mhealth: Mobile Phones to expand demand for, and use of ANC/PMTCT services in rural Uganda

Any development agenda in Uganda must look beyond the city
and for a simple reason, over 80% of the total population lives in rural areas.

Almost 70% of the world’s mobile phone
subscribers are in the developing world. As an affordable and accessible means
of communication, both men and women are realizing the potential of this
technology to create economic opportunities and strengthen social networks in
rural areas. The mobile phone is no longer just a communication tool but one
that`s capable of providing additional integrated functions.
Today, mobile telephony is being
used to provide information on health, Agriculture, Education and
entrepreneurship to rural communities through Short Message Service (SMS) and
multi-media supported systems in many parts of Uganda and Africa at large. This
has been made possible through public, private and NGO sector initiatives.
According to the 2010 MDG
progress report for Uganda, maternal health indicators for Uganda have
generally remained poor in the last two decades. Over the period of 1995-2000
maternal mortality stagnated about 505 deaths per 100,000 live births. The
Uganda demographic and health survey of 2006 estimated Maternal Mortality Ratio
(MMR) at 435 deaths per 100,000 live births, making a total reduction of only
70 deaths per 100,000 live births in half a decade.
The 2007 ministry of health
expenditure survey in Uganda clearly indicates that the main causes of maternal
morbidity and mortality in Uganda have overtime been considered preventable and
or treatable. These common causes include but are not limited to; abortion,
haemorrhage, sepsis and obstructed labour.
As a result of this, The
Netherlands National committee for UNICEF in partnership with UNICEF Kampala, the Ministry of Health, Text to Change,
The Association of Volunteers in
International Service (AVSI), and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) are
implementing an intervention to increase
ANC and PMTCT attendance by educating communities about Antenatal care (ANC) /Prevention
of mother to child Transmission(PMTCT) services and HIV/AIDS prevention in
western and Northern Uganda.  
The project will use available
technology, mainly the mobile phones to educate and mobilize mothers, families
and community members to demand for ANC and PMTCT services. Through the short
Message service (SMS), mothers will be reminded about ANC appointments, PMTCT
services and their importance as well as provide information about HIV/AID and
Malaria prevention.
Mobile telephony is the most
preferred technology for this health intervention because it effectively
reduces the “distance” between individuals and institutions making sharing of
information and knowledge easier and more effective. The benefits of mobile
phones are amplified by the fact that the spread of mobile technology in some
rural areas has occurred much faster than with other information & communication
technologies (ICTs). In a country like Uganda, mobile technology has quickly
become much more cost effective for telecommunication provision.
Despite these benefits of the
mobile phone, challenges like high costs of handsets, limited network coverage
and limited usage capacity still exist but these are being solved by the
potential of new models of phones that combine text, audio and video to be used
in a more systematic manner that enables sharing of user generated multimedia
content.

The chances of success and sustainability of
rural health services that are based on mobile telephony are greater when they
do not duplicate services provided by existing information sources such as the
kiosks, telecentres , digital doorways and information centres.

Calling all Women Tech Bloggers

Virginia is always looking for new voices from women who write about tech. If you are one such female tech blogger, here’s how you can get noticed by BlogHer Tech.
Register your blog as a tech blog with BlogHer. How do I add my blog to the Blog Directory? Are there any rules about adding blogs?

  • Once you are registered with BlogHer you can create blog posts that appear here on BlogHer. If you categorize them as Tech, I’ll notice them. Member posts are often featured on the main Tech page – sometimes under What’s Hot, sometimes under Series and Features. Posts from your own blog might be worthy of syndication on BlogHer. What is Syndication on BlogHer tells you all about syndication and how to let us know you have something you’d like to have considered for syndication.
  • If I know your blog is out there – either because you registered it here or contacted me about it – I might curate a post from your blog. That means it would be featured here with a link to your blog.
  • If you need to contact me about BlogHer story ideas you have, I’m virginia.debolt AT blogher DOT com.

Cross posted from: http://www.blogher.com/calling-all-women-tech-bloggers

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World Telecommunication & Information Society Day: What are the Priorities?

