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African Women and ICTs continues to garner attention 

GRACE 1 publication, African Women and ICTs  (Zed Books/IDRC/UNISA Press 2009) continues to receive public recognition, notably being referred to and recommended during the IDIA conference in Cape Town in November 2010. Geoff Walsham (Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge), one of the leading ICT4D theoreticians, discussed our book in his keynote address during the International Development Informatics conference. He named it as one of the few authoritative texts in the field, and recommended it to everybody.

Geoff Walsham discussed our book at length a second time during his keynote address at ICTD2010 (December), and had his final power point slide dedicated to it.  In the summary of his presentation, the only reference given is our bookhttp://ictlogy.net/20101215-ictd2010-x-geoff-walsham-development-informatics-in-a-changing-world/ 

Furthermore, African Women and ICTs is identified as the book of 2009 on the SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex) time line of happenings in science, technology and innovation (http://anewmanifesto.org/section/timeline/). 

IDRC and Zed Books have successfully made arrangements for the GRACE book to be translated and published in French. Les Presses de l'Université Laval will release the Les Africaines et les TIC in the coming months. 

Arabic rights for African Women and ICTs were acquired from Zed Books by the Egyptian publisher National Center for Translation (former Supreme Council of Culture). Rights granted to NCT are for paper edition only and distribution throughout Egypt. We are awaiting further information on the publication date.

Pictures from the ICTD 2010 London conference where Professor Geoff Walsham discussed the book 'African Women and ICTs at length

GRACE presentations at the ICT4D2010 international conference, London, December 

Ineke and Gloria Bonder (UNESCO Chair in Gender, Science and Technology, Buenos Aires, Argentina) co-lead a gender workshop, Applying Gender Analysis to ICT4D Projects. This workshop was for ICT4D project practitioners interested in bringing a gender analysis to their projects. It was participatory in that those who attended could describe their situation and their attempts (or lack thereof) to identify and deal with gender issues in their projects. Panelists and other attendees could make suggestions for arriving at gender equality in the projects described. 

Ineke also co-facilitated the session, “The power of intent and the touch of the unexpected: exploring a new paradigm for ICT research and planning for development” with Mark Thompson (Cambridge University) at the 2010 ICTD conference in London (http://www.ictd2010.org/?page_id=118 ).

GRACE Project Director leads the ICTD2010 Pre-Conference Wiki in London, December 2010

Ineke Buskens and Kiss Brian Abraham Research leader for Zambia attended the ICTD2010 conference, hosted by the ICT4D Collective at Royal Holloway, University of London, which was the latest in the series of highly successful international ICTD conferences held in Doha (2009), Bangalore (2007) and Berkeley (2006).  It aimed to provide a forum for researchers, practitioners and all those with interests in the use of information and communication technologies in development practice to meet to discuss the latest research advances in the field.
GRACE leader, Ineke Buskens hosted a pre-conference wiki for the conference themed ‘Bridging the Divides’.  

l to r; Pamela Maclean (Dadamac, London), Matt Smith (IDRC, Canada), Ineke Buskens (GRACE, South Africa), Ahmed Muhammad (Sudan), Kiss Brian Abraham (GRACE, Zambia), Florian Sturm (ict4d.at, Austria)


The Pre-conference was an internet space on which people could virtually share their perspectives on ICTs and development before the conference took off. The wiki then carried on as part of the program in the conference as a discussions space at the conference in a special ‘Pre-conference 'Interview room’. The issues tackled by discussants hailed from the virtual submissions and they answered the following questions;

1) What are the ICT4D Research Needs in the developing world from a developing world perspective and why would you think so?

2) What action projects have taken place in the developing world that were actually successful research projects in the sense that they met a real needs in a real way

(and hence acted on valid and appropriate tacit knowledge) but did not have the ‘knowledge quest component’ worked out enough in their narrative to be recognized as research? Can you come up with examples and sketch what you think the knowledge quest would have been if it had been made explicit from the start?

The pre-conference wiki went on-line October 19 and contributions and replies to the questions posted are being added in this open, inclusive and challenging on-line discussion forum.

Click here to visit the Wiki page

Read the summary here...

GRACE Tunisia Hosts Results Dissemination event 04/12/2010.

In order to present the results of our GRACE project, a meeting was held at the Belvedere Hotel in Tunis on 04/12/2010.

