Below follows an overview of the objectives and a discussion of achievements of the African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics (ACEIE) for the period of the Memorandum of Agreement.
Development of Information Societies
To create an awareness of the importance of information in different communities and amongst responsible persons and information practitioners, in terms of where to access information and overcome inequalities in the access to information, how to integrate it, and to create awareness of societies’ dependence on information. IE in Africa provides a unique platform to build an Information and Knowledge Society driven by critical reflection on ethos and values within the African Context. It addresses opportunities and challenges unique to the development of the African Continent.
This objective was met on the following accounts: Each activity undertaken by the ACEIE endeavoured to raise awareness on Information Ethics and actively promoted the objectives of the ACEIE.
Provide training to government officials
To provide training for government officials in different areas of government with respect to ethical reasoning applied to e-government; and ensuring awareness of ethical issues arising from the management of information amongst information practitioners.
This objective was met on the following accounts: Activities involving government officials took place predominantly during local government and workshops and international events, such as UNESCO activities and Information Ethics Workshops. Both international workshops and one conference in Uganda, involved not only academics, but also government officials. Together with these five additional workshops in the Southern Africa region took place on UNESCO’s request. The participation was unexpected and yet contributed immensely to collaboration opportunities between government and academic attendees.
Education in information ethics
To develop short courses to enhance ethical reasoning amongst information practitioners.
This objective was met on the following accounts: Although all the workshops focussed on the roll-out of an Information Ethics curriculum at African universities, the workshops also necessitated the discussion of shorter, more implementable, courses on Information Ethics which can used by all information practitioners. The five UNESCO workshops also provided the platform for discussion on the necessity of the Information Ethics curriculum on basic and tertiary level.
Community development activities
To promote the effective and ethical use of information for different communities, such as ensuring SMMEs are aware and able to handle responsibly information flows using ICTs, such as for access market information, business marketing, and in running businesses.
This objective was met on the following accounts: Certain workshops, such as the Northern Cape Provincial Workshop and Uganda Workshop, involved members of local community forums. The Institute for Disability Innovation in Carnarvon, partook and presented in the workshop in the Northern Cape. The Deaf Community, as represented by DeafNet in Kampala, Uganda, presented and partook in the 4th ANIE Conference in July 2014.
To ensure the development of the information ethics teaching curriculum amongst 12 African universities participating in the teaching of Information ethics.
This objective was met on the following accounts: This objective is the focal point of all ACEIE activities, during workshops and meetings alike, since it seeks to address the need for an Information Ethics Curriculum and also to stimulate research on Information Ethical issues.
Internationalisation of Information Ethics policies and practises:
To promote key proposals and research as agreed concerning the research on Information Ethics and its application, for consideration within African and International inter-governmental organisations, such as the AU, African Regional Communities and UNESCO structures.
This objective was met on the following accounts: Various African countries were visited and workshops were conducted in each country. These workshops were attended by academic personnel, government officials and students. The expansion of the African Network on Information Ethics (ANIE) has now been expanded to 19 African countries within 80 academic and non-academic intuitions.
Participate in UNESCO and WSIS related activities
To support and actively participate in UNESCO and WSIS programmes and activities with reference to:
- WSIS 2015 activities
- SA Natcom activities
- UNESCO Communication and Information Sector activities
- IFAP Management and activities
- Possible future UNESCO Category 2 organisation responsibilities
Policy and advisory support in South Africa and Africa
To according to Pillar 5 of the DTPS Digital Opportunities Strategy participate in policy formulation and advisory support to the DTPS, AU and Pan African Parliament, African Regional structures and government of African countries.
Research and Development
To according to Pillar 6 and Pillar 7 of the DTPS Digital Opportunities Strategy participate in academic research and publications on matters related to Information Ethics.