Following a recent article in the The Standard newspaper (Zimbabwe) we thought it appropriate to put the record straight regarding the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and their attempt to censor the use of Freedom Fone in Zimbabwe.
On a recent visit to Nairobi I had the the chance to follow up on a few people who are beginning to use Freedom Fone in Kenya.
Democratic governance and political accountability are defined by the very nature of information and communication. Transparency in any organisation, state or enterprise, is often obscured by bureaucracies that still rely on hierarchical structures to control the access and delivery of information.
Freedom Fone & Kubatana Trust of Zimbabwe have won the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award 2012!
Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa was in London last night to receive the Innovation Award that recognises the original use of new technology to circumvent censorship and foster debate, argument or dissent.
Freedom Fone is not only about providing a free mobile communication platform, we are also very interested in how organisations are using our technology. Therefore, training is a very important aspect of what we do.
It's been 5 years since I last visited the Dadaab refugee camps, in the remote desert region of north-eastern Kenya, to report on the influx of new arrivals fleeing from yet another cycle of violence and conflict in southern Somalia. Already then the camps were home to 180,000+ refugees and were struggling to accommodate the growing numbers still crossing the porous border on foot in search of asylum and better livelihoods.
Despite huge advances in new communication technologies and the widening reach of the internet, few mediums have survived the tectonic shifts in current media landscapes the way radio has. Not only has radio remained culturally significant in the developed world, it continues to transform the way information is shared with remote and marginalised communities on the other side of the digital divide.
This is why, on the 13th of February, we celebrate for the first time World Radio Day.
There is a slight inaccuracy in the name "Somalia Speaks" given to the Al-Jazeera initiative that is collecting and publishing unheard "voices" from inside Somalia. Mainly, that there is nothing "spoken" about it. In other words, the project is unilaterally dependant on respondents sending SMS text messages.