At that meeting several people were invited. Some of them are among those who have already participated in filling in the questionnaire and discussing at the focus groups (Teacher/Researcher; Administrative staff; students). In addition to the numerous participants from the University of Tunis, many other persons attended representing decision makers and research centers, such as the Centre for Research, Study, Documentation and Information on Women (CREDIF). Moreover, an ICT consultant, a sociologist and a Director of an educational institution were present and participated in the debate.

Several media covered this event and highlighted the importance of such research to promote ICT tools in Tunisian universities, to improve the capacities of women and to facilitate their access and their communications between them. Among the numerous media and journals which covered this meeting we can cite Tunis Africa Press, Le Temps newspaper, Le Renouveau newspaper, Radio of Youngs, etc.

The significant results were presented at this meeting by Project leader Kalthoum Ben Hassine and were discussed by the participants.

All the participants were very pleased with the results and the work of the project team and requested some recommendations focused on the realization of training sessions for a better mastery of the ICT tools.


GRACE participates in 4th IDIA Conference 2010. 3-5 November 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa

Left to Right; Selina Mudavanhu, Agnes Chigona, Ineke Buskens, Kiss Brian Abraham, Jennifer Radloff


Empowerment through Knowledge

GRACE Project Leader Ineke Buskens and GRACE Webmaster Kiss Brian Abraham participated in the 4th IDIA Conference 2010.

Together with Jennifer Radloff, Agnes Chigona and Selina Mudavanhu they gave a gender panel discussion on 'Gender4Development Informatics: What, Why and How?'

The conference which was held from 3-5 November 2010 in South Africa at the University of Cape Town was themed 'Exploring Success and Failure in Development Informatics: Innovation, Research and Practice'. IDIA, the International Development Informatics Association, is an association serving as a forum for international cooperation between individuals and organisations focusing on research in the use of ICT for developing economies and societies (ICT4D), where various constraints impact on the use of ICT compared to highly developed regions. IDIA, established in 2006, provides opportunities for scholars and technical specialists alike to exchange knowledge on the modes and principles of applying ICT to such contexts and regions.

The Conference was held in Africa in order to make it easier for interested parties of the continent to participate.The conference was aimed at researchers, policy-makers and reflective practitioners. It was managed by the School of Information Technology, Monash South Africa (Johannesburg). Monash University is seeking to accelerate its engagement internationally, and this conference reflected this commitment. READ MORE...

Tunisia lead researcher Kalthoum Ben Hassine invited to speak at the third conference of the Arab Women's Organization (28-30 October)
Tunisia lead researcher Kalthoum Ben Hassine was invited to speak at the third conference of the Arab Women's Organization (28-30 October), Arab Women, Essential Partners in the Sustainable Development Process, held in Tunis. Her presentation, given in the presence of Arab first ladies, ministers and other key personalities, addressed: Arab women's participation in the formulation of scientific knowledge to ensure environmental sustainability. [Presentation in Arabic or English]
GRACE Zimbabwe project leader, and Unisa Library Executive Director, Dr Buhle Mbambo-Thata, elected as Unisa Woman of the Year
Buhle Mbambo-Thata, GRACE Zimbabwe research team leader since the project began, was elected as the 2010 Unisa Woman of the Year at a prestigious Unisa Women’s Forum (UWF) Luncheon on 13 October 2010.

The Unisa (University of South Africa) Women’s Forum considered a number of portfolios of nominees with outstanding performance across all sections in the University. Criteria used by the UWF Adjudication Panel were: Leadership, Mentoring women in the workplace, Gender Activism and promotion of women’s rights, Courage in adversity and Community service. READ MORE...
Rokhsana Abdul Rahman Receives Award

Rokhsana Abdul Rahman, leading the GRACE-Yemen research project, "How can ICTs be used to combat gender-based violence against women in Yemen?" was awarded for her outstanding work as the First Female Director of a Scientific Center at Aden University during the university's 40th anniversary celebrations on 10 October. Rokhsana, recognized for her work establishing the Women's Research and Training Centre at the university, was awarded her silver medal by the Minister of Higher Studies and Scientific Research and the Minister of Human Rights and Rector of Aden University.

