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Hivos Southern Africa has urged civil society organizations (CSOs) to integrate social media into their communications matrix as this provides a valuable opportunity for them to reach their communications goals and new audiences more efficiently.

The city of Valencia hosted the 3rd Internet Freedom Festival from 5-10  March 2017. The festival brought together a diverse group of over 1200 people from 114 countries to discuss issues related to privacy, anonymity, access to information and policy and advocacy for Internet freedom.  Internet Freedom in Africa was widely discussed with the issues of privacy, repressive regulations, Internet shutdowns, and user awareness on rights and government surveillance.

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It's three in the morning, when most people are asleep and haven’t even started thinking about the chores of the day, let alone water, a resource many of us take for granted. But not doña Ángela*. She is already up and making her way to Matagalpa, the biggest nearby town, to buy much-needed chlorine for her community’s water system.

Looking back on my overwhelming first time attending a Council of the Parties (COP) at COP22 in Marrakech last November, it was filled with so many meetings, side panels, negotiations and networking opportunities that it was easy to overlook the real people affected by lack of access to energy. Acronyms were flying all over the place, COP veterans sped past us newbies to get to the next negotiation session for LTF – that’s long-term climate finance to you and me – and  little huddles of people speaking in a truly foreign language (COP-lingo) were gathered outside every meeting room and ever

You can almost see nothing inside the Manyatta (a home, often temporary of the Maasai/Samburu people). The window and only ventilation is the size of two adult hands. There is fire burning probably to keep the place lit up and warm given it is a rainy day. Even with the choking darkness one cannot fail to notice the hanging soot from the mud ceiling. At night, our host, Grace Malipe uses a kerosene wick. She has four children in school and this is their source of light as they go about their homework.

The start-up pitch, which involves making a rapid fire presentation of an idea followed by a question and answer session involving selected judges, is increasingly a waste of time and non-efficient in propagating the tech start up ecosystem in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe's Minister of Energy and Power Development, Samuel Undenge, recently announced at the 48th Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) meeting in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe that the region will add 30 000 MW to the region between 2017 and 2022.

Hivos Director of Operations Sanne Nolst Trenité recently toured selected projects in Harare, Zimbabwe and also held a townhall-type meeting with all staff in the Southern African region. Members of staff for Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe had an opportunity to interact and engage with the DOO on the trajectory of the organizations as well as air out any outstanding issues.

"Harare is the first place station that I visited following my appointed. So it feels like home to be here. Harare has a special place in my heart," said Trenite.

Tanoker is a learning community in Jember, East Java, Indonesia. This community is doing their best to develop the potential of local women and children through creative activities. One of these is the “Learning and Tourism Village of Ledokombo” programme in Jember, in which Tanoker supports the villagers to make souvenirs for tourists visiting the village. The handicraft groups set up by the Tanocraft programme consist mostly of women, who also make and sell “jamu”, traditional drinks from herbal plants growing in the surrounding area.

Photographs by Ángel Damián Reyes / Text by Ángel Damián Reyes and Alonso Jiménez

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