September 30, 2011 - 09:00AM
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> PAUL HECTOR: Good morning everyone. I'm glad to see all of you here. We will start in perhaps two minutes. Just give a few others a chance to get in. Thank you.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Good morning panelists. Welcome to this session jointly organized by UNESCO and UNECA, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Today we will be looking into the topic addressing some unintended consequences of participation in the digital environment. Basically this discussion will be framing some challenges within the African context and seeking to draw some lessons from current work that can inform current and future practice.
As we all know, the catalytic impact of ICTs are bringing games and efficiencies and effectiveness as well as creating new opportunities at the individual, institutional, national, regional and global levels. ICT and the virtual spaces have also been identified as key enablers for addressing gender inequities, for supporting health services and constituting the millennium of the goals. As a result of these positive impacts of ICT we see a very high investment by governments, by the private sector in ICT, however, at the same time realizing the potential that ICT has for making these profound changes in our world is not really a straightforward process, and, in fact, sometimes ICT can lead to a number of challenges and problems. And that is precisely the subject of our discussion today, and looking at ways whereby we can maximize the positive impacts and reduce the adverse consequences.
If I could draw a parallel, many of you are familiar with the concept of education for all. We all recognize that education is a very powerful enabler. It does many things. It provides a tremendous number of opportunities. However, there are some problems in terms of achieving EFA. For example, when we think of bringing everyone to school, what happens when suddenly you find yourself in a situation where classroom -- the number of students rise from 30 persons to let's say 150 persons? What happens to the quality? So if quality of education goes down, this could be a negative consequence, and similarly we will be looking at four areas: Diversion of resources, the division of E-waste, threats to survival of languages and the rise in cybercrime and distrust in the use of these virtual spaces.
With me to discuss these topics I have a distinguished panel. On my extreme left I have Ms. Gladys Munyua, who is the director of Computer Aid International. Next to her we have Ms. Eskedar Nega is the programme officer for ICT Policy Development, UNECA. On the right, Ms. Titi Akinsanmi, Researcher, LINK Centre, University of Witwatersrand. And on my right Mr. Maurice Tadadjeu at the Association Nationale des Comites de Langues Camerounaises.
We want to raise awareness, we want to identify and prioritize actions taken at the national level and hopefully identify areas where we can all work together to address these challenges. At this point I will call on our first speaker, Ms. Gladys Muhunyo, to present to you her thoughts on E-waste.
>> GLADYS MUHUNYO: Thank you. Thank you, Paul. I will need to move to where the presentation is.
Good morning everyone. My name is Gladys, as introduced by Paul, and I'm delighted to be here, first of all, because the Internet has been one of the driving forces behind development in ICT, and secondly, because my organization is involved in making sure that those who cannot afford it can actually get access to it, and because of that the issues of E-waste keeps hitting us every time we go on the ground. And this morning I just want to express what Computer Aid understands about that, what we are doing about it and in the end hoping that I can encourage each one of us to look at our advocacy booklet to see what we can do in the areas where we are in this issue related to E-waste.
So a little first about Computer Aid. We promote the use of ICT. We promote the refurbishment, the recycling of it and providing practical solutions for eLearning, eHealth inclusion, and all this revolves around Internet. So Internet is a good thing. Internet has helped us to make sure that those people who could not access the technology that is available or the information that is available on the Cloud in the grassroots. But the concept before us is what steps, then, do we take to ensure that there is effective campaign regarding policy and practice of electronic and E-waste.
My presentation is at the backdrop of an E-funded advocacy programme that was undertaken over a year ago to help countries within the EU understand what policies to put in place, how do fundamental organizations actually begin to, you know, unravel what E-waste is and what to do around them. So I'm going to use that, and at the end of this session we actually do have the electronic booklet available in case you want to see it. It's a 52-page document. I'm only using five slides as guided, so we're going to try and summarize it as well.
So the key issues is that ICT is necessary. We cannot do without it. It helps us to access all this knowledge and information that are in the Internet, but they are electronic, and if you look at the EU waste electronic and equipment policy means that we use these gadgets and they reach their end of life. What do we do about them? So we're trying to see that it contains the ICT -- the ICT gadgets contain a number of substances that are a threat to human life if they are not properly disposed, and when they reach their end of life, where do they go, who should be responsible for it? It has increased, yes, but has it increased to the amounts that we are crying that now we no longer need technology? What can we do about it?
The waste that we are calling E is a defective and obsolete electronic equipment. It could be a cathode ray tube, a battery, anything that you are using that is digital or electronic, then it is obsolete. Then that is the waste that we are talking about.