Center; Rokhsana receives the award


“How can ICTs be used to combat gender-based violence against women in Yemen?” On Radio

Second from right; Rhoksana in the Radio Studio

On September 20 Rokhsana Abdul Rahman and Radia Shamsher went to the Yemen airwaves to discuss their research team’s work with “How can ICTs be used to combat gender-based violence against women in Yemen?” Many calls were received from both female and male listeners interested in VAW, and what should be done about those fathers and brothers who violate their wife and children. Rokhsana and Radia explained that they have to contact the research project and NGOs in Yemen that are dealing with this issue, as well as the VAW hot line. They also explained that the police need to deal with VAW, and how people can break the silence and speak about VAW, how we can work together to raise awareness about VAW in Yemen. The radio program recording will be posted here.

Arwa Oweis speaks about her GRACE research project on a 2-part radio interview on the station of the Irbid municipality.
Arwa Oweis was invited to speak about her GRACE research project, “How can ICTs be used to empower female university students in Jordan in their stance against gender-based violence?” in a 2-part radio interview on the station of the Irbid municipality. The program is Academic Research Studies, and the interviews with Arwa were recorded July 31 and August 7 and broadcast August 28 and September 4. READ MORE

Yemen anti-violence project takes its message to Yemen TV, July 2010

Dr. Rokhsana Abdul Rahman, project leader of the GRACE-Yemen research project, "How can ICTs be used to combat gender-based violence against women in Yemen?" has appeared on Yemen television to broadcast the anti-violence message and share her project work.

Top and bellow Right; Discussions that appeared on TV

  In a 45 minute TV program Rokhsana talks about GRACE and her team’s research, announces the hot line which is available to women in Aden, and provides information about the legal units which exist in the Yemeni Women’s Union. Rokhsana is accompanied on the program by a lawyer, and a member of the hot line service. The broadcast will be linked to this information on the GRACE web site as soon as the recording is received. The program could be viewed in the Gulf countries and beyond. According to Rokhsana, within hours of the program “I received the first call by mobile from a man who expressed his feelings about what we are doing.
He is proud of our work and how we are trying to help those women. The next call I received from a woman who is also proud of our work and promised me that she will help us and will raise awareness among women in her district. So these are the first reactions.

It is very interesting also that the presenter of the program was excited with the method that we are working with, she had never heard about it. I'm personally proud of our work.”

A week later Rokhsana added: “the nice news is that they repeated this program three times in the week because at the TV station they liked it and many people asked them to repeat it. Also many women asked me about the hot line and legal unit at YWU.”

GRACE-MENA researchers provide a poster presentation at the Women Scientists in a Changing World conference, Beijing 27-30 June 2010

GRACE-MENA researchers provided a poster presentation at the TWOWS Fourth
General Assembly and International Conference - Women Scientists in a
Changing World held in Beijing, China during the period 27-30 June 2010.
Six GRACE-MENA researchers participated in the conference giving
presentations in their fields of expertise. The GRACE-MENA poster was
displayed and several researchers informed conference participants about
the GRACE project in general and about their specific research
initiatives within GRACE-MENA.


left to right; Huda Basaleem (Yemen) and Saneya M. El-Neshawy (Egypt)
discuss GRACE-MENA with onlookers

3rd GRACE MENA Workshop in Tunis, May 26th to June 4th, 2010
GRACE Zimbabwe team leader presents on "Open access in Developing countries"
On June 2, 2010, Buhle Mbambo-Thata (UNISA Library, South Africa, and GRACE Zimbabwe) presented on a panel titled, Open Access: Transforming research in the developing world, at the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences Congress, held at Concordia University, Montreal, and hosted by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries.
The panel was moderated by Haroon Akram-Lodhi (Trent University), with panelists Leslie Chan (University of Toronto) and Hebe Vessuri, (Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research) joining Buhle.  The panelists explored the potential impact of Open Access on the developing world. Access to knowledge is fundamental to all aspects of human development, from health to food security, and from education to social capacity building. Yet access to academic publications is severely restricted for many developing countries. As well, the prohibitive cost of publishing and distributing journals in the developing world means much of the research done there remains ‘invisible’ to the rest of the world. Full video footage of the panel discussion is linked here.
Radio Program Series on ICT Research in Sudan aired on May 23rd, 2010
The third radio program in a series of three on research conducted into How are ICTs used to draw young Sudanese women into premarital sexual activities and how can ICTs be used to protect them against this? was broadcast at 8:30 to 10:00 am (Mecca time) Sunday 23/5/2010 on radio FM 100 SUDANESE HOUSE, SABAH ELBUIT program. The series garnered much attention as listeners tuned in via their mobile phones, or listened to the program on bus radios on their way to work. The follow-up includes spontaneous discussion meetings among students and many phone calls to the research team leader, Ikhlas Nour and Khadiga Abass Abd Elatti .
GRACE research and methodologies presented at the Third International Nursing Conference, Amman Jordan, 27-28 April, 2010

