African Countries Among first Beneficiaries of Internet Society Funding

African Countries Among first Beneficiaries of  Internet Society Funding

Three African countries, South African, Mali and Madagascar are among the first beneficiaries of the new Internet Society Foundation grants for promoting use of the internet.

The new Internet Society Foundation issued its first set
of medium and large grants (ranging from $12,000 to USD $30,000 each) to 13
ground-breaking projects that seek to spread the benefits of the Internet
around the world.

The projects will improve the quality of people’s lives
everywhere.

The Foundation awards grants to Internet Society Chapters as well as non-profit organizations and individuals dedicated to providing meaningful access to an open, globally connected and trusted Internet for everyone.

Of the more than 40 applications received this year, 13 projects were selected by a committee that evaluated projects based on criteria that included originality and innovation, community impact and sustainability and technical feasibility, among others.

The projects in Africa selected for grants are:

  • $30,000 to create Wi-Fi access points and an off-the-grid
    Media Center within the Mamaila Tribal Authority, South Africa. The project will also build community capacity
    through training on cybersecurity, content development, entrepreneurship, and
    the construction, operation and maintenance of community networks. This aims to
    empower unemployed youth to organize themselves into cooperatives to advance
    their socio-economic aspirations and expand the planned network infrastructure.
  • $12,322 will go towards creating community networks for
    5,000 people in three remote farming communities and awareness-raising in Madagascar. The project will also
    provide technical training and basic Internet skills to a group of people who
    will train others to use the Internet to capture practical information for
    their economic development (such as on weather forecasts that can impact
    harvests and the prices of the agricultural products they sell).
  • $30,000 to generate reliable statistical data on Internet
    use in Mali, in particular
    on the use/misuse of social media, which has become popular in both rural and
    urban areas. Most existing data has been produced by telecoms operators, for
    commercial ends, and results have not been made widely accessible. The results
    of this project, however, will be widely available through its publication and
    dissemination. 

The Internet Society Foundation provides grants to the Internet community,
Internet Society Chapters, non-profits and individuals working on one or more
of the following program areas: