Can technology ease Africa’s woes?, The Namibian

Date: January 1, 1970
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The article is about the Dipichi community where a new IT lab has been donated and installed by a multi national IT company. It makes reference to HIV/AIDS and how technology could be used in development and to monitor AIDS.

This article can be used to:
1. Highight information technology in development.
2. Show how in depth articles can be improved by including a greater diversity of voices.
Trainer’s Notes: The article is superficial in its references to HIV/AIDS and sometimes merely identifies it as “disease.” The language used is subtly stigmatising, “sprawling townships,” “continent racked by hunger and disease.” The article does rely on women as sources  but it fails to examine the benefits of the technology for women. The article focuses on the views of officials and organisers of the workshop and does not interview anyone with HIV. The article lacks a human face or voices to bring it to life.

Discussion Questions
1. Although the article does quote women, trainees can examine how the story would be different if the sources had included people with HIV/AIDS, care institutions working with people with HIV/AIDS and health care workers. 
2. What is the importance of language for reporting on HIV or other issues?
3. How can women benefit from technology ? What are the barriers.

Training Exercises:
1. Trainees should make a list of all stereotypical words/phrased and also those that may stigmatise, and then suggest better alternatives.  (You can also refer to published guidelines, such as the UNAIDS editorial guidelines for reporting on HIV.

Links to Training Resources:  Gender and HIV/AIDS: A Training Manual for Southern African Media and Communicators, Gender Links and the AIDS Law Project, Chapter 5, 

Related GL Commentaries
More women tecchies needed
Cyber Dialogues give women real power
Information for what?

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