Arwa Oweis, Jordanian lead researcher for her GRACE project, introduced the GRACE network by giving a poster presentation at the Third International Nursing Conference, “The Heart of the Matter: Relevance of Nursing Responsiveness,” held in Amman Jordan, 27-28 April, 2010.  The conference was held under the Patronage of HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein, President of the Jordanian Nursing Council and was attended by around 1500 nurses from 17 countries including the USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Bosnia, Pakistan, Lebanon, South Africa, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Imarets, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, and Sudan.

For more information about the conference please visit:


GRACE project leader Ineke Buskens conducted a pre-conference workshop entitled “The Power of Intent and a Touch of the Unexpected: Using Research to Change Practice” . READ MORE

Ineke and Arwa also participated in a round table discussion that discussed the challenging issues facing nursing education, practice, research and leadership. It was attended by the conference expert guests and keynote speakers who shared their experiences and discussed various suggestions to tackle these issues. In this experiential workshop the concepts of intent, reflexivity and self care were explored in a context of research capacity building and research results implementation. Participants were directed to learn how to position their research choices paradigmatically and practically and gain the skills to continue evolving their critical analysis and interpersonal communication capacity. All throughout the workshop the participants were stimulated to own the power of their intent and stay open to the emergence of the unexpected which research for change is bound to bring up.

The workshop was attended by more than 25 nurses, who were mainly Jordanian with few nurses from the Arabic region and from other parts of the world. Nurses who attended the workshop had different academic preparations ranging between BSN to PhDs in nursing.  The workshop lasted for more than 3 hours and it started with asking each participant to share her /his intent for the workshop as well as what they expect to learn from the workshop.  The activities were carried out according to the needs of the participants. The workshop activities were videotaped and were very interactive. The nurses actively participated and enjoyed the different workshop activities which included a dream drawing session, and free attitude interviews in addition to group discussions and reflections.  During the last group discussion about the dream drawing exercise the participants reflected on their deep learning and understanding as well as the insights they gained from the exercise.

Trading Stories chapter published by GRACE Cameroon researcher, Gisèle Yitamben

Cameroon research team leader, Gisele Yitamben,recently co-authoredt Communication and Commerce: The role of ICT in linking women entrepreneurs with global markets, by Nidhi Tandon and Gisèle Yitamben. In Trading Stories, Experiences with Gender and Trade, edited by Marilyn Carr and Marianna Williams, Commonwealth Secretariat, May 2010, Gisele draws upon her GRACE 1 research project of title; Is the internet an empowering tool for Douala business women and international traders in the textile sector? '


Radio Series, How can ICTs be used to raise gender awareness and resilience in female students at Bethlehem University, aired on March 19, March 26 and April 14, 2010

A three-program radio series was broadtcast by Palestinian GRACE researcher Vera Baboun's research participants based on the research question: How can ICTs be used to raise gender awareness and resilience in female students at Bethlehem University, Palestine. The programs titled "Voices of Grown-Up Women" were broadcast from 7:00 -- 8:30 pm on Mawwal Radio, and are archived at:





