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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

African Elections Project 8 countries Done, 45 more to go

2008 and 2009 saw us covering elections in 6 countries namely

1.Ghana
2. Malawi
3. Mozambique
4. Mauritania
5. Namibia
6. Botswana
with pending elections in
7. Guinea
8. Cote d'lvoire

African Elections Project (AEP) is aiming at covering 10 countries in 2010. Using ICTs powered by the media,  AEP is helping in the democratic process on the continent

Thursday, November 19, 2009

COLLOQUIUM ON AFRICAN ELECTIONS: BEST PRACTICES AND CROSS SECTORAL COLLABORATION

I presented a paper at  COLLOQUIUM ON AFRICAN ELECTIONS: BEST PRACTICES AND CROSS SECTORAL COLLABORATION from November 11-14, 2009 at Accra-Ghana, press release below

ACCRA, GHANA – More than 100 practitioners and experts on elections from 25 African countries will convene in Accra Nov. 12-14, to assess recent elections across the continent and develop recommendations for standards that could mitigate conflict and improve election processes. Recommendations from the colloquium will be aimed at enhancing prospects for credible elections in Africa by heightening standards of professionalism among election administration officials, political parties, civic groups, security services and the media.
The Colloquium on African Elections: Best Practices and Cross-Sectoral Collaboration will focus on Ghana's 2008 elections, which were universally viewed as credible despite heated political tensions and a razor-thin margin between the candidates. Participants hope to draw on lessons from the experience in Ghana, where for the second time in less than a decade, political power has
changed hands from the ruling to an opposition party through the ballot box.
Effective collaboration among all sectors of the electoral process helped ease tensions, enhanced transparency and built voter confidence in the election results.
Participants will also explore the differences between the Ghanaian experience and elections in other countries such as Kenya and Zimbabwe, which experienced gross irregularities, fraud and conflict. They will identify the factors that contributed to different outcomes in each of these cases and discuss how to foster credible elections on the continent based on these case studies.
"This is an opportunity for Africans to reflect on our own experiences and build upon our successes. As a regional initiative, this conference will bolster electoral reformers, and civic and political stakeholders on the continent," said Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, chair of the Electoral Commission in Ghana.
At the conclusion of the colloquium, participants will release a communiqué summarizing their discussions and sharing their recommendations for election standards in Africa.
Co-organizers of the colloquium include the National Democratic Institute, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, Open Society Initiative for West Africa and United Nations Development Programme.

Monday, November 09, 2009

COLLOQUIUM ON AFRICAN ELECTIONS: BEST PRACTICES AND CROSS SECTORAL COLLABORATION

 

November 11-14, 2009

Accra, Ghana

 

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will co-sponsor  a Colloquium on African Elections from 1214 November 2009 in Accra, Ghana. 

 

The colloquium will review the challenges and best practices in the conduct of elections in Africa, with a particular focus on lessons that could be shared from Ghana's 2008 electoral process.

 

Approximately 100 participants from 25 African countries will attend the colloquium.  Participants will include elections commissioners, political party leaders, civic advocates, leaders of elections monitoring groups, journalists and high level officials of security services that oversee peace building and law enforcement missions around elections.

 

The Colloquium on African Elections: Best Practices and Cross-Sectoral Collaboration will seek to address two critical points:

 

1)    the effective performance of entities involved in the electoral process and

2)    the linkages that should exist among stakeholders, and how to foster cross-sectoral collaboration during elections. 

 

Examining the strengths and weaknesses of the Ghanaian electoral process and how it compares with other African countries will facilitate sharing knowledge and strengthening linkages among different sectors of the electoral process.  The anticipated outcome of discussions at the colloquium will be to identify guidelines on how to conduct credible elections, ease political tensions, enhance transparency, and facilitate the acceptance of genuine election results by political contestants and their supporters.  Sharing best practices among African practitioners will enhance prospects for democratic elections across the continent and inspire professional conduct among various stakeholders in countries preparing for upcoming elections. The Consortium of organizers are hoping to compile the cases of best practices in elections in Africa and publish on a book form.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

African Elections Project to Cover Botswana Elections 2009

GABORONE Botswana, October 15 2009 –

African Elections Project To Cover Botswana Elections 2009.