Today is World Telecommunication & Information Society Day with the theme “Better life in rural communities with ICTs”. Globally, the event is being celebrated in Geneva from 16th – 20 May 2011 with some of the several WSIS 2011 forum stakeholders and organizers being ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP and locally in Uganda, The 2011 World Telecommunications and Information Society day ICT Youth forum is being held at Ndejje University today 17th May 2011 and this initiative is led by Uganda Communications commission (UCC). 
Given the 2011 theme, “Better life in rural communities with ICTs” it’s important to enable access to appropriate information to rural communities through increasing access to ICTs/tools, making content of information and communication relevant,  tailoring programs to different audiences, strengthening & increasing links with new technologies and finally  exchanging information through a stronger and broader network.
What’s its purpose?
The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.
17 May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.” 
What does ICT mean?
There is a misconception that ICTs mean “Computer” and or “Internet”. However, ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) cover a wide range of tools that enable information Sharing and Networking. These are categorized into: Traditional, Modern and Social/new Networks.  
The traditional ICTs include notice boards, drums, public address systems, posters, newsletters and the modern ones are made of radio, camera, phones, ipods and televisions. The social/New ICTs include networking sites like facebook, twitter, skype, ping etc. All these tools can act as platforms for advocacy and for facilitating networking activities.
Can we adapt traditional & New ICTs to rural Communities’ Actual Needs?
In an attempt to maximise the impact and potential of ICTs for rural communities, appropriate strategies must help integrate them into ongoing activities and programmes like setting up community radio stations in rural areas, exploring the potential of mobile phones and community multimedia/Telecentres to contribute to development action and training members of rural communities on the use of ICTs in addition to sharing best practices. We can adopt both traditional and modern ICTs to the actual needs of rural communities if they are put to best use.
What are the priorities this year’s World Telecommunication & Information Society Day?
Follow the event on tweeter @#WTISD
Read more details here:
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Can AFRICANS tell their own story through Social Media?

Highlights of a brief conversation:
Nova Scotian: Hello, Where do you come from? Or Hello, Are you from Africa?
Me: Africa/ yes
Nova Scotian: Oh, which part of Africa
Me: East Africa
Nova Scotian: Which Country
Me: Uganda
Nova Scotian: UGANDA!!!(With a smile)…….Idi Amin and LRA. That’s what it’s known for. Right?
Me: Because that’s what the media portrays. Right?
Nova Scotian: But that’s what we all we know about Uganda.
Me: Really? Never heard of the Rwenzori Mountains or Inzikuru in the Olympics?
Nova Scotian: No
And the conversation goes on and on and on depending on how much the individual knows or is willing to know about Uganda!!
Not one, not two and not even three but many people have asked me that question(Where do you come from/ Are you from Africa?) for the 3 months I have so far spent in Nova Scotia, Canada.  It’s amazing that they ask with lots of enthusiasm and when you mention that you come from Africa, they are quick to ask which part/Country.  I used to take this so lightly but after I noticed a similar response from all those I interacted with and talked to about Africa, I began noticing something funny.
Thirty two (32) years after Idi Amin stopped ruling Uganda, and about seven (7) years after his death, he is remembered and known more than all the presidents who ruled after him. The funniest thing is that he is known for the Tyranny and bloodshed. Second to Idi Amin is the Lord’s Resistance Army (a.k.a LRA) known for abduction, rape as well as cutting off lips and Noses of their victims? When I ask a question like; Is there anything good and positive that you know of, or have ever heard about Uganda? They innocently say no. Some are even quick to add that another bad thing they have heard that is so recent, is that Uganda is a homophobic country. 
The Media: They have the Power to influence and change perception.
I usually get so inquisitive and ask; How do you get to know all these details about Idi Amin, LRA etc yet you have never been to Uganda?, most people say through News. What do you mean by news? I ask. “We watch all that stuff on CNN and BBC is the response I get. Of course they are right and it’s true but what keeps me wondering, is that even after all this time with no Amin and LRA in Uganda, people think that it’s still the case even in 2011. Why is too much emphasis put on such issues? Can’t the news be balanced such that equal emphasis is put on both the good and bad? Just a handful of people know about our beautiful Muchision falls, our conducive weather, our Olympics heros and the fact that we are the ‘pearl of Africa’.  What exactly do professional journalists report about? Or what are they supposed to report? Are there journalists who write positive stories? I would love to meet them.
Can Africans tell their story though social Media to change negative perception?
Ivorycoast, then Tunisia, followed by Egypt then Libya took  over the news headlines despite the fact that Yemen, and Morrocco were in similar situations, A week later Japan  made news headlines with the earthquake that has claimed approximately 10,000 lives…..and the stories go on to celebrities like Lady Gaga visiting Google offices and Taylor Elizabeth passing on. That is main stream media for you! So what am I supposed to watch or listen to and follow with all this news coming up?
And who alerts the media houses about the situation? It’s the citizen Journalists through social sites like twitter, youtube and facebook which are now accessible on many mobile phones.  With more citizens owning phones and accessing internet, can Africans now tell their own story to the world? Can we have more African Journalists (both professional and citizen) reporting good things about Africa like the Americans and Europeans do about America and Europe? Can African Journalist produce documentaries featuring African Icons and heros that we can watch and feel proud of?  What about Africans in the diaspora who are contributing so much to these already developed countries socially, economically and politically, what are their stories?  I seem to have more questions. What do you think?
AFRICA= POVERTY? HUNGER? DISEASE?(Watch this!)

THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN UGANDA’s 2011 GENERAL ELECTION. My Perspective!

For the past three days, I have been thinking so hard about the outcome of the elections in Uganda after watching on Television the revolutions in the middleEast that saw former Tunisian and Egyptian presidents Ben Ali and Mubarak being forced out of power by the people they were supposed to lead. The reasons are always the same; Chronic Corruption, unemployment and dictatorship among others. 
As I sat in my room at school in St. Mary’s Halifax  a small town in Canada’s Ocean Playground, I could not keep my eyes off my laptop for updates that came in from facebook friends and twips. I kept looking out for updates on newspapers/magazines in Uganda like the Kampala Dispatch, The Independent and Daily Monitor.
On the social websites these were some of the tweets and topics that filled my friends’ status updates.
·         Uganda bans SMS texting of key words during poll ‘Egypt’, ‘bullet’, ‘people power’ etc
·         Museveni making personal calls to voters on their mobile phones just before elections
·         UPC flag Presidential Candidate Mr. Olara Otunnu did not vote for himself
·         Presidential candidates’ names missing on voters lists
·         Fights and scandals by some members of political parties like Mafabi
·         Gender discrimination in politics analysis. Only men analysing elections
·         Updates of polling results from different stations
·         Being reminded to use #ugandavotes as the tweeter Hash tag
·         Heavily guarded streets of Kampala
·         And finally about some prominent Members of parliament who have lost their seats.
As I read all these real time updates from youthful friends that I personally know, I was praying that peace prevails during this time. And from the updates that I am still reading, the situation seems to be okay.
Politics has never been something of interest to me, though I know that am affected by the outcome in one way or another. My focus is on how ICTs especially social networks have played a significant role to keep me updated about the situation in my home country.
What does Foreign Media report about African?
At first, I thought that by watching Television (CTV and CBS) here in Halifax, I would  get some good information about what was going on in Uganda. However, I was not surprised when it was not even mentioned anywhere in the news bulletin for the number of times I happened to be watching. This got me thinking that ”What if Kony the LRA rebel leader had abducted people in Uganda” maybe that would have made news. Unbothered by that, I resorted to one of my best companions, MY LAPTOP. With  the super fast internet here, all I had to do was open as many windows with websites and readily access information about the election progress. Twitter was first on the list, Facebook, the independent Newpaper,The Kampala Dispatch and The Daily Monitor. I must confess that I was shocked but at the same time impressed by the number of people who were tweeting using the #ugandavotes tag.  It was because of this that I was inspired to quickly write this blog post.
State of Technology in Uganda is still wanting:
Also the fact that Mr. Museveni’s (Probably through an automated voice) personal call to people who are subscribed to Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) showed that he had finally appreciated the role of ICTs and will this time (if declared president, which is most likely according to the statistics coming in ),appoint an ICT minister who understands the urgency with which Uganda has to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of technology and not for the sake of appointing.
I did not personally have an opportunity to cast my vote, because the nearest Uganda Embassy is in Ottawa and that required a flight. Just imagine a situation where I could vote online and my note remains valid regardless of my location. That’s the Uganda we want to see with the new president.
Mr. New President my concluding Request is :  Please appoint a New and different minister for Education and Sports as well as another one for ICT, I will be very thankful.
Thanks  Rosebell Idaltu Kagumire for the constant updates on your facebook, blog and Twitter accounts.

Technology, Gender and Violence!! Break the Silence.

As I anxiously wait to join the rest of the world in marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence(GBV) from 25 November 2010 to 10 December 2010 whose regional theme is “Engaging Faith-based Communities to Prevent Violence against Women” focusing on how our faiths and faith-based communities can (and should!) get involved in preventing violence against women, I can’t help think of the millions of mothers, sisters, Aunties and nieces who have been violated yet still remain helpless and silent despite the growing opportunities and improved technology which can help them break the silence through sharing and reporting.