  The series was conducted by the female student participants who organized a live debate oncontroversial issues among themselves,and with the radio reporters, and the listeners. The titles of the first and the second programs were: 1. Gender based violence in Palestine as perceived by young Palestinian women and men. Do young men need to be more aware and empowered as women to minimize GBV in Palestine? 2. What does it mean for a woman to be financially independent and how does it affect her choices in life? For the third program the participants decided to own a voice similar to Scheherazade's's, and they used the title: Scheherazade, let your voice be uttered. According to Daisy Jacaman, a radio series participant:
Personally speaking, the radio series experience was for me very informative, challenging, out of the box, new, full of emotions and full of responsibility. Generally speaking, instead of having 10 radio stations that are playing songs and commercials all day and all night long, I think people deserve a positive change! More shows like ours should air every now and then, with fresh perspectives and with a young, vibrant heart.   t
Radio interview with Wanjira Munyua on cybercrime against women
Wanjira Munyua, Kenya research team leader for the project, “What can be done to overcome cybercrime against women to enable them to exercise their right to communicate without fear of abuse, harassment or violence?” was interviewed on this topic April 8 on Nairobi’s Kiss FM morning breakfast show by host Caroline Mutoko. The interview will be linked here in August.
GRACE members contribute to IFIP workshop: Research Voices from Africa
Two GRACE members took part in Research Voices from Africa, hosted by the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) Technical Commission 9 – Relationship Between Computers and Society, held at Makerere University, Uganda 22-23 March 2010. Explaining the purpose of the workshop, the organizers stated "often we hear about ICTs in Africa, much more rarely about ICT from African voices. Why did our knowledge about the correlations between ICT and the economy and society fail to develop ICT to support development? Is the mainstream model of conceptualizing and implementing ICT4D applicable and helpful in the African context? What are the alternatives to dominant approaches? This workshop is intended to provide a forum for discussion of ICT research approaches and findings that emerged from and are relevant to the African contexts." Ugandan researcher and Head of the GRACE Africa secretariat, Susan Bakesha, participated, and Kenyan researcher Salome Omamo presented her paper Highlighting the Convolution that is the ICT World: Professional Career Women in Kenya Speak.
GRACE Uganda researchers and authors, Susan Bakesha and Grace Bantebya, held a book launch in Kampala in February 2010
The launch was attended by over 50 participants including the Minister of State for ICTs and the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Makerere University.  African Women and ICTs was reviewed in the Ugandan press in advance of the launch: http://newvision.co.ug/D/9/31/709535. To read more about the workshop, follow this link to full report and view the photos here...

Subsequent to the launch, the Minister of State for ICTs has pledged to provide computers for a computer lab at the Department of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University. This he said was a contribution towards increasing female students' access to computers.

In addition, an article profiling Susan Bakesha, as Head of the GRACE Africa secretariat, has been published in a national on-line daily: Girls can click away to bigger things.
LtoR: Mr. Aramanzan Madanda, Lecturer at the Department of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University, Ms Beatrice Lamwaka for the Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMWRITE) and The Minister of State for ICTs in Uganda flanked by Grace Bantebya (left) and Susan Bakesha (right).
GRACE Researchers met with the Egyptian Association of University Women
The President of the Egyptian Association of University Women, Aziza El-Hamamsy, invited GRACE project leader, Ineke Buskens, and Egypt's research team leaders Nagwa Abdel Meguid, Saneya Neshawy and Mervat Foda, accompanied by research team members Mona Anwar and Sahar
Abdelgayyed Abdelaziz Soliman, to meet with her and Association members on 18 January 2010. Ineke introduced the GRACE Project in Arab countries, and the three research team leaders spoke about their specific projects and the contribution of their research to Egyptian society. The meeting was seen as a valuable opportunity to share and exchange information about the two organizations.
The GRACE Zimbabwe team launched /African Women and ICTs/ in Harare 24 November, 2009.
The GRACE Zimbabwe team launched 'African Women and ICTs' in Harare in November, presenting the research journey that lead to their chapter, 'When a gender-blind access policy results in discrimination: realities and perceptions of female students at the University of Zimbabwe'. The research team is continuing to work with the recommendations they made in their chapter, seeking to assure that women students at the university can access computers. READ MORE
African Women and ICTs Book launched in Douala, Cameroon

GRACE Researcher Gisele Yitamben launched the GRACE book, 'African Women and ICTs' in Douala Cameroon. The launch took place at the Faculty of Science of the University of Douala during its 'Week of Science, Enterprises and Development' event which took place from 7th to 12 December 2009. GRACE Cameroon also participated as a partner in the event. "

Watch Video of Book Launch here or

visit the Publications page and view the video there.




GRACE Researchers Participate in ACACIA Learning Forum Dakar, Senegal 5-8 October 2009.

kissCenter, left to right; Kiss Brian Abraham and Alice Wanjira Munyua making a presentation on the work that GRACE has been doing


The ACACIA Learning Forum is a networking, learning and sharing platform for projects within the IDRC envisaged ACACIA program whose goal is to unleash the potential of ICTs to empower poor African Communities

More here on the IDRC Website...

View Video of Inekes perspective on networked Societies shared at the event...

