IT discussion groups for Africa

Do you know of any IT-related discussion groups for specific countries or regions in Africa? Let's use this thread to create a list that we can all use for future reference.

Here's a start:

Tanzania: eThinkTankTz - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eThinkTankTz/

Uganda: i-Network Uganda - http://dgroups.org/iicd/i-network

Africa-wide: Google Africa Community - http://groups.google.com/group/google-africa-community/subscribe

Linux user groups might be a start

Linux user groups might be a start to get you these groups. Here is an article on Tectonic about South African Linux user groups. I recall they had a list of groups all over Africa, but can't find it right now.

These user groups are usually located in a specific place, so this might be one way to obtain a group of a certain country.

A12n lists, Unicode-Afrique, PAL-xx lists, message boards

Over the years, through Bisharat and the PanAfrican Localisation (PAL) project, several fora (forums) have been set up for discussion of African languages and ICT. Info follows:

  • A12n-collaboration - http://lists.kabissa.org/mailman/listinfo/a12n-collaboration - this was set up in 2002, originally as a temporary working group. Its main strengths have been discussion of fonts, encoding, and keyboards (sometimes in depth), but other technical topics have also been addressed. A lot of ground has been covered. Also mirrored on LinguistList since 2004. (NB- this is being migrated from the Kabissa site.)
  • A12n-policy - http://lists.bisharat.net/mailman/listinfo/a12n-policy - this list was set up to discuss a range of issues relating to localization (L10n) policy in Africa, including language and ICT policies. Policy is considered broadly, not just govt. policies but also policies of organization, companies, etc.
  • Other A12n lists have been closed (A12n-forum, A12n-entraide) in favor of the PAL lists (see below)
  • Unicode-Afrique - http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/Unicode-Afrique/ - French language group set up in 2002 with the main idea to discuss Unicode support for African languages. Other localization topics also discussed, including keyboards, web content, etc. This may be the main French language list for African languages and ICT.
  • The above are fed to Twitter at https://twitter.com/A12n
  • Discussion boards on language or country specific ICT topics - http://www.quicktopic.com/share?s=QSpo - the first of these "Hausa charsets & keyboards" was set up in 2001 and several others have followed. Participation has been uneven with the Yoruba and Igbo boards being the most active, but even these are less active now. Still these have covered some interesting and useful ground (e.g., the suggestion in Yoruba for "standard" and "classical" forms of marks under letters):
    • Ghanaian languages and ICT
    • Hausa charsets and keyboards
    • Ibibio, Efik, Anaang and ICT (fonts, keyboards, applications)
    • Igbo language and ICT
    • Langues Béninoises et les NTIC
    • Langues Burkinabè et les NTIC
    • Langues Sénégalaises et les NTIC
    • Langues Togolaises et les NTIC
    • Swahili Advanced Computer Applications (SACA) [meaning HLT mainly]
    • Yoruba language and ICT
    • Doc Review: African Keyboards Development Issues
    • Doc Review: Comments on Afro-Arabic_symbols.pdf
    • Doc Review: Afro-Arabic_symbols2.pdf
  • PAL-en, PAL-fr, PAL-pt - a set of lists set up for the PAL project. A unique feature with these was that they were linked with machine translation to facilitate communication across 3 working languages. These lists are now inactive and archived.

Hope this helps.

Don