I work in a sector that reuses technology, and one of the things I get bombarded on the ground is I am dumping, and I like to tell people that off the electronic waste -- of the electronic waste this is world, only about a tenth of it is actually computer equipment, and of that tenth that is computer equipment, 1/100 of it is used equipment. Most people buy a new computer. After they're finished using it they throw it away. They don't reuse it.
So what percentage of the electronic waste do you hold in your houses? Watches, calculators, iron boxes, your fridges, washing machines, TVs, radios, all this, contributes to all the waste in the world. Have these gadgets helped our lives? Actually, most of us cannot leave without our mobile phones. They have helped our lives. Have the computers that all of you have in front of you helped your lives? They have. And as we move on into development, we must say that these damage it's are necessary but they are hazardous once they become absolute.
Let us advocate for the proper disposal. Www.ComputerAid.org is to give a directive on how people in organizations can comply to the legislation. This legislation is not only applied in EU, but across Africa and Latin America. We try and tell people, it is actually good. Try and see what you can do about it. We promote E-waste advocacy, and that's the handbook that is currently being launched in Europe later this afternoon, and I'm going to be preview to give it to you before they launch it, so we are actively lobbying within governments, educational institutions and non-Governments agencies first to understand the E-waste and secondly to see how they can handle it properly.
Quickly before Paul tells me to stop, I'll talk about problems and a few solutions. The greatest problems of our electronic equipment is the quick design that are poor because they don't last long, and after a couple of months there is a newer version, so you throw away the old one because one of the buttons doesn't give you a shortcut quickly, the programme that you wanted, you get the next one, and the amount of marketing around this. Even as you arrive at (off mic) billboards on the side for, you know, the latest telephone gadgets. So there's a very big problem with the designers of the technology.
Can you use a gadget and use it for your entire work life before seeing that you want to use the next technology? The format currently used is too old for my son. He needs the latest one. So you have to look at can we have a gadget that can go across generations and do the same thing.
It is true and it is a fact that we do have a lot of problems related to the toxics that come from these electronics, and that is problem No. 2. In our handbook, electronic handbook which will be displayed to you, there's a page of the human anatomy from the brain to the toe, of each of these metals, the effect they have if they're not properly disposed. I'll not get into that but they are hazardous waste if they're not handled properly.
The third problem is that we are all designing new solutions, new equipment, new technology. We need the raw metals. We need iron, we need copper, we need nickel, we need gold. These metals are becoming increasingly scarce. The majority of these metals are found in underdeveloped countries, and even to get gold out of the gold ore, you need a lot of it, but the equipment that we are throwing away has tons of these gadgets, so therefore, how do we handle it properly so that we can extract this valuable, including these cast materials. I'm delighted to say that Computer Aid used to do their disposal in Germany and Belgium before because there was no plant in the U.K., but today there is. We have organizations that have actually fit this as a business and they are able to handle our solutions for them.
The fourth problem is that E-waste is managed badly. Today in your house when something gets end of its use, whether it is a paper, a pen, a mobile phone, you throw it in the same dust bin; is that correct? We are not separating our waste. Therefore, in a city like Nairobi they'll all end up in the same dump site, decomposing in a strong heat, 40 degrees in January, and therefore it is hazardous waste. How do we as human beings value our life enough to separate these metals enough to make sure that we can dispose -- they are -- put those that are disposable with -- without those that are not. It is an issue of policy. It's an issue of liking ourselves better than we're actually doing right now, because if I asked you what happened to your first mobile phone, is it somewhere in a carton, given out to a neighbor, given out to a young child, or is it in a dump site? So basically we need to look at what do we do with this?
There are various solutions that are proposed in this handbook which you are going to get an electronic version for if you log into the site that has this presentation. Some of them have been proposed that I agree with. Some are controversial, and that is why these unintended consequences happen. I love the EU and the U.S., because they make producers pay. I'm being told to wind up. We are told that producers must take responsibility in developing countries but paper use -- let them make longer lasting products.
We are supposed to ban the import and export of E-waste from Government but what the Government that has E-waste in the neighboring company? The E-waste processing machine, what do we do? Those are questions. Let us make sure that when you buy something it is reusable. Buy green, reduce what you don't need, reuse what you can. Use our refurbishing centres across the world so you can be made new and finally, recycle.
In conclusion, I do have the E-waste advocacy handbook which tells you the details of exactly what E-waste is, what those four problems are, what those four solutions are, but over and above that we are saying, how do -- we've advocated for health issues. How do we then use the advocacy framework? So it's more of a guideline, how do you get a campaign, how do you get your policy makers involved, what areas do you get involved in as a person, as an organization. It is all here. Tie toxic waste (off mic) to the crisis, E-waste can be treated safely. Each of us has a role to play to make this greener and cleaner electronics a reality, because the truth is we need them. Thank you very much.
