President Obama United Behind the Free Flow of Information

Across his Administration, President Obama has taken bold steps advancing a digital environment that rewards innovation and empowers individuals the world over.
These ideas, and the policies that support them, are cornerstones of America’s economy. But the benefits from this approach extend well beyond the United States; they are equally important to the social and economic wellbeing of Internet users across the globe. This is why the United States is strongly represented at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) treaty conference in Dubai this month, where over 100 delegates from the public sector, private sector, and civil society are joining with our international partners to ensure the future of global, interoperable telecommunications networks.
Several White House officials were on hand for the Conference’s opening days, where the hosts in the United Arab Emirates welcomed delegates and took some positive steps to address concerns the Conference be accessible to those outside its halls. As a crossroads in the interconnected global economy, Dubai is a natural venue to bring together the diversity of voices and views at the WCIT. Read more here….
Source: The White House Blog

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Ghana Elections Hub Launched

From the Google Africa Blog:
December 7th 2012, will be an important day for Ghana and Ghanaian voters.  Ghana has already established a reputation for a being a vibrant and stable democracy, and expectations are that the upcoming election in December will be yet another opportunity to reinforce the well-deserved reputation.
During the election campaign period,  the Internet is increasingly playing a role in how Ghanaian citizens’ search for information about elections, and in how politicians seek to engage with voters.
To meet this growing demand for information online around the elections, we embarked on several activities.  From training local journalists and political parties on digital tools for elections, to partnering with local media partners like Citi FM to hold Google+ Hangouts with leading candidates and local civil society groups, to live-streaming the IEA Evening Encounters in Partnership with IEA Ghana and MMG, to partnering our Google Student Ambassadors in Ghana with local civic group Ghana Decides – our focus has been on making elections-related information accessible and driving citizen engagement.

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Today, we announce the launch of the Ghana Elections Hub, an information portal where you can keep track of news and information related to the Ghana election.  Following up on our past efforts in Nigeria and Senegal, it is one more step in our ongoing effort to make sure our users can easily find and share locally relevant information.
Read more here
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Call For Application: Young Journalists For Global Civil Society Event

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, international civil society groups, donors and government representatives will unite at 10th CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

This year four young journalists from developing countries have the chance to attend the largest gathering of civil society activists in the world in all expenses paid prize. Read below to see how you can win and find information about the keynote speakers of the event.
What Is The Prize?
Through a full bursary (including travel, accommodation and registration), the four journalists will have full access to all keynote plenary sessions and activity sessions that will take place at the Youth Assembly on 8 September and at the World Assembly on 10-12 September.
They will also have unique one on one opportunity to interview all keynote speakers:

  • Matt Dunne – Head of Community Affairs, Google Inc;
  • Kumi Naidoo – Director General, Greenpeace International, South Africa;
  • Mozn Hassan – Executive Director of Nazra for Feminist Studies, Egypt ;
  • Maina Kiai – Executive Director of the International Council on Human Rights Policy and others

How Do You Qualify?
You qualify if you are an active journalist who:

  • Has a background in covering civil society issues (such as development effectiveness, new technologies, democratic space and climate justice)
  • Is a citizen of a developing country.
  • Are between 18 and 30 years of age.

The journalist will also have a thoughtful and feasible dissemination plan to use their reports as a tool to raise awareness of the human rights or social justice issues explored at the event with a goal to bring about change.
While creative freedom will be left to the individual journalist, they will be required to report on a minimum of two sessions per day in the language of choice (Spanish, English, and French).
How To Apply?
To apply for this prize, submit your CV, a writing sample and a 250 word article on why it is important for civil society to engage with the media to before 15 June 2011.
The chosen journalists will be informed before 30 June 2011.
About the 2011 World Assembly
The CIVICUS World Assembly is the premier global gathering of civil society organizations, donors and representatives of government, international institutions and business to seek collaborative ways to strengthen the rights of citizens around the globe. This year, the focus is on the essential role of civil society in global decision-making. As governments of varied ideological persuasions crack down ever more harshly against dissent, challenges to their authority or lack of accountability and basic freedoms of expression and association, it is clear that civil society needs to come together in order to strengthen our ability to act for a more just world.
Under its overarching theme of “Acting together for a just world”, the 2011 World Assembly will focus on “Civil Society and Global Decision-Making: Doing It Better” through a programme divided in four thematic tracks:

  • Development Effectiveness
  • Climate Justice
  • Connecting People through Technology
  • Civil Society and Democratic Space

For more information, visit

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