According to a Ugandan psychologist Paul Nyende violence ranges from Physical, Emotional, Economic and financial. In physical abuse, usually physical force against someone is used meaning that sexual abuse fits in this. A signs of this, is being viewed as a sex object or property rather than a human being. Whereas in emotional abuse, the abuser attacks the victim’s spirit by eating away their feelings of self-worth and independence making the victim feel trapped and worthless. Signs of emotional abuse are humiliation, being yelled at and teased in a hurtful way both privately and publicly, Verbal insults and calling you names against your will as well as using threats.

The financial abuse which is usually ignored by many, involves the abuser controlling their victim financially; the signs include monitoring one’s account for every penny spent, not letting you get on with your career or sabotaging you at your place of work.
MAJOR TACTICS USED BY ABUSERS.
Dominance: This is used so that the abuser is in charge of the relationship.

Humiliation: This is to make the Victim feel bad about him/herself.

Isolation: This is to increase the victim’s dependence on the abuser.

Threats: To scare the victim into staying with the abuser

Intimidation: To make the victim submit to the abuser’s will, this involved denial and placing blame to push into excusing the inexcusable.

AND WHO BREAKS THE SILENCE?
With the emergence of New Media and Technology, it is now evident that the power of the media is in the hands of the people. The only issue is how this power is being used to create positive social change in regard to combating Gender Based Violence. Web 2.0 technologies have given people the power of real time reporting, networking and receiving timely information, but how many people have the technical know-how of using them? Then the mobile phones whose subscription in Africa alone has surpassed five million http://ht.ly/37Ks7 and powerful penetration to the rural communities and can be used to combat gender based violence, How many people use up to 50% of the mobile phone application/functionality? How many are aware that it combines text, video and Audio?

Many people have mentioned to me that you get more knowledge by asking many questions. I am desperate to learn from you the readers of this article.
I conclude by quoting one man from Eastern Uganda who once said that: “For every bullet that hits a man during war kills a Woman’s Child”
Gender based violence is real and it affects all of us, some directly and others indirectly. But the good news is that it’s within our power to end it.

PEOPLE AND THE WEB: Web 2.0 Technologies must be Development Oriented.

As I sat in the room at Baraka Agricultural College to attend the Web 2.0 learning Opportunity in Molo-Kenya, I didn’t know what to expect from the sessions which were yet to start on the morning of 27th Sept 2010. When Mr. Nicholas Kimolo, the key trainer requested us to introduce ourselves and briefly talk about the organizations we work for and what our expectations for the training were? I was second in the queue and stressed the fact that I was from Uganda, I also mentioned that my main expectation is to build on what I already knew about web 2.0 tools. At the end of the introductions, I noticed that I was the only Ugandan in a room of 24 trainees, meaning that 23 were all Kenyans.
Being the only Ugandan trainee didn’t just happen, right from the call for applications, one of the key requirements was to be Kenyan. I was the only lucky non Kenyan shortlisted and eventually invited to attend the one week training. Mr. Nicholas mentioned that over 700 applications had been received but we were the Lucky few to be shortlisted.

