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June 2015, Issue 20
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Monthly Newsletter

Participants work in groups during the A4AI-Dominican Republic Digital Agenda Workshop on May 19, 2015 in Santo Domingo. Photo credit: A4AI

Focus Turns to Digital Agenda and Plans for Action in the Dominican Republic 

On May 19-20, A4AI returned to Santo Domingo to host its first workshop focused on the Dominican Republic's national ICT strategy and a coalition meeting to begin identifying the specific policy and regulatory activities that the A4AI-Dominican Republic Coalition will undertake in its mission to lower broadband prices in the country. More than 100 participants attended both events. 

During its first multi-stakeholder forum in March, the A4AI coalition agreed to support and strengthen Indotel's, the Dominican regulator's, national ICT strategy, eDominicana 2015-2020. The May 19 Workshop on the Digital Agenda was a first step in:

  • Ensuring that a comprehensive agenda addressing the development of and affordable access to broadband is connected with the development agenda of the country; 
  • Providing an understanding of the challenges and best practices related to the Digital Agenda; 
  • Sharing lessons learned from other countries including Brazil and Uruguay; and 
  • Strengthening the current eDominicana 2015-2020 agenda.
On May 20, participants used the knowledge gained in the previous day's workshop to draft a work plan for the coalition's Digital Agenda Working Group. The other three working groups focused on ICT taxation and fiscal policy, infrastructure sharing, and ICT data collection/research also met and drafted work plans to identify the outputs they will be producing and establish the timeline for their activities.

You can access the presentations from the two events on the coalition's webpage: http://a4ai.org/dominicanrepublic/, and photos from the events on our Flickr page

After Ebola Crisis, an Opportunity to Strengthen Liberia's Digital Infrastructure 


On May 6, the Liberian Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, the Liberian Telecommunications Authority (LTA), and USAID - in partnership with A4AI and NetHope - hosted the Access to Broadband Connectivity in Liberia
in the Post-Ebola context:
 A Roundtable with Public, Private and Civil Society Sector Stakeholders in Monrovia.
 

The roundtable brought more than 50 public, private and civil society sector stakeholders together to examine the impact of Ebola on future investment in the country's digital economy, as well as to articulate a commitment toward collaboration and coordination in the sector. 

The event highlighted that the elimination of Ebola transmission in Liberia provides a unique opportunity to take stock and consider how the substantial resources flowing into the region can be used not only to address ongoing recovery needs but to strengthen the broader digital infrastructure – with the objective of  dramatically strengthening government systems to respond to future emergencies, disasters and public health threats. 

A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge made a presentation during this unique multi-stakeholder event in the country and Policy Manager Kojo Boakye moderated the event.

Photo caption: Minister of Post and Telecommunications Frederick Norkeh opens the Connectivity Roundtable. Credit: Andrew Karlyn, USAID. 
 

In this issue: 

Membership & Research UpdateMember Feature Engage with A4AI

Membership Update


We are excited to announce that the Web Foundation has signed an MOU with the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), a technical body of the African Union focused on addressing critical challenges facing the continent including poverty, development and Africa's marginalisation internationally. 

Under the MOU, A4AI and NEPAD will collaborate on access and affordability research, broadband policy advocacy, women's rights on and through the Web, and capacity building efforts in Africa. 

Research Update


New Thematic Paper on Universal Access & Service Funds (USAFs)!

A4AI recently published its first of several thematic papers and briefings to provide analysis of key issues and priority areas for the Alliance and its national coalitions’ work.

The paper argues that USAFs represent a fundamentally different policy approach than the business taxation and government expenditure approaches that are traditionally used, and serve as a kind of “collective investment” vehicle for the telecommunications industry as a whole -- providing a mechanism for ensuring that sector firms make a shared contribution in market development that will ultimately benefit all.

Check it out here: Universal Access & Service Funds in the Broadband Era (May 2015)

Member Feature: CTO Broadband Forum 
 

A4AI member the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) will be hosting their annual Broadband Forum June 16-17 in Abuja, Nigeria. 

This year's event, “Broadband for All: From Access to Inclusion”, will examine the policy and regulatory reforms needed to promote broadband access, showcase cost effective and efficient broadband technologies, and look at successful business models.

A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge and Policy Manager Kojo Boakye will be participating as speakers.

Links: 
Full event agenda is available at the Broadband Forum website.

Register: Visit http://www.cto.int/events/upcoming-events/commonwealth-broadband-forum-2015/registration/.

**Discounted rate for A4AI members! To take advantage of this discount, please select “CTO member rate” when registering.**

Engage with A4AI! 
Upcoming Events 

All members are invited to attend our presentations, panels, and forums. If you are interested in scheduling a meeting with our team at any of the below events, please e-mail emilie.yam@webfoundation.org.  
June 16-17

Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Broadband Forum 2015


Nicon Luxury Hotel
Abuja, Nigeria

*A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge and Policy Manager Kojo Boakye will be speaking and participating. 

June 23

DFID Digital4Development week

London, UK
*A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge will be speaking on a panel 


July 7-9 

A4AI-Mozambique Coalition Meeting & Workshop on ICT Data Indicators (in partnership with Cetic.br)

Hotel Cardoso
Maputo, Mozambique
July 27-28

A4AI-Myanmar Coalition Meeting & Workshop on Universal Service Fund

MICT Park
Yangon, Myanmar




August 5-7

UN ECLAC's Ministerial Conference for the Information Society in Latin America & the Caribbean

Mexico City, Mexico
*Sonia Jorge and A4AI LAC Coordinator Yacine Khelladi will be participating. 







 
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