>> PAUL HECTOR: Thank you very much --
>> ESKEDAR NEGA: -- to support the African Commission has put in place a roadmap to really see this instrument validated and being responsive to the challenges of our Member States. We are kickstarting a very wide process starting next month with Central Africa to table the content of this draft convention and to get comments and suggestions. We will be organizing various on-line discussions and on-line consultations as well. This draft convention will be complimented at subregional level by frameworks. That will raise peculiar challenges of each subregions of the continent and would serve as sort of a breach between the national legal instruments that would be adopted later on in line with the convention.
We will be engaged in the coming years with a number of capacity building and training sessions to really raise our awareness and also to ensure sustainable way of addressing these issues by transposing -- by trying -- by supporting countries to transpose these various regional and subregional instruments into their national provisions, and also, of course, at the end of the day we -- the whole idea is not only to get signatures of countries for such convention but to get the stratification for a very substantive legal environment that can address this issue.
So we're very -- you know, we will start with -- we're at the beginning of the process of consultation. We'll be very happy to get input from all the stakeholders that are involved in promoting the knowledge economy, the business -- the judicial, the parliamentarians so we'll be reaching out to all of you and trying to get your comments and suggestions before the tabling and the reviewing of this document by experts, ministers and later on by the heads of state. So keep tracking our activities on our Web site, at www.UNECA.org, and I'll be happy to share more with you after this session. Thank you.
>> PAUL HECTOR: Thank you, Eskedar. Just to highlight a couple points, as we -- as we can see, in order to tap into the potential that ICT offers and the benefits, the socioeconomic benefits of on-line transactions, it's important for us to be operating in a secure environment, an environment in which people feel safe to give the -- to give and share their personal information, and again, as we can see, we're at the start of this process within -- within Africa. There are a number of examples outside, which can be looked at, but it's also very important that specific attention be given to the -- the legal, cultural landscape here.
Now, without any further ado, we will move on to the second speaker, who is -- the third speaker, sorry, professor Maurice Tadadjeu. For those of you who just came in, this is a session addressing some unintended consequences of participation in the digital environment, and so far we've had two speakers, one on E-waste, the second one on cybersecurity, and now we'll be looking into the role that ICT can play in threatening the survival of African languages. Professor, you have the floor.
>> MAURICE TADADJEU: Thank you. My name is Maurice Tadadjeu. I am a professor of linguistics at the University at Association Nationale des Comites de Langues Camerounaises. This has been very necessary in the Cameroun education system, which is also the basis for developing what I'm presenting here, the institutional framework for developing the ELAL. It's the French acronym for electronic schools in African languages. French is our major working language in this project. What I'm trying to do here is raise awareness on the need to systematically introduce ICTs in rural schools. The only thing the languages is best mastered by the children in these areas. The idea is that we should not ask the children to first learn French or English or any other language of wider communication before they can get on to ICTs.
The idea of the project developed in 2005. You remember that the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society was held in Tunis, and somehow I was involved with ACALAN, the African academy of languages, and we were discussing the place and role of African languages in the cyberspace, and at some point the idea of the two digital divides was discussed, mainly that we all know that there is a digital divide between western nations, developed nations, and developing nations, including Africa, but we should also be aware of a second digital divide in Africa, which is developing fast between rural areas and urban areas. That is, the people and the children going to school in the rural areas do not have the same opportunities to get on to the use of ICTs as learning tools as cities and -- I mean, urban children have.
Well, being as I was saying the other day, after Mr. Turi of Gambia, being a village boy, I felt much concern about the children in the village areas, and since I had built a university team to introduce (off mic) education in the Cameroun education system, we were prepared to tackle this challenge, and actually we did not know how complicated the task was. It was as we go on that we discover that it is a Titanic job, but since we're already there, we'd better continue.
We therefore, encouraged by some officials from the ECA, we developed ELAL project and submitted to the ECA in 2005. It got approval in 2006, so I was very happy that we could get some high-level support because, you see, the work on African languages is very frustrating work, because people do not pay too much attention. You know, you fight and fight and then you have people telling you about why, why do you go back to these things? Why don't you forget about all that? And so forth. But anyway, we were happy to have that support, and we started the implementation by building a team and by familiarizing pilot schools with the computer. Imagine that some teachers in those schools really had not seen a computer before, let alone typing text or something.
So what we can call ELAL 1 is what we did between 2007 and 2010, that is, try to develop generalizable model for introducing ICTs in rural schools in, quote/unquote, minority languages. That is -- there are African languages that really do not have problems with the ICTs. Swahili, you take Wolof, languages like Hausa, these big languages really do not have problems, but languages spoken by an average number of speakers of, let's say 1 million speakers, these languages are generally endangered languages and do not usually have Government support or institutional support and so forth. So without that it was necessary as researchers to develop a model that could also be used by other researchers and practitioners in other areas in Africa to introduce ICTs in these languages, especially in the rural areas.