The African Elections Project (AEP) www.africanelections.org/bostwana will be covering Botswana's 10th general election, taking place on October 16 2009, to elect parliamentary and council representatives.  AEP in conjunction with its partners, Media Institute For Southern Africa (MISA) www.misa.org  held a two-day workshop aimed at equipping journalists with cutting edge Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) skills in elections coverage in Gaborone on 28-29 September 2009.

AEP was established in 2008 to empower journalists to cover elections using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) across the continent. After a successful take-off in Ghana, Cote d' Ivoire, Mozambique, Malawi and Guinea, AEP also launched its Namibia phase of the project in Windhoek on 13th October 2009.

In Southern Africa, AEP is covering Botswana www.africanelections.org/botswana  elections schedule to take place on 16th October 2009, Mozambique's elections www.africanelections.org/mozambique) taking place on 28th October 2009 and Namibia's elections www.africanelections.org/namibia  taking place from 28th to 29th November 2009. The  Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa www.osisa.org is providing funding for these countries coverage.

The role of the media in ensuring free and fair elections is indispensable. All over the world the media is playing this important role of ensuring free and fair elections by working with all stakeholders across board.

The media can strengthen the electoral process by providing independent information through impartial coverage. Three important focal issues come into play: access to information on the political process, ability to undertake investigative journalism and documentation of lessons and experiences from the electioneering process.

The African Elections Project is coordinated by Ghana based  International Institute for ICT Journalism (www.penplusbytes.org) working hand in hand with key partners.

AEP Botswana

Associate Editor

Bay Tsimane

Thursday, September 17, 2009

African Elections Project- Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique

African Elections Project

Elections are crucial bedrock for democracies and enabling a free and open society.  The role of the media in ensuring successful election is very crucial.  All over the world the media is playing this important role of ensuring free and fair elections by working with all stakeholders across board.The media can strengthen the electoral process by providing independent information through impartial coverage. Three important elements come into play: access to information on the political process, ability to undertake investigate journalism and document lessons and experiences from the electioneering process.

 

There are a lot of challenges and problems facing the media in the area of election coverage. Key among them is lack of access to real-time information, lack of capacity to undertake investigative journalism surrounding elections, use of ICTs in coverage,  inability to produce balanced reports and to incorporate user content are some of the  challenges and problems facing the media during elections coverage.  In order to address some of these problems, African Elections Project was launched in September 2000 with the following key activity areas :

v     Training for senior editors, journalists and reporters

v      SMS application in coverage and monitoring

v      Election Guide for the Media

v      Information and Knowledge Online Portal

v      Knowledge products for the media

v      Media Content Monitoring

 
 

With funding from OSISA - The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa www.osisa.org working with key partners, African Elections Project is providing coverage for the following countries in the Southern Africa region : 

 
 

 

 

If you are in the region or any of the above countries and want to get involve with this exciting project send a mail to
 
Hope to hear from you soon
 
 
 
 
Countries Covered so far :
  1. Ghana www.africanelections.org/ghana
  2. Mauritania www.africanelections.org/mauritania
  3. Malawi www.africanelections.org/malawi 

Pending Elections :

Cote d'Ivoire www.africanelections.org/cotedivoire,

Niger www.africanelections.org/niger

and Guinea www.africanelctions.org/guinea

 

 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Reporting Democracy: Media and Elections in Africa"

Speaking at highway africa part of "Reporting Democracy: Media and Elections in Africa" panel scheduled for Tuesday, 8 September, 2009 :
Anchor: Professor Jane Duncan
Izak Minnaar, Head: News Research, SABC
Kwami Ahiabenu,II Director, Penplusbytes
Kubi Rama, Deputy Director, Gender Links
Manoah Esipisu, Deputy Director, Communications & Public Affairs Division, Commonwealth
William Bird, Executive Director, Media Monitoring Africa

this year's theme is Reporting Africa – 2010, Development & Democracy and the event takes place from  5-8 September 2009 at  Eden Grove Complex, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa





Wednesday, August 05, 2009

African Communications Educators meet in Accra next week

The university of Ghana, School of Communications is hosting next week from Tuesday 11th to Thursday 13 August 2009, African Communications Educators under the umbrella of The African Council for Communication Education (ACCE). According to ACCE website it is a  non-profit-making non-governmental organization was formed 1975 with funding and support from UNESCO. Initially, it acted as an association of Heads of Schools of Journalism and Communication on the African continent. The association later transformed itself into the only regional organization of Africanist communication scholars and practitioners in Africa. Currently, its headquarters is located in Nairobi, Kenya.

The conference topics are very interesting, highlights below : 

Plenary 1 – Communication And Democracy

Plenary 2 – Communication Theory

Plenary 3 – Professional Development, Training & Standards

Acce Business Day

  • Plenary 1 – Getting Published In The Africa Media Review: Processes And Prospects
  • Plenary 2 – Building The Future Of Acce
  • Acce Organizational Matters – Elections Or Formation Of Interim Co-Ordinating Committee

(1) Communication, Language & Culture – Panel A

(2) Communication, Language & Culture – Panel B

(3) Communication & Gender

(4) Communication & Democracy

(5) Communication & Globalization

(6) Communication & Development Challenges – Panel A (Health)

(7) Communication & Development Challenges – Panel B (Health)

(8) Communication & Development Challenges – Panel C (Mixed Development Challenges)

(9) Community Communications

(10) ICTs And New Media – Panel A

(11) ICTs And New Media – Panel B

(12) Classroom-Workplace – A Dialogue

(13) Professional Development, Training & Standards

(14) Communication Ethics

(15) Communication And Conflict

(16) Graduate Studies Forum

Speakers at the opening ceremony includes
-Prof Alex Quarmyne Former UNESCO Regional Communication Adviser for Africa Founding ACCE Member
-Prof Kwame Karikari, Executive Director Media Foundation for West Africa
-Prof Alfred Opubor, Coordinator Communication for Education and Development (Cotonou) Founding ACCE Member

Dr Audrey Gadzekpo, Acting Director, School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana (Legon) is delivering the welcome remarks with Ms. Joyce Aryee, Executive Director, Ghana Chamber Mines, serving the role of chairperson.
His Excellency, Mr. John Mahama, the Vice President of the republic of Ghana is expected to deliver the official Opening Address
Also in attendance will be Prof Nii Boi Tagoe, The Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana

On day 2, Wednesday 12 August, Penplusbytes is organising a workshop on ICT JOURNALISM and Blogging

Also penplusbytes is going to provide live text of the event via www.twitter.com/penplusbytes

I was not involved as a member of the local organising committee but helped with technology side of things, build the conference website http://acceaccra2009.org/
which was quick and dirty on word press
hoping to provide wifi if we get connectivity options right during the conference

One key person, I am looking at meeting during this meeting is Prof Guy Berger from South Africa, Rhodes University, who is speaking on " Social Networking and African Journalists: A Social Capital Perspective on Highway Africa as the Continent's Largest Annual Gathering of African Media Practitioners"  under the Professiona Development, Training and Standard Plenary on Day 2

To download the full programme go to http://acceaccra2009.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/acce2009_programme_final-17-07-2009.doc







Thursday, July 30, 2009

KS/KM in a World Of Change - An Open KM4Dev Community Gathering, Brussels, October 6-8, 2009

KS/KM in a World Of Change - An Open KM4Dev Community Gathering, Brussels, October 6-8, 2009

We are in a time of significant global change. Climate change impacts agriculture, water, health and other development areas. Global financial crises affect the poor and everything they need. How can knowledge sharing and knowledge management help us address these complex and interrelated issues? Join us for three days of thinking and working together on these issues at the 2009 KM4Dev annual gathering. Over the three days, we will have both separate theme focused conversations and then we will weave them together to think about the role of KM/KS separately and collectively.