View video of the event

GRACE MENA Participates in The 2nd International Interdisciplinary Conference on Gender in Science and Development. Aden, Yemen, 12 to 14 December, 2009.

tThe Second International Interdisciplinary conference on gender in science and
development was held in Aden, Yemen, December, 12-14-2009. Invited speakers included experts from The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and from India (President of the Third World Organization for Women in Science), from Arab women's organizations and from the GRACE project, as well as directors of gender studies centers in the Arab world. GRACE researchers presenting were research team leader and conference organizer Rokhsana Ismail, from Yemen and research team leader Saneya Neshawy, from Egypt. GRACE Project Leader Ineke Buskens spoke to the to the conference theme "Globalization, Engendered Knowledge systems and Strategies for Women's Empowerment" in her keynote address on the first day.

For Ineke's Presentation in English, please click here..To view the Arabic Version, Click here

For more conference information, follow this link: wrtcau.org/default.asp? id=96

Dr. Rokhsana Ismail presented at the first Arab Women in Science and Technology Conference in Dubai

gRokhsana Mohammed Ismail, team leader of one of the three GRACE Yemen research teams, presented the work of GRACE in Arab Countries at the first Arab Women in Science and Technology Conference (www.astf.net/womenrdi/ ) in Dubai, 28-30 September 09, through a poster presentation.

Dr. Rokhsana also presented on September 30 as part of a panel discussion on Arab Science and Technology, Women's and Community Participation.

GRACE Project Leader contributes to the Harvard Forum on ICTs, Human Development, Growth and Poverty Reduction
iConvened by Nobel Laureates Amartya Sen and Michael Spence, in collaboration with Randy Spence and the International Development Research Centre, the Harvard Forum II: ICTs, Human Development, Growth and Poverty Reduction took place 23-24 September 2009 at Harvard University. Leading thinkers and practitioners in the area of development discussed how ICTs could contribute to poverty reduction in developing countries, now and in the future. GRACE Project Leader, Ineke Buskens, was one of 30 panellists from around the globe to contribute to the Forum. Her position paper and discussion paper can be viewed here, and details on the Forum, as well as on-line Forum coverage and papers are available via the IDRC web site:
Pretoria Launch of AFRICAN WOMEN AND ICTs

On 8 September 2009 the publication of African Women and ICTs was celebrated by UNISA Press at the UNISA Library. The event directed by Dr Judy Henning, Deputy Executive Directory of the UNISA Library, and introduced by Ms Beth Le Roux, Director, UNISA Press. The keynote address, What it took: Reflections on the GRACE Research Journey, was given by Ineke Buskens, GRACE Project Leader, Research Director and co-Editor of the book, with a response by Dr Buhle Mbambo-Thata, contributing author and Executive Director of UNISA Library.


Mozambique authors launch AFRICAN WOMEN AND ICTs
The primary authors Gertrudes Macueve and Judite Mandlate of "Women's use of information and communication technologies in Mozambique: a tool for empowerment?" celebrated the publication of African Women and ICTs on 30 July 2009 in Maputo. The event, hosted by Sangonet as part of their series of ICT Discussion Forums (http://www.ngopulse.org/event/mozambique-tlhangano-ict-discussion-forum), was well attended, and included a presentation from IDRC South Africa representative, Khaled Fourati. The authors were pleased to receive a representative for Graça Machel representing Fundaçao para o Desenvolvimento da Comunidade.   y


from left to right; Khaled Fourati, and Gertrudes Macueve, and
Professional Women in ICT Careers in Kenya: What Successful ICT Journeys Entail



  Kenyan researcher, Salome Omamo, presented on her team's GRACE research at the Sixth International Critical Management Conference held at the University of Warwick, UK, July 13-15, 2009. Salome's paper presentation was in STREAM 3: ICTs and globalization. This stream aimed at critically questioning how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are presented and promoted as global capitalism has developed. Critical studies and empirical studies that question determinism whether of technology or globalization and place studies of ICTs and globalization in context were presented. To read Salome's paper, Professional Women in ICT Careers in Kenya: What Successful ICT Journeys Entail, please click here.

Book launches in Toronto and Ottawa, Canada

African Women and ICTs was launched by co-publisherand projectfunder theInternationalDevelopment Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada in Ottawa and Toronto (May 20 and 21). Heloise Emdon (IDRC), Ineke Buskens and Anne Webb (co-editors) spoke on thesignificance of the project, theresearch approach, and the essence of the chapters (http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-141463-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html ). We appreciate the contributions made at the launch, and also wish to thank Pauline Dole for organizing both events.  

i,nFrom left to right; Ineke Buskens, Heloise Emdon and Anne Webb

Launch of African Women and ICTs in Tanzania

bThe Gender Research in Africa into ICTs for Empowerment (GRACE) Network, Zed Books and the International Development Research Centre launched our book African Women and ICTs: Investigating Technology, Gender and Empowerment, on April 24th 2009, in the presence of Her Excellency, Ms Mary Nagu, Minister for Industry and Trade, at Karimjee Hall in Dar es Salaam. The editors and 15 co-authors were present.