I will not mention the major structural problems that we face in the rural area, electricity and things like that. Probably we'll talk about that when we get to question/answers period.
The model actually was trying to develop literacy, have children literate in the languages that they speak, and also develop a small bulletin through which the children can express their feelings, tell their stories and things like that. But as we went on we discovered that the teachers behind our backs were also using the L2, that is the official language, French, that is normally the language of instruction in Cameroun, so unintendedly we accepted that we were actually dealing with bilingual (off mic) in these schools. Now, it's accepted like that, but we have to be aware that if we are not careful, the second language, the official language, can really impede on the development of the mother tongues.
Now, we did further research in two schools, a French school in Aunde, and an American school. And the goal was to see what are the major objectives, when they introduce languages in schools what is it they are trying to do? So we came up with the conclusion that the (off mic) in those western schools are preparing their children to properly function in the society, the societies already using ICTs to operate, whereas, in the African rural areas actually we are introducing new tools, and these new tools are to prepare children to be able to effectively contribute to the transformation of their societies. These are two -- two different objectives. There are overlaps, of course, but these are the main objectives.
So after 2010 we kind of concluded and wrapped up what we had done and we are now within what we call ELAL 2, which is going to run between 2011 and 2014. We are trying to consolidate our research team so that a lot of research can be carried on within the research institutions and applied in the schools, because there are things that -- the strengthening of the research team, because we -- I discovered that people of imagination, professors of my generation spell and the generation following me, they are too busy doing other things. You really cannot tell them on word. They have their own programmes and they are interested in doing their own things. So I kind of had to turn to younger researchers, MA students, Ph.D. students, linguistics, computer science, education, and bring them together, so I feel better now that we can -- we will produce younger people who have new ideas, who have energy and ambitions.
So there are major areas of research. First you have L1 standardization. Most of these languages are not written. We have to develop and stabilize the (off mic). We have to develop monolingual dictionaries for languages. That is very often what they are called, dictionaries -- lexicons, you know, you introduce the word in the language and then you say what it means in French, and that's not a dictionary. You have to explain with your right hand, you have to explain what hand is in the language itself.
And then there are spell checkers. You see, you have to develop softwares for spell checkers in these languages, and you have to transfer the partial content of primary education into these languages, and this is a great task because you discover that the content itself, a lot of it is useless. I mean, it's there because it's been there. There's no justification for it being there, but it's been there. So it should be there. And you have to put it -- select what you want and put in the local language. This is what research has to do.
On the area of application in schools, we have to have children who are made literate, produce their own stories in L1. We have to introduce them into emailing among themselves and among the schools. We have to familiarize them with the computer as a tool for properly writing the language, the standard form of the language, and make sure that they -- you see, they enjoy using the tool, you see. This is something very, very interesting. It's an enjoyable tool for acquiring knowledge and using that knowledge, you see. So it's very, very interesting when you look at them. One person sitting in front of the machine and there are about two or three or four people standing behind, and then they are working all together.
Now -- yes. In order to introduce them into the L1 Web site, we no longer -- we do not yet have L1 Web sites, but we are preparing to introduce --
>> PAUL HECTOR: Professor, could you wrap up, please?
>> MAURICE TADADJEU: Yes, yes, we are preparing to introduce this, and we hope that they will be able to publish their own stories and also to guide them into L2 Web sites.
Now, the last two things is the need for cooperation. We cannot do this thing alone. There are many people in many African countries doing a lot of things that we don't know. We need to get to know those people, to cooperate with them and then to cooperate with the universities because they have the manpower and also with international -- international institutions.
The challenge I have already said, building interdisciplinary teams and having them operate in various languages.
Finally, in conclusion, I think that we should -- we are here at the IGF. It's important that we dream of --
>> PAUL HECTOR: These ICTs do not exist, do not initially support many of the languages. As was pointed out, for languages that have fewer earn 1 million speakers, often there's not a lot of institutional support for developing even educational materials, even off-line materials. He also pointed out that there's also a certain amount of, if you want to say, maybe public apathy, which needs to be overcome. People ask, why do this? And he gave quite a number of key reasons for this. We're very happy to hear of the progress which is being made.
We'll now hear from our final speaker, who will be talking about the diversion of resources and the role that ICTs play.
>> TITI AKINSANMI: Thank you, Paul. A bit of a contextualization. The instruction was try and work within five PowerPoint slides. I don't necessarily know how to work within just the PowerPoint slides. They tend to make me go on and on. So what I have tried to do is arrange my thoughts and not -- I will not necessarily be reading a speech to you but to guide myself within the ten minutes of introduction I will be reading from my computer.