Pre-workshop - October 5

Evening plan: for those who arrive before 8pm, dinner reservations will be made at La Gioconda[1]


Day 1- October 6

Morning:

Afternoon Regroup (all participants):

  • KS activity (e.g. River of Life)
  • Short speaker/self-run video interviews of each other/inspiring selection of related YouTube videos and interesting websites


Day 2- October 7

Morning:

  • Welcome back, short interim report outs
  • Back to thematic huddles
  • Lunch

Afternoon:

  • Hands-on Social Media workshops - one goal is to start capturing report outs from huddles on some social media
  • Interactive report outs


Day 3 - October 8

Morning:

  • Welcome back/activity
  • What do we do with what we have surfaced - weaving and integration
  • Lunch

Afternoon:

  • KM4Dev community meeting
  • Farewell

Monday, July 13, 2009

TIC et élections en Mauritanie : LES JOURNALISTES RENFORCENT LEUR CAPACITES

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

Un atelier de formation sur la couverture des élections en utilisant les techniques de l'information et de la communication (TIC) a été organisé le 9 juillet 2009 dans les locaux de l'Université Virtuelle Africaine à Nouakchott en Mauritanie à l'intention d'une trentaine de journalistes provenant de tous les médias mauritaniens.
Le séminaire organisé par l'Institut international des journalistes TIC ''Penplusbytes'' en collaboration avec le soutien de Open Society Initiative for West Africa visait à renforcer les capacités des journalistes afin qu'ils puissent couvrir de façon efficace les prochaines élections dans le pays, grâce aux TIC.

Le jour de cette table ronde, les journalistes issus de la télévision, de la radio, de la presse en ligne, de la presse et des radios communautaires ont eu droit a des communications sur ''le cadre légal des élections'', ''l'organisation pratique des élections'', ''l'excellence dans la couverture des élections avant, pendant et après'', ''le rôle du reportage d'investigation dans la couverture des élections''.
La présentation sur le système électoral a été faite par Me Cheikhany Jules, Juriste et Expert des questions électorales à la Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI) .

La deuxième communication a été essentiellement consacrée à des exercices pratiques sur le journalisme d'investigation en période électorale animée par Gérard Guedegbe, Secrétaire général du Forum Africain des Reporters d'Investigations. Les journalistes ont suivi dans un premier temps des démonstrations sur la création d'un blog, la mise en ligne des photos, des sons.

Par la suite, les professionnels des médias ont été invités à créer leurs propres blogs, assistés des organisateurs.
Quant au Président du Penplusbytes, M. Kwami Ahiabenu II, il a fait une présentation sur l'importance des TIC dans le journalisme et a exposé les composantes du projet sur les élections en Afrique mis en œuvre grâce au partenariat agissant entre Penplusbytes et Osiwa.

Le séminaire sur la couverture des élections en utilisant les TIC a été ouvert par le Président du Penplusbytes, M. Kwami Ahiabenu II, le Chargé de Progamme Média et TIC à OSIWA, Ben Akoh, M Hassan Diouk Chargé de Programme à l'IPCD, partenaire local de Penplusbytes. Dans son intervention il a tenu à saluer la structure pour le financement de cet atelier. Mais surtout, M. Kwami Ahiabenu et le Penplusbytes pour la contribution à la formation des journalistes Mauritaniens sur la couverture électorale aux moyens des TIC.