The GRACE Network is pleased to announce our book: African Women and ICTs: Investigating Technology, Gender and Empowerment

bThe GRACE Network is pleased to announce that our book, African Women and ICTs: Investigating Technology, Gender and Empowerment, is available as of March 31 from Zed Books at
http://www.zedbooks.co.uk/book.asp?bookdetail=4280 or visit Zed Books blog spot at www.zed-books.blogspot.com.

The electronic version is now available to view on-line or download from the web site of the co-publisher, IDRC: http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-135944-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html

View endorsements...

Second Phase of GRACE underway in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in Aden, Yemen, December 2008

From 13 until 19 December 2008, thirty researchers from seven countries in the Arab world met in Aden, Yemen, with the purpose of initiating another GRACE Research Network: Gender Research in the Arab world into ICTs for Empowerment. The week was filled with several rounds of research presentations, lively discussions, walking on the beach, good food and riveting visits to old Aden and the historical water tanks which may have been established by the Queen of Sheba.

iThe interest from the national media was astounding. We were visited by camera crews during four of the six days, resulting in twice being front page news in national news papers, several radio broadcasts and two appearances on national television. The group took all this attention in its gracious strides and kept its focus.



GRACE MENA Workshop Participants

The result of this dynamic event is a collection of fifteen viable research pre proposals which touch the essence of women’s disempowerment in the region.


EuroAfrica-ICT Project presentation, Brussels, December 10, 2008

Ineke Buskens spoke in Brussels at the 6th concentration meeting of the EuroAfrica-ICT project as an invited key note speaker. EuroAfrica-ICT aims at promoting and supporting the development of strategic cooperation on ICT research between sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. The one day conference brought together officials of the European Commission, network leaders and project managers operating in Africa. To view the program, please click here 

Ineke’s talk was titled: Gender Research in Africa into ICTs for Empowerment: what did we learn from GRACE? The presentation can be viewed here

ITC research seminar, Enschede, the Netherlands, 31 October 2008
GRACE Project Leader, Ineke Buskens, spoke about the lessons learnt from GRACE with a group of staff and PhD students of the International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) in Enschede, the Netherlands (http://www.itc.nl/). Issues of coordination of multiple research sites, capacity building, leadership and transformation in the context of a research network were addressed.
GRACE Zambia researcher Kiss Abraham presents his GRACE research at the first Communications Authority of Zambia ICT research symposium (October 2008) – information on the presentation can be viewed here.
Second Phase of GRACE underway in Africa with workshop in Pretoria, September 2008

The second phase of GRACE, which began in March 2008 with Africa members preparing research proposals and finalizing the manuscript of our forthcoming book, brought Africa research teams together in September for the first Proposal Development Workshop of this phase.  Thirteen research teams in eleven countries are preparing to explore the role of technologies in women’s empowerment processes, engaging an action research orientation in the interests of creating an emancipatory and transformative research process for those involved, while seeking change that will further women’s capacity to assert their own agency (see GRACE 2 research proposal).

The workshop lasted five days. We found that, after working together for more than three years, the benefits of mutual sharing and feedback among Network members have become highly self-evident. There is a sense of trust and intellectual sharing and support that makes the GRACE Network a unique community.

The Africa research teams will fully develop their proposals and meet again in April for a Methodology Training and Design Workshop.

Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo promoted to a full Professor of Women and Gender Studies

Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo, a member of the GRACE Network from Uganda, was promoted to the position of full Professor of Women and Gender Studies on 1 October 2008. The professor position is the highest in academic institutions. According to Grace Bantebya, “it is indeed fulfilling to attain my vision.” Her GRACE colleagues may remember the flip charts in first Durban workshop, “all the drawing and cutting and pasting we did, mapping out our vision – I have attained mine. Now I have to draw another one!! The GRACE Network has indeed made me a different person especially in terms of reflections on my inner soul. With that reflection it becomes easier to understand situations and appreciate diversity and differences. As a member of the GRACE Network, I have indeed benefited a lot from our deliberations, training and networking.

he experience I have gained as a member of this network is insurmountable. The love and encouragement even when situations seem difficult have kept me going. Graciousness you are all part of my journey and I will forever be grateful for this opportunity.”


GRACE presents at the International Federation for Information Processing Pre-Conference Workshop and the 8th International Conference on Human Choice and Computers in Pretoria (September 2008)

GRACE was well represented at the International Federation for Information Processing (http://www.ifip.or.at/ ) pre-conference workshop (Working Group 9.4) and the 8th International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (HCC8 http://www.hcc8.org/), both held in Pretoria in September 2008. Project Leader Ineke Buskens presented on behalf of GRACE (Africa) Network members at the WG9.4 in a presentation entitled “Gender on the ‘ICT Research for African Development’ Agenda: Learning with GRACE” (the PowerPoint presentation can be viewed here).The HCC8 conference included GRACE Researcher Leila Hassanin’s presentation entitled: “Egyptian Women Artisans: ICTs are not the entry to modern markets" (the PowerPoint presentation can be viewed here). GRACE also held a panel presentation under our own project name. The panel was chaired by Ineke and Research Coordinator Anne Webb, and the presenters were GRACE Researchers Susan Bakesha (Uganda), Gertrudes Macueve (Mozambique) and Ibou Sane (Senegal).Leila’s paper and a summary of the panel presentation are published in Social Dimensions of Information and Communication Technology Policy, edited by C. Avgerou, M. Smith and P. van der Besselaar (Springer 2008 http://www.springer.com/computer/ information +systems/book/978-0-387-8421-1).  


GRACE panel

Twenty-two members of GRACE Africa attended the workshop and conference and actively engaged in the sessions, posing informed questions and contributing to discussions.  Ineke was invited to join a closing panel at the HCC8 conference to discuss “Emerging Issues in ICT Policy Research.”


Ineke speaking during closing panel

Zimbabwe GRACE researcher awarded for her innovation
Precious Mwatsiya was awarded the Aluka Award for Innovative Teaching in March 2008. According to Precious, through GRACE "I have discovered the esearcher that is in me and have become more focused in my career as well. GRACE has taught me that I can be anything that I want to be and through this determination, I wrote a proposal that won me an award called the Aluka Award for Innovative Teaching." A brief description of Precious' proposal can be viewed at: http://www.aluka.org/page/about/news/award20080319.jsp
GRACE presents at the 3rd Global Knowledge Conference in Kuala Lumpur
Two GRACE research team leaders, Gisele Yitamben from Cameroon and Kazanka Comfort from Nigeria, along with GRACE Research Director Ineke Buskens, presented at the GK3 Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 11-13 December 2007.  The two GRACE team leaders presented on their research processes, findings and interpretations, while Ineke provided an overall understanding of the GRACE project and the approach to qualitative research learning and research processes embedded in GRACE during a 2-part workshop entitled: Learning from Stories Shared by Empowered 'Homepreneurs' and Tele-Workers in  the Information Economy.

Following a lively discussion, which also drew upon the perspectives of Nigeria team member John Dada who was also present, one workshop attendee described the GRACE presentations as the most rigorous research that she had come across in Africa in 20 years ... the type of research that would belong to the finest universities.  The content of the presentations will be captured in the forthcoming GRACE book, African Women and ICTs: Investigating Technology, Gender and Empowerment, (March 2009), and in the country research reports that will be posted on this site in the Fall of 2008.

To view Ineke's PowerPoint presentation, please click here (pdf file).

For more information on the GK3 see:  www.gkpeventsonthefuture.org



Stories of Women’s Empowerment: Experiences from GRACE



Kazanka presenting the GRACE Nigeria project

Leila Hassanin at the conference Rooms of their Own: Women in the Knowledge Economy and Society
Leila Hassanin was a speaker at Rooms of their Own: Women in the Knowledge Economy and Society, conference organized by the Royal Society of Canada and University of Alberta, Edmonton, May 2007. The conference addressed local and international cultures that promote and hold back women's active, creative and significant involvement in the knowledge economy. To view Leila's presentation click here...
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Grace is an initiative envisioned and funded by
the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), developed by Research For the Future (RFF) and managed by The GRACE Project Voluntary Association
Grace est une initiative initiée et financée parle Centre de recherches pour le développement international (CRDI), développée par Research For the Future,
et gérée par l'Association Volontaire Projet de GRACE .