculty of Law, Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar. Contact: Marc-André Ledoux.
How are “early adopters” among African journalists and newsrooms using ICTs in their work?
Journalism & Media Studies Department, Rhodes University, South Africa Working with journalists in the Highway Africa network, this project will develop baseline data and a typology of the use of ICTs in African newsrooms.
Contact: Prof. Guy Berger.
The impact of ICT on youth livelihood strategies in Kenya and Tanzania
Global Education Partnership (GEP), USA GEP will assess the impact of ICT and entrepreneurship skills on the prospects of youth in rural communities.
Contact : Ed Marcum.
Information programme on rural telecommunications in Africa
Panos Institute, United Kingdom This project will examine the current status of rural telecommunications and rural telecommunications policy in four African countries.
Contact: Kitty Warnock.
Tropicalized computer in rural Nigeria
Fantsuam Foundation, Nigeria This project will research and pilot a low-budget, solar-powered computer suited to rural settings in tropical climates.
Contact: John Dada.