Le président du Penplusbytes, M. Kwami Ahiabenu II, lui a insisté sur la nécessité de former les journalistes à l'utilisation des TIC pour réussir les élections en Mauritanie. Mais surtout permettre à ceux-ci de participer à la création de contenu sur le net.
 
www.africanelections.org/mauritania

 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

African Elections Project (AEP)

Our African Elections Project(AEP) is growing and we are happy to add http://www.africanelections.org/mauritania/ to our vision of creating an online space for elections information and knowledge in Africa
enjoy your visit to the great African Elections online resource

quote of today

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
 
    Niels Bohr (1885 - 1962)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

‘Sakawa’ deals and money transfer

Internet fraudsters operating in the 'sakawa' underworld are said to have deeply penetrated some money transfer outlets with enticing offers to enable them to retrieve large sums of money sent to them by their victims abroad.

A case in point is a lady attendant at one of the transfer outlets in Accra alleged to have been compromised by 'sakawa' boys with huge sums of money in 'kickbacks' in lieu of the presentation of correct documents for the collection of their remittances.

The attendant (name withheld) allegedly collects 10 per cent of the amounts involved from 'sakawa' boys who present code numbers and their personal identity cards to collect money in the name of females and 20 per cent from those who do not present identity cards.

The system of money transfer requires the recipient to produce a code number from' the sender and recipient's national identification, such as passport, driving licence or voter ID card, in order to redeem the money sent.

Meanwhile, the 'sakawa' boys pose as females to deceive their victims and money is sent to them in the female names they present. In their bid to retrieve the money, they have struck a deal with the lady attendant to circumvent the requirement by not presenting the appropriate identity cards or presenting only the code numbers.

In a practice believed to be widespread, money transfer attendants allegedly demand big percentages before obliging to the deal, sometimes to the displeasure of the 'sakawa' boys.

A source at Accra New Town, whose lead the Daily Graphic followed to ascertain the deal, said while transacting a business at one of the money transfer outlets at the Accra North Post Office recently, he eavesdropped on a bargain between a suspected 'sakawa' boy and a lady at one of the counters on the percentage to pay on the money he was to collect.

The source said he was confused initially because he thought it was the responsibility of the sender, not the receiver, to pay the transfer charges. It was curiosity that made him know that the 'sakawa' boy wanted to collect the money in the name of a female.

"The lady told the guy that since he did not bring any ID card the percentage will be higher. After taking my money, I decided to wait a while to watch what went on at that counter. I spent almost three hours there and can you imagine that about 10 boys who came there to pick money were all taking the money in female names? Mr Editor, this lady is making money over there," he wrote to the Daily Graphic.

On a verification mission to the transfer post at the Accra North Post Office, some clients who had gone there to transact business were observed giving money to some of the attendants but the purpose of the gesture was not clear.

Although the financial manager in charge of money transfer at the Accra North Post Office could not immediately confirm or deny the allegation, she indicated that in the past there had been reported misconduct on the part of some of the attendants; for which reason they had been reshuffled.

Some of the 'sakawa' operatives have also targeted the Ghana Post Company (GPC) as another major conduit for sending messages to and receiving parcels from their victims abroad.

On a daily basis, 'sakawa' boys troop to the GPC Headquarters in Accra and other post offices elsewhere to collect large quantities of parcels."

Some 'workers at the GPC Headquarters confirmed to the Daily Graphic that the "sakawa' boys were always lurking around the vicinity to collect parcels.

The difficulty facing the company, however, is that it cannot determine a fraudulent parcel unless it is based on a tip-off, a fact acknowledged by the Deputy Managing Director (Operations & Development) of the GPC, Mr Nicholas N.Y. Dery.

He said without a tip-off from a sending administration about the fraudulent nature of a parcel, "we will go ahead and deliver".

Mr Dery cited two instances when the company had to return parcels to the sending units in the US and Canada because they were deemed to have been fraudulently sent.

In the early days of 'sakawa', the 'Swedru boys', who are widely acknowledged as the pioneers of cyber fraud in Ghana, used the post office as the main conduit for sending large volumes of letters and nude pictures of ladies, mostly scanned from magazines, to their victims abroad.

Some of the 'sakawa' boys managed to lure their victims to Ghana, put them in plush hotels, squeezed all the money on them and left them stranded in town.

