Category Archives: Africa


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 […]


African Traditional Medicine and the World Wide Semantic Web

African Traditional Medicine (ATM) is widely used in Africa. According to the World Health Organization. African Traditional Medicine plays a crucial role in Sub-Saharan Africa as the first line health system for ca. 80% of the population, thanks to its accessibility, affordability and embeddedness in local tradition. Researchers from the Université deBordeaux and VU: Gayo Diallo […]

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A new “Voice Service Development Kit” by André Baart

Building ICTs to connect the unconnected people in e.g. rural Africa, is challenging due to the language and literacy gap. Voice-based ICT systems have proven useful, e.g. for meteo services or market information. However, in general they are much more complicated to build that text-based systems, for ICT and Web developers. To make this easier […]