Category Archives: Voice technologies


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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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 […]


New research in W4RA program by three master students Information Science@VU

The W4RA team at VU is proud to present three new master theses: by Justyna Kleczar (July 2017), Reshmi Sarkar (June 2017) and Jamila Daoudi (May 2017). Justyna Kleczar’s work is on speech technologies for underresourced languages. It comprises a new methodology, including very comprehensive tooling, which facilitates and allows development of new voice-based applications. […]


W4RA broadcast live on Burkina radio

Many farmers in Africa are in urgent need for weather forecasts and  rain data services, to better plan and improve their harvests. However, language and illiteracy issues, as well a total lack of computers, smartphones and internet, pose  obstacles to access this very relevant information. Last week, the W4RA team from VU Amsterdam held a […]

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ICT4D course for master students at VU, 2017

The VU ICT4D course 2017 will make you experience the  “Unconnected World”, or rather: how large populations do not reach the Web. While we spend our lives in the era of live-streaming (twitch), cloud-computing (google drive) and voice-based home assistants (amazon alexa), billions still live without an internet connection and are unable to read and […]


The Web, Speech Technologies and Rural Development in West Africa – PhD thesis by Nana Baah Gyan

INFORMATION dissemination in its right format and context, especially in rural Africa, is crucial sometimes even for the survival of market value chains and whole communities. However, many proffered and popular solutions, including the WorldWideWeb (WWW), are often outside the reach of rural dwellers in Africa. Africa’s mobile telephony infrastructure and subscriber base is one […]

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Around 100 people participated in the symposium

3rd International Symposium on ICT4D, 6 April 2016

On 6 April 2016, the Third International Symposium “Perspectives on ICT for Development (ICT4D)” will be hosted by the VU Network Institute, the Netherlands Research School for Information and Knowledge Systems SIKS, the Computer Science Department and VU International Office. This year’s theme is “Community Service & Education”. Invited speakers from India, Ghana, South-Africa and […]


Full video of VU Symposium “Perspectives on ICT4D” 16 May 2014

On 16 May 2014, a symposium took place at VU University Amsterdam, on ICT4D, the quickly growing field of practice and study how Information and Communication Technologies influence and may contribute to social and economic development in the (developing) world. More than 100 participants attended the symposium. A video was streamed live, during the 6 […]


Speech technology for African languages: opportunities, challenges and recent progress

Prof. Dr. Etienne Barnard (North-West University, South Africa) gave an invited talk on Fri 09 May 2014, 14.30-15.30h, Intertain Lab Network Institute (WN-S111). Etienne Barnard is a partner in a research collaboration between South-Africa and the Network Institute of VU, specifically the W4RA program (Web Alliance for Regreening in Africa, www.w4ra.org). This invited talk is […]