Monday, May 09, 2005

KABISSA: Providing A Space For African NGOs On The Internet

Building civil society is a priority for many non-profit organizations seeking to improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

This organization may have its home base in Washington, D.C. but because of it’s presence on the internet its reach is global. And it’s working to give other civil cociety organizations that same global reach.

The name of the organization means “Complete” in Kiswahili and this ties in with its belief that information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be a revolutionary force in civil society. And they want to empower African civil society organizations to use ICTs effectively for the benefit of their communities.

According to their web site they are attempting to do this by:

1. ENABLING organizations to access the power of the Internet
2. EMPOWERING organizations to integrate ICTs into their advocacy work
3. ENCOURAGING interaction within African civil society

Kabissa is providing access by hosting the web presence of African civil society organizations.

They also host e-mail accounts and mailing lists as well as web sites without charge.

This includes:

One subdomain
3 mailboxes
Up to 3 mailing lists
25 MB Disc Space
256 MB Bandwidth per month

Kabissa also has a book that can be downloaded for free that is a “How To” guide for having an internet presence. The book entitled “Time to Get Online” provides a self-learning curriculum, but can also be distributed at workshops conducted by ICT instructors. According to their web page, Kabissa is constantly fine tuning its book so as to be best tailored for the needs of African civil society.

In order to foster networking, Kabissa maintains an “African Civil Society Contact Directory” and a that allows for a search of organizations by specific region, country or objective.

Additionally, Kabissa hosts four different types of Mailing Lists for Working Groups, Networks, Newsletters and Conferences.

Kabissa can be found on the web at:

So, if you know of an organization that is aiming to improve civil society in Africa, but does not have the funds to establish a web presence, let them know about Kabissa. It might be their portal to the Information Highway.

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