As part of the World Bank funded eRwanda Project for the implementation of Rwanda’s eGovernment strategy, the Rwanda Development Board is looking to develop a new web portal. The main objective of the project is to use the internet as a tool to promote Rwanda as a dynamic global hub for business, investment, tourism, and technology-driven innovation.
Red Hat has launched opensource.com as a community site for open source. The Drupal powered site has been created by Red Hat but Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat’s President and CEO, says “This will not be a site for Red Hat, about Red Hat. Instead this will be a site for open source, about the future”. He added that “this site is one of the ways in which Red Hat gives something back to the open source community”
The site is currently structured into five channels on business, education, government, law and life and features a number of articles on those subjects, but Whitehurst says that this is just the initial format and invites a conversation with the community over how the site should develop. Red Hat hopes that all the content on opensource.com will be published under a Creative Commons licence and sets out other rules for community participation.
Dr Kwame Amezah, the National Director of Extension of the Ministry Of Food and Agriculture, has said the sector would introduce Electronic (e) Extension Services by April. The e-extension service, which the World Bank will support, would be piloted in 50 districts.
Dr Amezah said this at the opening of a two-day Agricultural Extension Performance Review Workshop for 25 District Extension officers in the Western Region at Apowa on Tuesday. He said the e-extension would promote knowledge in the dissemination of information, store data and update information in the sector through the use of mobile phones. He said it was important for extension officers to update themselves on commodities and practices that are common in the area where they operate. “You have to move away from face to face interaction for farmers to group and community campaigns that would help the sector to grow”, he said.
“If we can bring together all the categories of data we have on labour, it would be easy to analyze them and ascertain available skills that are not being utilized. This would help us create jobs in line with the skills available.” This according to Rwandan Minister of Public Service and Labour, Anastase Murekezi, talking at a strategic planning meeting that brought together officials from his ministry and development partners. During the meeting it was reported that the ministry lacks a systematic employment tracking and assessment scheme to help it keep abreast with the labour market patterns. The minister added that it is not only about collecting the data, but also setting initiatives of making it useful in order to create big employment promotion programmes in the country.
Herders in northern Kenya who suffered large cattle losses during recent droughts are to be offered livestock insurance in a pioneering project that uses satellite imagery of available grazing to determine when payouts occur. The scheme, billed as a world first by the International Livestock Research Institute, is being launched today in the arid Marsabit district.
Ghanaian Vice President, John Mahama has hinted in an address to Police Chiefs meeting in Accra that plans are far advanced for the establishment of West Africa’s first Forensic Laboratory. “The construction of the forensic laboratory is going to take place and the police service will probably become the first in West Africa to begin DNA testing and to establish a DNA database in order that you can use that as a reference for your criminal policing and detection,” he said. He also said they intend to create a finger print database so that the Police will have database of known criminals so that they will be able to compare using modern technology rather than the current magnifying glass.
The Ghanaian Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is embarking on a street naming and house numbering exercise, part of the Urban Management Land Information System, to ensure that revenue collecting agencies can efficiently collect land rents and other fees. The absence of an effective revenue collection system is reducing the capacity of district and municpal assemblies to develop and provide services to the citizens.
As part of the World Bank funded Natural Resources and Environmental Governance (NREG) Programme the Minerals Commission of Ghana is developing a Database of Ghanaian Professionals to assist the development of Government policy regarding employment of Ghanaians in the mining sector. It is calling on all Ghanaian Geoscientists in Ghana and in the Diaspora (i.e Geologists, Geological, Mining, Mineral Processing and Geomatic Engineers; Earth Scientists; Geographic Information System (GIS) Experts, etc.) to submit their details to the commission by the end of January.
The Inventory of Innovative Farmer Advisory Services using ICTs, from the excellent Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, was published in February 2009, but I have just discovered it. It lists sixty systems dedicated to improving the technical and business information available to small farmers in Africa.
Its foreword provides a progressive view of the new discipline of “e-Agriculture”:
The e‐Agriculture concept goes beyond technology, to the integration of
knowledge and culture, aimed at improving communication and learning processes
among relevant actors in agriculture at different levels i.e. locally, regionally and
In a move designed to provide African students with greater access to higher-education opportunities, the African Virtual University (AVU) is launching Open Distance and eLearning Centres in ten African countries over the next five months. They will be co-located in the following universities: Jimma University in Ethiopia, University of Nairobi in Kenya, Université d‘Antananarivo in Madagascar, Universidade Pedagógica in Mozambique, Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Senegal, Kyambogo University in Uganda, University of Zambia, and the University of Zimbabwe. The centres are set up within the framework of the AVU Multinational Project funded by the African Development Bank.
Founded in 1997, the African Virtual University is a Pan-African intergovernmental organisation whose aim is significantly to increase access to quality higher education and training through the innovative use of information and communications technologies. It has awarded degrees to 40,000 students across Africa and, with locations in over thirty countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, is the Continent’s largest network of Open Distance and eLearning institutions. Its greatest asset is its ability to work across borders and languages in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa. In 2009, the AVU trained 133 staff members from 24 universities in 17 countries to use eLearning methods in their curricula and in the management of distance learning programmes.