My presentation today is going to be on four levels, thereabouts. I will do a bit of an introduction, contextualization of what I'll be speaking about, and I will speak to three phases in terms of ICTs for development that I believe has a core. I have define two points and then I will speak to what is my area of interest in terms of mitigating or managing the unintended consequences and particularly around the knowledge.
So to start, the LINK Centre I work for is a leading research in the field of information and communications technology, policy (no audio) around ICTs for development. So telecentres, they leaned (no audio ) -- not trying to sustain provision and access to the continent. That's an example, through to what happens at the technologies at the end of life. ICTs just began to divert development from funds from more pressing concerns and this would be justified if these technologies are not able to adequately respond to mixed development promises.
The question I'm faced with as someone who believes with ICTs for development every time, who says I need technology when I need food? I need to be able to make a case to provide this technology rather than diverting the funds for people who are hungry in Somalia. Those are questions we are faced with. I had a conversation with someone earlier on and they said keyberry is not too far away and yet we're here having this governance forum and spending all this money and we are faced with these needs.
Those are questions we have to be able to have clear answers for. And the truth is we are coming to know it more and more, is that initiatives are great, but we're all stakeholders are not on board and supported with the right structure from policies, to regulations to financial mechanisms, they will fail. These issues or any unintended consequences should not discourage us from exploring the impacts of and the positive that ICTs bring to development, rather they should remind us of the important for planning, that reflect local needs, conditions and capabilities.
So here's the reality face. A new era where realistic (off mic) equitable development. Who ultimately makes a difference in people's lives is the specific use of technology and the extent to which they -- and the extent to which they help communities and individuals reach their collective or individual development objectives. So one is appropriateness of technologies to local context and needs, and two is that it should be addressing not just (no audio) one aspect, but a continuum of issues within that society as (no audio) and third, of course, is we need to be able to have adequate response when we are asking why ICTs, not HIV/AIDS.
My area of interest and how I'm personally addressing this is working to what's building a knowledge economy. Looking at how increased access continues to create further device in an already well divided environment. I am exploring the many aspects of the digital (no audio). I see that I don't have any more minutes. So particularly I think that this issue is an open doorway for more areas (no audio).
>> PAUL HECTOR: -- used for security, et cetera. Now we've heard from the panelists. They have been quite varied. We've heard from academics, policy makers, practitioners, and now we turn it over to you, the audience, to get your questions. So in my first round I'll take three questions and you can indicate the speakers you'd like to address the member -- the member of the panel you'd like to address it to.
>> Thank you, my name is Nabit Palo. I'm speaking for small faith-based NGO advocating Human Rights based in Kenya as well as Switzerland, and I'm very interested (no audio) stakeholders because they are very active everywhere to get their interests heard. You will get input. You can't avoid it from some powerful governments, which are very much influenced by protecting the interests of certain business stakeholders that contribute a lot of taxes to them. But this particular bundle of perspectives, it is pretty one-sided in a way, so I would really encourage to get voices on board from civil society, in particular in Latin America and India, their strong wisdom in civil society on the negative effects of the one-sided lobbying that you are getting from the west. Thank you.
>> (off mic)
>> I wish I could speak in my native language. I started speaking in Ebu and then the Internet crashed. (laughter) I don't know -- I just want to say, I'm not responsible for the crash of the Internet just now.
I'm quite impressed by professor's presentation and the work that he's doing through (off mic). I don't think they've got enough teeth in the ICT for now. I was just tweeting and asking my Ebu friends -- I'm originally from Nigeria, and I speak a language called (off mic) alphabet. I was asking if anyone knows Ebu equivalent of (off mic) IPB 6 and all of those things. I still know we use computer, we just translate -- we use the computer and Internet, (off mic) for Internet, I'm very much interested in knowing how we could repackage the IT linguistics itself into something meaningful, because unless it speaks my language, it apparently wouldn't solve my problem. That's my gut feeling about it.
As an African who's lived in seven countries and speaks about five languages of this continent, I just want to express my worry, and I want it to be -- if it's reported, while we're in Nairobi that we need to begin an active role in preserving African culture and languages on the Internet. I'm correctly right with the Web foundation on the effects of culture -- on the effects of Internet and culture and especially for economic development for our countries, and if we're not careful to grow content producers in African languages then in the next five years when we've all finished (off mic) people from Finland and Norway and the U.S., probably my children wouldn't speak the language anymore.
So I just want to raise it as a point of concern for -- because if we want to include diversity, accessibility and access on the Internet, we need to do something about languages, and African languages, yes, but please mention Ebu, which is my language.
