News & events


Thoughts on African content and implementation strategies involved in ICT access in (rural) Africa

25 March 2014
12:30 - 13:30

Speaker: Gertjan van Stam, Research Fellow, Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Center (SIRDC), Harare Zimbabwe
Date: 25 March 2014
Time: 12h15 for 12h30  – 13h30

Based upon over 10 years ethnographic observations from within rural Zambia and Zimbabwe, the presenter proposes the African components ‘ubuntu, orality, relatio, dominatio and animatio’ as drivers of content, and ‘community engagement, skill development and thought leadership’ as an implementation strategy involved with ICT access in (rural) Africa.

Gertjan van Stam was born in the Netherlands. From 2003 up to and including 2012, he and his family lived in the rural village of Macha, in the Southern Province of Zambia. Before that he stayed for 2 years in rural Murambinda, Zimbabwe. He has been involved with strategic developments in ICT, in Africa, since 1987. Currently, he is Research Fellow at the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe.

His goal is to identify and inspire local talent and introduce appropriate technologies to build the necessary capacity for community-led activities to yield sustainable human development outcomes. His quest is for a logical framework for understanding dynamics of change in African communities and engendering leadership capable of inspiring, initiating, implementing, operating, and scaling up sustainable progress and the use of technology in the local community.

Since 2011, Gertjan has volunteered in strategy-making in the IEEE, the largest professional institute in the world. He works on Social Innovation, specifically in ’thought leadership and advocacy’, and is actively involved in serving and providing guidance for students in academic studies. His activities in Zambia were featured in IEEE’s The Institute, and his career was documented in an award-winning IEEE video at TryEngineering. The activities in Zambia were shown worldwide though BBC Clicks. Gertjan authored the book Placemark and has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers on findings and lessons learned in rural and urban Africa.

Kindly RSVP by 23 March 2014

This seminar may be attended via video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal. Details as below. The speakers will be in Pretoria

Cape Town: HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or

Durban: First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: