Category Archives: ICT4SD

Administrative crackdown on a Net Neutrality Seminar

Family photosFriday, August 8, 2014 at about 1:15 pm Cameroon time a wagon of top level cops heavily armed, jumped into the Ayaba Banquet hall to stop a seminar on the theme: Promoting Net Neutrality through Multi Stakeholder capacity Building and Dialogue.  To my greatest surprise, after the first training session, a host of police officers moved into the hall asking my colleague and I to follow them to the station for some administrative fixes. This is the first time since 2008 we are facing invisible walls in the field.

They were acting in accordance to a prefectoral order demanding the suspension of the event after complaints from the regional delegate of post and telecommunication qualifying the event as a high security risk.

After about five hours of a loaded police interrogation on the issue, we were released from the Bamenda (I) central police station immediately the investigator gave his report to station chief, a five star top level police commissioner.

At the end of the day, no one could demonstrate how risky the seminar was and why it was to be suspended without any notice from the competent authorities.

An anonymous cop disclosed his disagreement on the action and blamed it to external manipulation from some civil servants. He said “such regrettable incidents have been happening for some time now and will be difficult to eradicate because the police is subject to the executive”. He further advised us to always sort out “technical issues” with those concerned before carrying out such activities for the powers they have can be used at their discretion.

Talks with the regional delegation of post and telecommunication

An assistant to the regional delegate of post and telecommunications, Mr Apa, who was asked to supervise the suspension, advised us to reorganize the seminar in a later date and promised to assist in his own capacity.

Call for action

Dear reader, we invite to show your support for this project geared at promoting freedom of expression in Cameroon. by “liking ” our Facebook page @


Seminar Workshop on ICT tools for Journalism

US EMBASSY YAOUNDE: Seminar Workshop on ICT Tools for Journalism.

This two day workshop brought together journalist, techies and embassy staff in a bit to demonstrate and explore the power of publication, engaging audience online via text, audio and video storytelling, maximizing impact on news reports beyond time shifts and classical broadcasting.

The training ignited the famous conversation on censorship from others and self. Should the journalist air his or her views beyond editorial lines or should he/she play the cooperate ethics game in the detriment of personal convictions?

Professor Corey Takahashi, from the Syracuse University in New York took the diplomatic stand: «In journalism, 1+1=3, the best camera is what you have at hand, I don’t judge, but would let you guys know that in the US if you won’t publish for any reason, you can always pass the stuff on to a colleague…” Excel Asama, CEO of I-Vission International had a different conception from some of the participants on the theory of freedom of expression and financial dependency. He refused to take back home the opinion that “if you don’t have money, just publish what the big boys and the establishments want” he argued further that fear and ignorance are two adjacent illusions that will always obstruct a man from reaching personal convictions and that those who succeed in journalism today are independent and motivated and not dependent and oppressed.

Promoting Net Neutrality through multi stakeholder capacity building and dialogue

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

A capacity building seminar was organized in Douala-Cameroon on the 18th of July 2014 at hotel Lewat by I-Vission International with the theme: Promoting Net Neutrality through multi stakeholder capacity building and dialogue.  A multi stakeholder discussion  was also conducted to get the opinions of the different actors present on the challenges faced in Cameroon and how to influence policy in the interest of everyone. Georges Ndenga, a senior journalist with CRTV (Cameroon radio and Television Corporation) moderated the discussion.

Forty two participants were trained on the concept of Net Neutrality including its historical background, how to detect abuse, its importance and impact if not maintained.

These participants came from different social sectors including government ranks, civil society, the private sector and the media. They all came with different expectations on the issue of Net Neutrality as a concept and as a social challenge in Cameroon. Most of the trainees focused more on cyber crime which is just one of the consequences of Net Neutrality abuse. Excel Asama and SAME Grace explained the concept and explored the different forms of abuse noticed in recent years through PowerPoint presentations and live demonstration on the Internet.

Almost all the participants made known to the project team that they were ignorant of the concept and especially the different forms of abuse by some Internet Service Providers and Governments. At the end of the training, they actually understood what has been happening in their networks, what their rights are and how to detect and report any form of abuse using online open source tools. Web tools from the Glasnost Measurement Lab were used as a case study to measure the performance and transparency of the network. Our aim was to verify any form of network probing or shaping and application blocking.

We carried out the following test:

  • P2P applications blocking: BitTorrent, emule, Gnutella
  • Standard apps: Email (POP), Email ‘IMAP4) http transfer, SSH transfer
  • Video on demand: Flash video (YouTube)

At the time of the test, we did not notice any form of traffic shaping in the selected network.