>> My name is Arun Meta, director of the (off mic) in New Delhi India. I don't know how much wisdom I can bring, but I'll address your question. Gladys, I'm very delighted to find people who are passionate and interested in E-waste because that is a very serious problem. I personally do a lot of work with children with mental challenges, and I'm aware of how some of these environmental factors impact there. You talked about recycling and recycling itself can be a problem, so let me give you an example of that. Computer monitors have fire retardant chemicals in them that are neurotoxins. As long as it's in a computer monitor that's not so dangerous, but if you recycle and it becomes a children's toy and a child is chewing on it, then we have a different problem.
So there is a need, which is extremely difficult one, to monitor these very (off mic) things through their entire life cycles, and that's not an easy thing to do. There have been attempts, for example, with genetically modified foods to do exactly that, you know, that you follow this over the life cycle, and I'm wondering if there are any lessons to be learned from that.
I also have a comment for the last week -- I'm sorry, I didn't get your name properly, but you were looking for a reason as to why you would put ICT ahead of food, and I think I can help a little bit with that. People who are connected are less likely to be hungry. They are likely to be -- they can organize better, they can fight for their rights, and so my argument is that, you know, we don't have to wait for people to get drinking water and food before we give them ICT. They'll never get the drinking water and the food unless they are connected, organized and are able to fight for their rights.
I believe that there is a very strong connection between information poverty and poverty of other kinds, financial, political and so on, and information poverty is probably easier to address than the other kinds of poverty. Thank you.
>> GLADYS MUHUNYO: Can I go first? Recycling, yes, is a problem. First and foremost is that we don't see the value of life because if you actually knew you were going to die if you don't eat for the next 30 days, you'd make sure that you eat. But because you do not know by throwing away that piece of garbage is going to make somebody die, so you throw it away, it's the whole essence of the value of life. And we do not have sufficient monitoring and evaluation on the use of electronic equipment. It is true that we want people to recycle and reuse as much as possible because we will not need to manufacture more, but we do not know the extent to which this danger is because we are not monitoring it.
If the recycling can prevent gadgets to be used that will cause more death, then we can use the recycling to make fencing posts or something that is not as hazardous as a children's toy.
It is my hope and sincere request to UNESCO and UNECA, to came this up seriously. The reason an informed society not understanding what is the magnitude of E-waste. We just make up figures and we are not sure where to go from here. And the advocacy policy handbook I'm talking about is in your home environment. Give us the statistics and information and then pass it on -- you talked about networking. Give us the information and then a solution can be gotten from the partners that are on the panel. So we don't have an answer and it's a grave danger that we continue not to have one. Thank you.
>> TITI AKINSANMI: Thank you. The name is Titi. That's T-I-T-I, or a double T makes it easier. Okay. So my comment was not that there was no linkage or that I don't have a reason for it, but my case is more of there's such a disconnect. Let me use an example. A recent study by best and gillprin on the ICT sector was done, and one of the points he came from was he looked at the range, the plethora of ICT development conferences that there are. And there is one thing. The scientists all met together and talked and we're excited and the development users met together and charted and were excited. And there were some others of us who all met together and chatted, but there was usually no connection between those three particular sectors.
So, again, there's it's not that there's no particular case for it. I firmly believe in ICTs for development. The saying is teach a man to fish, don't just give him fish every day. So yes there is a connection, there is a case for ICTs as a development, but as long as we don't have a clear articulation of why we should come first, or at least come hand in hand with every other solution, then we continue to have the disconnect, and sincerely will have less funding. That's it at the end of the day.
>> MAURICE TADADJEU: I would like to say a few words with regard to the Ebu language. I agree 100% with you, only that you don't have to worry about Ebu, because that's a major African language. Major languages always stand up, okay? Yes. So (laughter) -- but there's one thing I should say. You see, we Africans are the only -- especially African elites, we are the only people who are ashamed of themselves. We try to be like others. We mimic others, we try to show that we are like Americans, like Europeans, like... why don't we be ourselves?
Here we are in Kenya. One official language of Kenya is Swahili. I don't think anyone has given a talk here in Swahili. What was the point of coming here, is to gain dollars or to show that we are African with African culture and African languages. Here in 2007, with the world forum, I mean -- social forum. I don't think that Africa has done anything in organizing the world social forum because we are trying to be like others. Please, let's think about ourselves. Let's show others what we are. We should bring something to the world, and that thing is within our cultures, our languages. If we don't do that, then we will be slaves of others.
>> Thanks. Thank you. Thank you very much for your interest in the work we're trying to do to promote the existence of a legal instrument for Africa to respond to these new issues. I was -- as I was presenting, I said that the first consultation would start in November with Central Africa, and from there on you can have access to the various documents at the Web site I have mentioned. But I do take your point that it's very important to indeed not only get input from Member States, which we have started to compile and look at, but also from a very wide range of stakeholders and not really limit ourselves to the continent and to also share practices, and for this we have an on-line observer, on regulatory issues, again at the -- and legal issues, at the same Web site that we will try to populate as much as possible to share or get knowledge and information from what is happening at national levels elsewhere, at subregional level and international level. But we can keep on the discussion to guide you more on the kind of documents you could get from our resources.