Security sources at the GPC recalled instances when some of the foreign victims who could not buy air tickets back home had to wander along the corridors of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, hoping for salvation.

In one instance, according to the sources, a white lady who was lured into the country was dispossessed of every money, impregnated and abandoned in misery by 'sakawa' boys.

With the passage of time, the use of the post office for correspondence with their victims became unattractive for the 'sakawa' boys, as officials of the company began intercepting volumes of the correspondence and, with the collaboration of the police, succeeded in arresting some of the boys.

The Internet, thus, became a safer, faster and more preferred option for the 'Swedru boys' and in no time they infested all the major cities of the country with the cyber crime.

The proliferation of Internet cafes, their accessibility and affordability, as well as growing ICT literacy rate among the population and the potential wealth the Internet offers, have all conspired to make online crime a rather daunting task for an emerging ICT country such as Ghana.

While acknowledging the government's plans to address the problem through the enactment of a Cyber Security Law and the establishment of a Cyber Emergency Response Team as steps in the right direction, an ICT consultant, Mr Kwami Ahiabenu, said, "We have a long way to go in our attempt at resolving this problem."

He said the security agencies, for instance, lacked resources and capacity to deal with the complex nature of cyber crime in terms of policing online space, making arrests and prosecuting suspects.

He said as of now the situation clearly indicated that Ghana was not prepared for the lCT race, otherwise pre-emptive measures would have been taken, knowing very well that cyber crime was part of the ICT revolution.

The complicity of some policemen in the cyber crime, as exemplified by the recent arrest of a policeman for allegedly defrauding a Namibian of $7,900, and the admission by DSP Felix Mawusi of the CID that the police lacked the capacity and logistics to combat cyber crime underline the enormous security challenge facing the nation.


Source: Daily Graphic

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

African Elections Project launched in Malawi


 

The International Institute for ICT Journalism, based in Ghana, has launched the first ever elections project for Malawi. The president of the institute, Kwami Ahiabenu, says it's designed to promote the use of Information and Communication Technology tools (ICTs) in generating election information.

The International Institute for ICT Journalism, based in Ghana, has launched the first ever elections project for Malawi. The president of the institute, Kwami Ahiabenu, says it's designed to promote the use of Information and Communication Technology tools (ICTs) in generating election information.

Malawi will hold national elections on May 19.

"For any elections, people ... want to know how they can participate effectively in the democratic process. We believe that [by] using ... ICTs, we can actually help the flow of information, and [provide] knowledgeable elections both on-line and off-line," he says.

Ahiabenu says the project will train senior editors, journalists and reporters and develop and distribute an election guide for the media. It will also provide election coverage using SMS (Short Message Service) text messaging and an Online Portal (www.africanelections.org/malawi).


He says mobile phone users in Malawi will be able to access election news updates and certified results through a short code service number (2009) provided by local mobile phone network provider Telekoms Network Malawi (TNM). Observers can also subscribe to e-mail newsfeeds.

The coordinator of the project in Malawi, Victor Kaonga, says it will open Malawi's electoral process to the outside world. "I think generally the world is now looking at how Malawi will perform at this election. The project will contribute towards sharing of information and ... to the generation of information here in Malawi. I guess the world will be monitoring whatever is happening and will [help improve democracy in the country and] also the democracy of the Internet." he says.

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa is funding the project, which has also been launched in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Guinea.

The executive director of Media Council of Malawi, Baldwin Chamwaka, welcomed the development, saying Malawi should be proud to be the first country in Southern Africa where the African Elections Project has been launched this year.


Source: voanews.com

Sunday, May 10, 2009

African Elections Project launched in Malawi

African Elections Project launched in Malawi

 Across Africa, elections are now becoming the de facto means of selecting political leaders; however, there is a dearth of elections information and knowledge online. As a means of contributing to resolve this problem, the African Elections Project was conceived to provide coverage of elections using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) across the continent.