About Glasnost Measurement Lab

M-Lab provides the largest collection of open Internet performance data on the planet.

When an Internet application doesn’t work as expected, how can you tell whether the problem is caused by your connection, the application or something else? It can be very difficult for professional network administrators, let alone average Internet users, to answer this sort of question today. Transparency has always been an essential component of the Internet’s success, and Internet users deserve to be well-informed about the performance of their broadband connections. For that to happen, researchers need resources to develop new analytical tools.

M-Lab provides the largest collection of open Internet performance data on the planet. As a consortium of research, industry, and public interest partners, M-Lab is dedicated to providing an ecosystem for the open, verifiable measurement of global network performance. Real science requires verifiable processes, and     M-Lab welcomes scientific collaboration and scrutiny.


 Output of the training

  • Forty two (42) participants acquired new skills in the concept of net neutrality; What it is all about, what the law says, how to detect abuse and report back
  • Participants expressed their support for the initiative and promised to translate the skills acquired in their various institutions.
  • Twenty five (25) participants signed the partnership convention with us to support and participate in Net Neutrality Observatory Group (NetNOG)
  • Government, ISP, Civil Society and Internet Users sat on the same table to discuss issues on Net Neutrality for the very first time in Cameroon

Excel Asama saluted the presence of the following stakeholders:

  • The Regional Delegate of the Post and Telecommuiation Mr Mohamadou Bassirou for his perpetual support and concern in the development of ICTs in Cameroon. He reiterated his support for ICT initiatives and the commitment of government to become a hub in the central Africa zone. More than 12000km fiber optic backbone cable network has been installed nationwide, an Internet Exchange point is currently being set up in Caltel Bepanda, Legistaltions are operating in the ICT sector in Cameroon.  In  a few words, Mr Mohamadou Bassirou encouraged Internet Service Providers to respect and observe Net Neutrality in Cameroon.
  • Marc Ngiamba, project manager of platform, ISP and
  • Madam Alloumeck Christelle, representing the Regulatory board and the long list of civil society organizations who actively took part in the multi stakeholder discussion.

Challenges faced

  • Due to the heavy rainfall on the event day, we could not reach the expected number of participants in the seminar.
  • It took us about eight days to get authorization from government to organize the event due to controversies surrounding the and lack of information at the local level on the importance of maintaining net neutrality. The local authorities were wondering the kind of reaction to get from Yaounde if such a meeting is authorized. At the end of the day, we had to lobby to get the meeting declared.


  • Discuss and apply for a partnership possibility with the Glasnost Measurement Lab to set up a server in Cameroon to measure and report net neutrality abuse incidents.
  • Mobilize more funds sensitizing at the national level

Other activities executed as of now

 The web platform is effectively operational, with 1193 visits at the time of this report.

  • Online campaign platform setup. We designed an email mailing list made up of 1750 subscribers through MailChimp for Weekly Newsletters and articles on the project. The Facebook page and twitter hashtag for the project are functional. We will gear up from the 8th of August when the last capacity building seminar will be organized. At that time, the Net Work Observatory Group must have been set up with clear goals and roles to play by individual members.

A capacity building seminar was organized in Douala-Cameroon on the 18th of July 2014 at hotel Lewat by I-Vission International with the theme: Promoting Net Neutrality through multi stakeholder capacity building and dialogue.  A multi stakeholder discussion  was also conducted to get the opinions of the different actors present on the challenges faced in Cameroon and how to influence policy in the interest of everyone. Georges Ndenga, a senior journalist with CRTV (Cameroon radio and Television Corporation) moderated the discussion.

Excel AsamaThe evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem has been very challenging since the installation of the open standards as method of governance and development. These principles stand to be the best method of governance as of now though it has gone through a lot of challenges and controversial situations from some stake holders involved.

I look at the future of the Internet governance ecosystem with a lot of reserve for the following reasons:

  • Politics and the quest for power: The founding fathers of the Internet never thought of a platform that is dominated by politicians and power mongers of different forms. The Snoden sting is just an example to show case the interest politicians have in using the global Internet platform to have an edge over the others. This quest for info power and control over others play a vital role in shaping the evolution of Internet Governance in the coming years. An invisible stakeholder has been introduced into the governance platform (secret spying agents). The impact this stakeholder has on the governance structure is very important. Many users are scared away from the platform. People feel more unsecured online than offline. The risk of a global conflict between nations and continents is more and more visible. The Internet governance is gradually sliding off the hands of the three in one governance (government, civil society and private sector) to a three plus one formula, the invisible actor.
  • Business and the neutrality of the net: Another factor that is shaping the evolution of the Internet in a negative direction is the perpetual violation of internet neutrality by businesses for the purpose to make huge benefits.

Considering the above challenges listed, I personally have the take that the evolution of the Internet governance will be at risk if the multi stakeholder method of governance is not respected and reinforced. It is the only method of governance that guarantees equality in the governance structure. The shaping of the Internet future will depend on how each stakeholder is reminded on its role and limits in the management of platform resources. Should one stakeholder go beyond limits, then the others must be strong enough either to sanction to get him or her back to normal in a reasonable time limit.

The multi stake holder guiding principles of Internet governance play a major and productive role in the delegation of new top level domain by ICANN. This has been very instrumental in the whole process.

Promoting Net Neutrality in Cameroon

Promoting Net Neutrality in Cameroon

A capacity building seminar was organized in Douala-Cameroon on the 18th of July 2014 at hotel Lewat by I-Vision International with the theme: Promoting Net Neutrality through multi stakeholder capacity building and dialogue. Forty two participants were trained on the concept of Net Neutrality including its historical background, how to detect abuse, its importance and impact if not maintained.

This is one in a series of seminars to be organized in a project funded by the Web we Want campaign.

Excel Asama saluted the presence of the Regional delegate of the Post and Telecommuiation Mr Bassirou for his perpetual support and concern in the development of ICTs in Cameroon. The project manager of  platform, Marc Ngiamba was also part of the show.

Project website @





Reporting Back from BarCamp Cameroon 2013 Buea

SAME GRACE, P.A. to the CEO of IVISSIOn @ BarcampBuea, the South West Regional headquarters of Cameroon is known for its touristic sites in particular and the giant view of mount Cameroon in general. During the weekends, folks go climbing the mountain to appreciate the volcanic remains on one hand and the neighboring Nigeria on the other.  Last Saturday I was invited to Buea, not to climb the mountain but to present one of our major projects for 2013 “Preventiontalk,” demonstrating the power of the web2.0 in the prevention of social crisis”. I took the golden opportunity to talk about Netsquared and Techsoup and the great services they offer including:

  • Connecting people and projects,
  • Donations of softwares and ICT resources etc.

Later in the afternoon, I visited AGRO-HUB, an NGO owned by Valery Kolong, one of the  first members of Netsquared Cameroon. We exchanged many good things together. One of the key attractions was the giant 11Kg yam I found in his Agro Mart.

Talking about ICTs, I noticed the use of Open Source Technology by AGRO-HUB to manage its point of sales, accounting etc.

 What is BarCamp Cameroon?

 BarCamp Cameroon is one of the annual gathering of passionate individuals from all fields of the digital and technology society: entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, bloggers, journalists, activists and students. It’s a meeting of forward-thinking minds coming together to discuss the myriad opportunities and challenges we face in this technological era.

BarCamp is dubbed a “non-conference” because of its informal format and on-the-spot scheduling. Still, quality discussions, stimulating interaction and a trade fair-like atmosphere are some of its hallmarks. We see BarCamp as a combining platform between Cameroon’s tech and civil society, geared at addressing grand issues of the day.

 We believe that it’s time to showcase all the great and innovative projects that have been developed in Cameroon. We want to break down the barriers between the tech community and the general public. This BarCamp will be dedicated to putting all of Cameroon’s best startups on the map, creating discussions for new projects and just spreading the do-it-yourself spirit of entrepreneurship.

The theme: “Made in Cameroon”

“Made In Cameroon” doesn’t only speak of the projects that have been developed within the nation, but is also a reference to the African-in-miniature values that went into the creation of these initiatives. Collaboration, community and openness will be buzzwords that will come up constantly at this year’s BarCamp Cameroon edition.

The projects presented fall in one of the following domains:

Techpreneurship, Open Collaboration, Creative Industries and Freebies

Municipal and legislative elections 2013 in Cameroon

Excel Asama

Excel Asama

In regards to the twin elections in Cameroon, September 30, 2013 the president of I-Vission International, Excel Asama will be monitoring the flow of information and incidents on the field ( ) on one hand and on the other hand, he will be observing the twin elections in Cameroon under the banner of the European Union.

Division: Wouri

District: Douala V

Voting Station: Lycee de Bepanda

Get updates #ivission

PTalk project –

Demostrating the power of Web2.0 in the prevention of socio political crisis

Demostrating the power of Web2.0 in the prevention of socio political crisis

Prevention Talk is an initiative of I-Vission International to demonstrate the power of Web2.0 in the prevention of socio cultural and political crisis.

From the summit of Kilimanjaro in Kenya, the heart of Yamoussoukro in Côte d’Ivoire, the pyramids of Egypt, the mines of Soweto and the depth of the Niger Delta basin, it is evident that; where there is no open, transparent and participative conversation between citizens, civil society organizations and governments, the risk of an explosion is very high.

Prevention Talk steps in at the very initial stage to freeze the unknown before it’s too late. We do this by engaging citizens in a multi stakeholder and democratic conversation on burning social issues of common interest. This process creates awareness on national issues and stimulates citizens’ participation in nation building.

Our inspiration is drawn from the concepts of social mediation and citizens’ journalism as tools for a peaceful open and democratic construction process.


Netsquared/Techsoup First Regional Ambassadors Team

Hi team,

I am thrilled to announce that we have selected our first team of Regional Ambassadors.

Please say hello to:

  • Maria Zaghi: Latin America and Spanish-speaking Net2 organizers
  • Excel Asama: Africa and French-speaking Net2 organizers
  • Stephen Blyth: Australia and New Zealand
  • Mel Findlater: Western Europe

Because this first year is a test and the project needs to be small, you’ll notice that we don’t have Ambassadors for all regions. Our initial focus area is on areas that are more difficult for TechSoup Global staff to support because of geographic distance, language or cultural differences.

Our Ambassadors, who are veteran organizers, will be supplemented by TSG staff. More on this soon.

The Regional Ambassadors pilot has these core elements:

  1. Ambassadors will offer regular mentorship and support to organizers in their region
  2. Ambassadors will chair the creation of regional NetSquared Camps
  3. NetSquared Camp funding and travel bursaries will be open to all NetSquared organizers


Maria Zaghi

Maria Zaghi
MARIA ZAGHI has a 20-year experience in the implementation of projects and entrepreneur efforts related to ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) in Latin America.
She has been the leader for several ICT agendas in Guatemala including the e-Guatemala strategy as an researcher of the Information Committee in the National Science Council; she is part of the National E-commerce, Information Society Commission of Guatemala and is also a collaborator with the Innovation and Competitive Agenda. She is a professor in ICT programs for Universidad Del Valle, Francisco Marroquin University, Landívar University and Universidad Galileo in Guatemala and in Unitec in Honduras.

She is currently in charge of business development for Campus TEC, the first technology park in the Central American region with over 100 companies in the ICT.

Excel Asama

Excel Asama Abel
Excel Asama is an ICT Expert and an Internet Next Generation Leader dedicated in energizing people and organizations to help themselves through ICTs. He strongly believes in the power of the Internet in particular and the ICTs in general in bringing about the expected change in this generation. Born in a remote village in Cameroon from a modest background, he is honored to dine with kings thanks to the Internet. Excel Asama holds a number of national and International certifications in ICTs and social Development, including and not limited to:

  1. Network Forensics obtained @ Japan CCERT (Computer Coordination Emergency Response Team;
  2. Internet Next Generation Leader Certification program (Internet Society);
  3. Web Development and Communication (World business Consulting and Computing);
  4. Project Elaboration and Management (European Union);
  5. Conflict Analysis (United States Institute of Peace); Electoral Observations (United Nations).

Current positions

  1. Founding President and CEO of I-Vission International
  2. NetSquared Regional Ambassador Africa
  3. Member of the Internet Governance Forum Secretariat Cameroon
  4. Member of the Internet Society Global and the ISOC Cameroon Chapter
  5. Member of the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus

Stephen Blyth

Stephen Blyth
Stephen advises and supports people to make a big difference in their local and global communities with his company Common Knowledge. He’s been doing this mostly using the web since he helped build a community website in 1998. Part-time he chases grants and is building a vibrant network for the Tangata Whenua, Community and Voluntary Sector Research Centre. When not earning a livelihood the Kiwi can be found in his backyard garden or on the trampoline with his family. Stephen lives on the stunning Kapiti Coast, in the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, and is NetSquared Wellington organiser.

Mel Findlater

Mel Findlater: Geek for Good
Mel Findlater is a Geek for Social Good who helps coordinate the Netsquared group in Cambridge, UK called Net2Camb. With a background in training and facilitation in the disability and youth work fields, Mel is one of the co-founders and Director at The You Can Hub, a non profit that helps people achieve their impossible. She gets ridiculously excited about the potential of technology in helping people live incredible lives, especially those who might not naturally pick up a smartphone, tweet or write a blog. Inspire, connect, and support is her way and what better place to do this than Netsquared.

Additional Coverage

The work of the NetSquared Ambassadors will be supplemented by TechSoup Global staff.

  • Glenn Fajardo: Southeast Asia
  • Alicja Peszkowska: Central and Eastern Europe
  • Elijah van der Giessen: Western North America
  • Joyce Bettencourt: Eastern North America
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