I mean, I cannot agree more on the issue you raised. I think we are now beyond the issue of really bringing ICTs first or not. I mean, I think it's an integrated approach, and when -- as countries -- as more and more of our countries, developing countries, are understanding that information is crucial for the economic development, information is crucial for business, information is crucial for (off mic), and as they do embrace this and they do see the difference, I think the issue would not be, you know, between choosing water and financing AIDS or other priority areas. But I think the most important is also -- I think we need to start particularly now seeing all (off mic) happening in this country. ICT (off mic).
I mean, what the youth are inventing, the applications that are -- I think it's a sector that can now genuinely state that -- can get the finances without depending on donor money, and I think that is important also in the change of our mind-set. Of course, there are huge areas, infrastructure, broadband access, that need to be done, with the commitment of the countries and in collaboration with partners, but there's also an internal look that we need to see now with the momentum and the positive things we're seeing on the ground.
>> PAUL HECTOR: We now -- thank you for this exchange. We'll now take a second round of questions. I ask you to be succinct in your questions, and the panel is also to be succinct so we can fit as many -- so let's see. I'll take the -- all the ones I saw -- one, two, three, four -- and then the gentleman here. We'll start from the gentleman here in the middle, then the lady at the back., here, and then --
>> Yeah, thank you, Chair. Perhaps my quick question will go to Gladys (off mic) et cetera. As we all know, we are going on digital world, come 2015 worldwide and this is on (off mic) and I don't know if they'll be -- publishing has been considered by the computer (off mic) international on that area, and this, I mean, if they have perhaps started taking stock of all the analog TVs around the world and a plan for refurbishing of how they can destroy them, because they will no longer be in use, and this is a massive social E-waste to come. Thank you.
>> Thank you. My name is (off mic). I come from a women's organization in Congo. My question is for Computer Aid. We know that Computer Aid provides recycled computers to schools and organizations in Africa and Congo too, but what do you do to raise awareness about E-waste management among the recipients of your computers but also in the countries? Thank you.
>> I'm Pierre Angion. I want to talk on the issue of language that was raised, and I just wanted to say something that maybe the point is not to complain that these things are happening. (off mic) have something in place now, which is called IDN, which is Internationalized Domain, whatever, and the solutions are there. We know exactly what is in it. Today countries are already working on their own national languages and are trying to approach (off mic) to implement those things. Africa is one of the few places where it is not happening.
So my -- I mean, what I'm trying to say is that we need to have our academia. We need to have our researchers, we need to have (off mic) sit down and work on those things. What I'm trying to do is it's no longer time to complain. Things are there. We just need to sit down, work properly and come out and go, hey, now we also have our script in (off mic), we are trying to do something in (off mic), in Ebu, this is possible. So I just wanted to say it is possible. It's not about complaining. Just sit down and work on that, those things, okay? That's one thing.
The other thing is that I don't want to get into this idea of food or ICT or whatever. I've been UN and this is something we've been debating for so long. But I think it's good to provide the right answer, it's about integrating all of those things. So this question, head of states or minister, they are putting those questions to us ten years ago, you see, but I think today they are convinced, especially when you use those technologies, you can also, you know -- (off mic) freedom or whatever.
No, I just wanted finally to say that maybe we need to think, how can we become also -- how do we get an African industry, Internet industry? How do we become producers? Not just consuming. Take the mobile -- you know, we say okay, we are all using mobile. How many countries have in places -- are we actually manufacturing the SIM cards? Those are simple things. So I would like you to be thinking positively that there is innovation there, can create jobs. Maybe that's where we should be heading. Thanks.
>> My name is Andrei Sherbow of Russia. My question is related to the personal contribution of professor Maurice. Thank you, professor, for what you are doing, because my personal experience, I for some years cooperated with UNESCO (off mic) programme, Russian committee, and I think that the problem of the representation of languages in cyberspace is very actual, not only for Africa but where all different -- all other world, especially in Russia we have a special -- the same problem of representation of different languages, of the multinational states, multinational people in cyberspace, they are underrepresented.
And so I'd like to ask a question about the representation of languages in cyberspace. Could this problem be resolved? Thank you.
