Category Archives: Africa


Yacouba Sawadogo nominated for The Right Livelihood Award

Our friend and partner Yacouba Sawadogo, the Man who Stopped the Desert, has been nominated for the prestigeous international Right Livelihood Award for his great achievements in African Regreening Initiatives and farmer innovation. Yacouba Sawadogo is one of the innovative farmers of the Yatenga district, who participates in our “Meteo Data Services for Innovative Farmers […]

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A low-cost IoT sensor kit to measure surface water quality in rural Africa

Good drinking water is essential for all. However, in e.g. rural Africa the quality of water, for example from wells is not always reliable. Lab water testing and existing tools are expensive and time consuming. Allard Oelen developed a low-cost sensor kit, for the rural context of rural Africa. The IoT sensor measures a number […]


Keynote by Chris Reij, at the 5th International Symposium “Perspectives on ICT4D”, 27  May 2018, Amsterdam

“In Africa’s drylands food security is facing serious challenges. With the current population growth in, for example Niger, the population is estimated to have doubled in the last 20 years. Unsustainable land management practices, the effects of climate change and a growing population pressure are causing soil degradation at an unprecedented scale. National governments of African countries have set ambitious goals to restore degraded land. However, given current rates of demographic growth these targets are not ambitious enough. The pace of re-greening needs to be speeded up, as soon as possible. One very promising initiative is re-greening of Africa’s drylands. Since the mid 1980s a growing number of innovative farmers and local communities in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger have started to practice simple, low-cost farmer-managed natural regeneration on their field. Farmers in densely-populated parts of Niger have done so at scale (5 million ha), but much more needs to be done. A communication strategy is extremely important, to speed up the scale of re-greening successes and reverse the trends of soil degradation and desertification. “

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André Baart wins High Potential Award in Amsterdam Innovation Contest

Amsterdam, 19 June 2018  – The Kasadaka “talking box” platform, the winning concept, is a platform to develop voice-based technologies for  those who are not connected to the Internet, cannot not read and write, and speak underresourced languages. Kasadaka has been developed to allow development of specific, context-sensitive content, in a collaborative way, in the […]

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Look back at the Symposium “The Web and The Digital Divide”

The fifth International Symposium ” Perspectives on ICT4D”,  took place at VU on 27th May 2018. This year the Symposium was not a public event, as the past few years, as it was collocated with the ACM Web Science Conference 2018, as one of the 7 pre-conference workshops. This year’s theme was “The Web and […]


Kasadaka project nominated for Amsterdam Science and Innovation Award 2018

Tha Kasadaka project, that was developed by André Baart and colleagues from the W4RA team, extensively tested by students in the VU ICT4D course 2018 and deployed in the field in Mali, at Radio Sikidolo in Konobougou, has been nominated, as one of the five finalists in the Amsterdam Science and Innovation Award 2018.The finale will […]

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Regreening the Sahel, shown in 3D and virtual reality

How does regreening work? How do farmers improve their lands? How does zaï work? What is farmer-managed natural regeneration? How do you protect young trees? How do you use rain data to improve plan cropping calendars? How do you sell your products on the local market? A short 3D film by Chris van Aart, Wendelien Tuyp, Julien Ouedraogo, with Kagapesgo – Naaba, Ousseni Kindo, Ousseni Zorome, Yacouba Sawadogo, Groupement Maraichais Minima. This clip will also be available as a virtual reality experience of the Sahel. At the Museon in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Turn the image round, and see the full environment. Innovative farmer Ousseni Kindo from Burkina Faso explains in Moore language  how regreening works!

 


W4RA team visits Radio Sikidolo: key user of our voice system in Mali

Members of the W4RA team and partners from AOPP visited Radio Sikidolo in Konobougou, Mali. Radio Sikidolo and W4RA have worked together on the co-creation of the Foroba Blon radio/mobbile voice-based system  since 2012. Adama Tessougué, director  of Radio Sikidolo and key-user of the Foroba Blon system want to use this system to collect reports […]

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5th International Symposium “Perspectives on ICT4D”

– Collocated with the 10th ACM Web Science Conference – The Web is the biggest open public space for information, communication and knowledge sharing for billions on the planet. However, it is not (yet) accessible for over half of the world population, mostly in the Global South. This symposium addresses the ensuing issues, in other […]