The training began with a welcome message from the principle of the hosting college Br. David Muchemi who warmly welcomed the participants to the college. He then gave us a brief background of the college. Read more about Baraka.
Mr. Nicholas Kimolo then introduced his co-facilitator Mr. Morris and gave a brief background of the Web 2.0 learning opportunity. He mentioned that the learning opportunity forms part of CTA initiatives that support development partners in networking, accessing and disseminating information more effectively. He then said that we were being trained as Trainers in the use and application of web 2.0 tools.
The General Principles of Web 2.0 tools
Mr. Kimolo said that the training would entail accessing information using web 2.0, Learn what web 2.0 tools are, what other people have dome with web 2.0,  Breaking it down according to functionality, how web 2.0 have been used to successful disseminate information, remote Collaboration, Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP), Mapping(Information in a Geo form), Blogging, using  Social Networks for Professional Social Networking  and finally introducing the use of iMARK module “web 2.0 and social Media for Development”.
What the participatory web for development is all about.
‘When the web started, we needed a web Master to guide and help end users but today, everything has changed. Web 2.0 tools are 2nd generation tool that empower users on the web to read and write to it. With Web 2.0 tools, you can publish your content without having to rely on others. It is user centered and enables inter-operability and Information sharing.
Web 2.0 tools alone are not relevant unless they are linked to development. They must be Participatory in a sense that people must be involved and sharing/access to information must be voluntary. We need to be ‘people centered’ and understand their needs. We must also understand that access might not only be connection but Language. Web 2.0 tools are of four categories (Aggregation, Collaborative /Filtering, Rating / tagging and Widget/Component).They can either be web based or Non-web-based)
Web 2.0 technologies were made possible because of the falling price of Hardware & Software, the technological Advances (Easy for a non Techie person to communicate and use technology) and the increasing use of Mobile devices especially in Africa.
For the first day of the training, we were introduced to web 2.0 and we looked at the opportunities and threats, we also looked at advanced searches, Alerts and RSS. Today [Day 2], we concentrated on Wikis, GoogleDocs and Skype. 
For the two days that I have so far spent, I must say that a lot of value has been added to what I already knew about web 2.0. I feel that by the end of day 5, I will be a real expert in Web 2.0 applications. Also, the choice of venue for the training was perfect, far from town with no shopping malls to distract participants, therefore the levels of concentration and participation are high.
Thanks to The Technical centre for Agriculture and rural cooperation ACP EU (CTA) for making this possible. I hope that a similar training will be conducted in Uganda in the near future.
At the end of the training, together with three Kenyan colleagues will have an entire write-up about the sessions and I promise to share the link with all you awesome people!!

Contracted to Tweet and Blog at the 3rd Regional EastAfrica Internet Governace Forum (EAIGF) in Kampala.

The EAIGF twitter page
Globally, technological development has taken the place of face-to-face interaction; with an increasing range of devices for communicating and disseminating information. It is evident that the world is changing rapidly and African Media is catching up with the technological revolution.

At the third East African Internet Governace forum which is being held in Kampala Uganda with a theme:”Strengthening East Africa’s Critical Internet resources: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally”, Twitter an interactive micro blogging platform based on open publication of 140 character messages is one of the most powerful social media tools being used to share information and Network about the event.

A citizen Journalist and a professional Journalist working together.

Together with Ms. Esther Nakazzi a Journalist with the EastAfrican Newspaper, we were contracted as official resource persons in-charge of communication during the 3rd EAIGF. We were tasked with tweeting and blogging during the three days event. I must say that it is very interesting working with a professional Journalist. It is my very first time as a citizen Journalist to be contracted to tweet and blog at a regional workshop. I have always tweeted at workshops, conferences as well as meetings but that was mainly on voluntary basis. These include among others the digital citizen Indaba and Highway Africa 2009 conference in South Africa, the CTA2009Annual Seminar, art and science the international festival TREFFPUNKT AFRIKA among others.

Who inspired me?

Like the saying goes, “Credit must be given where and when it is due”. I first heard about social media and specifically twitter, blogs, facebook, youtube and skype when I Joined Women of Uganda Network as an information Officer in 2008 and was tasked to head the citizen Journalism in Africa Project (CJA) which was funded by Hivos and SANGONeT in SouthAfrica.  Citizen Journalism is a form of citizen media – where individuals write and or comment on issues they feel are left out of the mainstream media using social media and web2.0 tools.

A lot of motivation was from  a freelance Zambian Journalist known as Brenda Zulu who I first met during the 2009 highway African conference and thereafter during the CTA2009 Annual seminar who helped me start up my personal blog http://dignityinpoverty.blogspot.com/ .  

The idea of tweeting during major events is a very powerful one since very many people who would otherwise not have received such information are able to follow and contribute.

Please follow the tweets  https://twitter.com/EA_IGF  and the blog at http://www.eaigf-uganda.blogspot.com/

The Third East African Internet Governance Forum takes place in Uganda

Strengthening East Africa’s critical Internet Resources ”Thinking globally; Acting locally” is the theme for the Third East African Internet governance forum (EAIGF) which is currently taking place at imperial royal in Kampala Uganda. The forum started on 11th August and ends on 13th August.
The forum was opened by Eriya Kategaya, the first Deputy Prime minister and minister of East African Community Affairs in Uganda who represented the prime minister Apollo Nsibambi.
The Opening Session of the 3rd EAIGF in Kampala
Hon. Kategaya emphasized the need to create awareness on Internet Governance issues within the East Africa region and to enact enabling laws for Internet growth and cyber security.
The Ag. Executive Director, Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) Mr. Patrick Mwesigwa said that the Internet is a critical resource whose governance is mandatory. He added that The Commission has been involved in the Internet Governance process since the World Summits on Information Society of Geneva in 2003 and that of Tunis in 2005, which resulted in the creation of the Internet Governance Forum. It is gratifying to note that the Uganda National Internet Governance Forum has continued to play an active role throughout the entire process. Mr. Chengetai Masango, from UN Internet Governance secretariat said there is need to look at lowering of Internet prices in East Africa after the landing of cables at the Mombasa cost.
The East African Internet Governace forum is an annual conference within Eastern Africa that takes place to mainly discuss issues that have come up at National level form all the the East Africa Community (EAC) countries Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda which have IGF chapters
Min. of EA Affairs Mr. Kategaya
Critical issues discussed included discussed IPV6 migration, de-regulation of ccTLD, cyber security, rootservers and exchange points among others.
Alice Muyua from Kenya who is also the East African Internet Governace Forum convener mentioned that Kenya would host the next global IGF in September 2011 if the UN Assembly gives the mandate.

Ugandan Citizen Journalists among the Top Ten in the e-Learning Photo Competition

The recently concluded e-Learning Africa 2010 Photo Competition saw two Ugandan citizen Journalist featuring among the top ten finalist taking up the 4th and 6th position. The photo competition aimed at finding out “How ICTs Are Changing the Way We Live”. To know what this has meant for the African continent and to learn more about how digital media (mobile phones, the Internet, computers, radio and the audio-visual) have changed the lives of the people in Africa who use them in their day-today work.(Digital citizens). More than 100 images were submitted during the competition that lasted for months and only the top ten were chosen and presented.
Ugandan took five of the ten top positions, with two of the TOP ten coming from WOUGNET Staff Members (Ssozi Javie and Maureen Agena in the 4th and 6th positions respectively).
The TOP 10 photos :
  • Will be featured in an exhibition from May 26th – 28th at eLearning Africa 2010 in Lusaka, Zambia
  • Have been announced on the eLearning Africa website: http://www.elearning-africa.com/picturevoting_home.php
  • Will also be part of the next eLearning Africa Newsletter, which is distributed to thousands of people in Africa and all over the world (mail out: Thursday, May 20).
  • will be part of the eLA photo book and handed out to high-level conference participants.
HOW CITIZEN JOURNALISM INFLUENCED OUR POSTIONS.
 
Being one of the country focal for the Citizen Journalism in Africa (CJA) project, Women of Uganda Netwok (WOUGNET) was privileged to participate in the two year recently concluded project which targeted Citizen Journalists in six African countries of Uganda, SouthAfrica, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. With support from SANGONeT and Hivos, several trainings were conducted in the mentioned countries and Uganda was not an exception.
Among the trained citizen Journalists in Uganda, Maureen Agena and Javie Ssozi from Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) were among those specifically trained as trainers. Photography was a major subject matter in all the CJA trainings and this improved on our photography skills. We also learnt about writing skills and how to describe scenes, situations and pictures. BROSDI is the second Country Focal point in Uganda for the CJA project. The key trainers were Brett Davidson, Mathew De Gale and Noma Rangana all from SouthAfrica. With these skills there was no doubt that we would fail to participate and either win or be among the winners. For details visit CJA :

HOW WE FEEL ABOUT THE FINAL RESULTS: 
Javie Ssozi: I am thrilled that I made it in the Top 10. The participants submitted very powerful photos and this made it even more competitive and interesting. This is a very good initiative that promotes citizen journalism in Africa and most of all shows how ICTs have improved livelihoods around the continent.
Maureen Agena: I feel that the Citizen Journalism trainings I received from the Hivos and SANGONeT team were not in vain, because out of Over 100 photos submitted, mine was the 6th best/relevant photo. Thanks to SANGONeT and Hivos for trusting the power and ability of Citizen Journalists like me. Thanks to the e-learning team that thought of such an innovative competition and for giving us the opportunity to participate. And to all those who voted, thanks for believing in me and seeing the relevance of the photo I submitted.
Conclusion.
It was a competition worth participating in, because it was the first of its kind especially by the e-learning team. It was interesting and yet challenging but as the saying goes, everything has to eventually come to an end. To all the top ten participants, well done and well won and to the rest of the participants, keep the fire burning with the use and application of technology in all your undertakings. To my fellow Ugandans who participated, thanks for scooping five of the top ten positions. Good luck and enjoy the conference on e-learning.