After a successful take-off in Ghana, Cote d' lvoire and Guinea, the African Elections Project (AEP) launched its Malawi phase of the project in Blantyre on 6th May 2009. The Malawi project has the following key components :   Training for senior editors, journalists and reporters; development and dissemination of an election guide for the media, an SMS/Mobile application in election coverage and monitoring; information and knowledge Online Portal ( www.africanelections.org/malawi ) and Knowledge products for the media and Media Content Monitoring. Through this project, mobile phone users in Malawi will be able to access election news updates and certified results through a short code service number (2009) provided by Telekoms Network Malawi (TNM) whilst email users will be able to subscribe to newsfeeds directly from the website. Malawi Presidential and Parliamentary elections is scheduled to  take place on 19th May 2009.

  At the launch of this project in Blantyre,  the Executive Director of Media Council of Malawi (MCM), Mr. Baldwin Chiyamwaka said "this project is a welcome development since it provides country specific relevant elections information contributed by journalists and ordinary citizens. Also, it integrates SMS as broadcast, monitoring and citizen journalism tool, as mobile phones have become increasingly preferred means of communication in Africa due to their convenience and relatively low cost of deployment". He added that Malawi should be proud to be the first country in Southern Africa where the African Elections Project has been launched this year.

 Also present at the launch were key partners including Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN), National Media Institute for Southern African (NAMISA) and National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC).

 In a message, Ms. Thandi Mbvundula, the ICT Programme Manager for the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) said "We are excited to be part of this project and to support its launch within the Southern African region, primarily because of its contributory role in deepening democracy and supporting the creation of open societies through capacity building for the media, while at the same time providing a unique online elections information and knowledge platform that will eventually provide transparent access to the electoral processes across the African continent".

The African Elections Project-Malawi is coordinated by the International Institute for ICT Journalism ( www.penplusbytes.org ) working hand in hand with key partners with funding from the Open Society Initiative for Southern African (OSISA - www.osisa.org )

 

Signed

Victor Kaonga

Project Coordinator (Malawi)

www.africanelections.org/malawi

Monday, April 27, 2009

Benin hosts Penplusbytes Communication Design Workshop

Thirty (30) West African Newspaper and Magazine Designers from both Francophone and Anglophone speaking West African countries are meeting at the Universite d'Abomey Calavi, Campus Numerique Francophone de Cotonou in Benin for the 2nd West African Communication Design Workshop.

Thirty (30) West African Newspaper and Magazine Designers from both Francophone and Anglophone speaking West African countries are meeting at the Universite d'Abomey Calavi, Campus Numerique Francophone de Cotonou in Benin for the 2nd West African Communication Design Workshop.

Opening the workshop, Guy Constant Ehoumi, deputy president of Union des Professionnels des Medias du Benin - UPMB (Journalists Union of Benin) said they are pleased to welcome participants from West African countries to Contonou for the workshop and asked the participants to take advantage of this unique training opportunity to learn more about how to improve the design and layout of their various publications.

The workshop which runs from 6th to 10th April 2009, focuses on visual theory, design as a profession, working on publications in a newsroom and designing for different audiences. This short course also engages already existing knowledge about what constitutes good newspaper/magazine. In addition to the main course, a group of participants are taking a Training of Trainers (TOT) course in design communications.

Speaking on the objectives of the course, the president of Penplusbytes, Kwami Ahiabenu II, said "unfortunately most training programmes for the media turn to forget the role of design in the media and we have come out with this workshop to provide capacity building for design communicators and graphic design in West Africa thereby filling a major training gap."

Participants to the workshop are drawn from the following West Africa countries including: Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire and The Gambia.

Two key experts in design communications namely; Shalen Gajadhar of Rhodes University, South Africa and Nahmsath Yabouri, an Open Source expert based in Togo are the key facilitators for this course.