>> GLADYS MUNHUNYO: Thanks. Let me go first. Reuse, recycle and refurbishing is a prerogative of every Government, and what Computer Aid does is to help our partners in the countries that receive our computers to lobby their Government to set up these centres. If you are from Kenya, I'm not sure, you didn't say --
>> Tanzania. Very good. We are neighbors. We have the biggest waste recycling centre here in Kenya and we take waste from Uganda, Kenya (off mic) created jobs. It is the centre is actually underutilized as we speak. It has a capacity of ten times what is currently (off mic). And most of it is computers where they dismantle and what they cannot handle is actually exported for proper dismantling. We have -- they are also handling mobile phones. We have not seen the data for the television sets coming in so that we can see that can be given. The challenge is who pays the cost, and this is where we are lobbying with Government, we are lobbying with users. The same way you pay for your garbage to be collected from your doorstep, a few shillings to be economically -- we encourage you to take our E-waste handbook to Tanzania.
Congo, we were there a few weeks ago, talking to the first and only university. Congo, Brazzaville. We are trying to establish -- we are a few computers coming to Brazzaville, and we hope we will help them recycle not only what they get from us but what is already existing in the country and to be aware what is E-waste, what is reused and what can be recycled within the country. Thank you very much.
>> MAURICE TADADJEU: Thank you very much. I want to address the issue of the representation of languages in cyberspace. What is cyberspace? Is it a private space or public space? It's public. It's public.
>> Completely, yes.
>> MAURICE TADADJEU: Sorry?
>> Definitely public space, yes.
>> MAURICE TADADJEU: Yes, so it means that every language has the right to be present in cyberspace, but now, if you don't fight for your language, it won't be there, so I should remind you the three areas of debate that I suggested for next IGF. E-learning in Africa languages, computing in Africa languages including software development, and then finally African languages in cyberspace. We Africans should -- I mean, since Tunisia, we agreed that we have to develop African languages in cyberspace to earn representative space, but then we don't have the means or our politicians do not provide us with enough means to do that. So we are left to turn to international institutions, UN institutions because we are part of the UN, we turn to those institutions and say, help us, you see? IGF is a UN-supported forum. So help us.
Now, the Russians, they may fight for themselves because they feel that they are not well-represented in the cyberspace, so it's your right, fight for your right. I think so.
>> TITI AKINSANMI: My apologies. I'm going to step away and go back to what Ms. (off mic) said. And again it's not that the platforms -- if you look back it's not that the platforms or that there are no softwares or that some work has not been done since 2005. Where I see the lack is in the issue of content, and it's not that the content does not exist. The content exists, but then, again it's an issue of disconnect, which I mentioned earlier. So the technical environment work is being done. Content is continuously being created but then being able to bring this to -- not disparage -- related areas together, where content meets the platform and we ourselves push it is where we like it and that's where we need to address.
>> PAUL HECTOR: Thank you. We now come to a last round of questions, if any. Okay.
>> Thank you, Chair. I just want to thank all the panelists for the magnificent presentations and statements, but I just have a comment, it's not a question. What we lack in Africa is really the enabling environment and the good governance. If you provide your people with a cozy environment to live, work and rest safely, democratically, I think we'll have industry, you will have people connected, we will have better minded people (off mic) using the ICT as a tool. And I think there's enough in the cyberspace for everyone. Maybe they said that the early birds get the worms, but the second mouse gets the cheese. (laughter) So thank you very much.
>> PAUL HECTOR: Okay. Thank you very much. Just to wrap up, I think we all agree that ICT is here and it's here to stay. It's not a question of either/or. ICT, we need it, but what we need to do better is to integrate it. We need to involve a range of actors, those people who are on the ground, the grassroots, the policy makers, the technicians to create that sort of enabling environment. At the same time there is some clear work which needs to be done. We need to better disseminate experiences. We need to better share tools and resources, and we also need to take at some level an individual responsibility for, in the case of, for example, of languages, making sure that all languages are present on-line, and we need to keep on collaborating and sharing.
I would invite those of you who like to continue this discussion to leave with me your email addresses or cards so that we can provide you with follow-up to this meeting. Thank you all and although we didn't receive any questions from our remote participants, we had -- we did have participants joining us from Papua, New Guinea, from the South Pacific and Pakistan. Thank you all. It's been a pleasure.
Oh, I'm sorry -- just one quick announcement. UNESCO has an open forum this afternoon. We will be talking about the reflections on the Internet and some other work, and there is a reception at the end and you will all be invited. This open forum, it will be taking place from 2:30 until 4:00, and the reception will follow right after. Thank you. It's going to be in room -- yes, it's --
>> (off mic)
>> PAUL HECTOR: It's going to be at the old cafeteria.
>> (off mic)
>> PAUL HECTOR: And the forum is in Room 13? Is it in this room or -- I think there's -- it's not -- I think you -- please, it was initially scheduled for Room 6 but there has been a change, so you can probably see on the -- on the screen where exactly it will be. Thank you all.
>> Before that -- the African IGF will be launched in conference room 10 at 11:00. You are all invited.
>> PAUL HECTOR: Everybody. Just to confirm, the open forum will be held in this room, room 13.