The second workshop training course on Design Communication 2009 is jointly organized by The International Institute for ICT Journalism www.penplusbytes.org, Highway Africa, Digital Media Foundation in partnership and with funding from Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA), www.osiwa.org.

watch video of opening ceremony at

http://penplusybytes.ning.com/video/design-communications-2-benin

African Elections Project Malawi - AEP www.africanelections.org/malawi

Malawi Elections Project Scope The African Elections Project (AEP) is aimed at developing the capacity of the media in ICTs in order for them to use it as a tool for election coverage and the provision of elections information and knowledge for Elections in Africa

 The African Elections Project- Malawi is coordinated by the International Institute for ICT Journalism www.penplusbytes.org working hand in hand with key partners with funding from Open Society Initiative for Southern African www.osisa.org Elections Project Scope

The African Elections Project (AEP) is aimed at developing the capacity of the media in ICTs in order for them to use it as a tool for election coverage and the provision of elections information and knowledge for Elections in Africa

The sub levels of this project are:

* Training for senior editors, journalists and reporters
* Development and dissemination of Election Guide for the Media
* SMS/Mobile application in election coverage and monitoring
* Information and Knowledge Online Portal
* Knowledge products for the media
* Media Content Monitoring

online spaces


1. website http://www.africanelections.org
 

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Information and Knowledge Management powered by ICTs

I was privileged to be invited by  the Media Foundation for West Africa  to participate in their  Institutional Capacity Building, Staff Orientation and Re-orientation meeting which took place at  Holy Trinity Spa & Health Farm, Sogakofe in January 2009.The theme for the meeting was Building Institutional & Operational Capacity for Enhanced Efficiency and Effectiveness and I shared with the group some thoughts on  Information and Knowledge Management powered by ICTs
The presentation was made up of two parts below :

 Part one

        -          What is Information and Knowledge Management?

-          Internal communication and information sharing

-          Personal Electronic & Data Management

-          Developing an information and knowledge management plan

-          Change management

 Part Two

-          Information and Communication Technologies and KM

-          Word, spreadsheet, outlook (database), folder management)

-         Microsoft vrs Open source  

-          Online tools – Internet, Intranet, web 2.0: online documents and wikis

-          Effective use of LAN

-          Website management – posting, updating and editing content

-          Security and back up



ends 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Coverage of Elections in Ghana and Kenya: Lessons for Africa's Democracy

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE                                                                 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

  

Accra, GHANA, Jan. 20, 2009 -- The African University College of Communication, in collaboration with the International Institute for ICT Journalism (Penplusbytes) will host a press briefing at 11 a.m. Thursday, January 22, at AUCC's campus located at Discovery House,

No. 2 Jones Nelson Road, off Kojo Thompson Road in Adabraka. The briefing will consist of the exclusive release of the findings of AUCC's Media Monitoring Centre on Ghana's 2008 Elections.

 

AUCC Dean of Journalism, Absalom Mutere, who was chairman of Kenya Media Council 2002-2007, will lead a panel discussion covering the topic "Coverage of Elections in Ghana and Kenya: Lessons for Africa's Democracy." Other panel members will include:

 

Paul Adu Gyamfi, chairman, National Media Commission

Kwami Ahiabenu,II Penplusbytes

Alison Bethel, Knight International Journalism Fellow

Reggie Jackson, professor emeritus, Visual Communications, AUCC

 

AUCC and Penplusbytes monitored the Ghana elections from the AUCC Media Monitoring Centre, including during the run-off and the special election held in the Tain constituency. For the first time since the election, the findings will be shared with the public and the panel will discuss them as well as the way forward for Ghana's media.

 

Chairman for the session will be Prof Alfred Opubor, Distinguished Professor of Journalism, AUCC.

 

As an African training institution, AUCC is committed to promoting journalistic excellence particularly at this phase of the continent's political development.  From lessons learned and the sharing of best practices, AUCC believes that journalism will positively contribute to enhancing democracy and stability in Africa.





CONTACT: Absalom Mutere

                    African University College of Communications

                    + 233-21 - 258584

 
From: African University College of Communications (AUCC)


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Life is like a trumpet - if you don't put anything into it, you don't get anything out of it."

William Christopher Handy -