Organisations, agencies, institutions & companies

This is also Appendix IV (Section 12.4) of the Survey Document

International & InterAfrican

1.  Introduction

There are a number of organizations, agencies, institutions, and companies in Africa that are active in areas directly or indirectly related to localisation. Some of these are specific to one or another individual country and listed on the relevant country pages and a list on the Organisations by Country page. Others have a mandate or scope of activity that is not limited to one country, or which spans a region within Africa or the whole continent. This section focuses on these interAfrican and international organisations.

The organisations involved in more than one country in Africa are presented first in two lists (interAfrican and international) and then in summary tables according to their focus activities (some organizations are in more than one). There are six:

  • Localisation
  • Languages
  • ICT
  • Software
  • Standards
  • Other

Within each topical summary table the organisations are also separated by whether they are African or non-African. This distinction is admittedly sometimes difficult: is a United Nations agency based in Africa international or interAfrican? is a company owned by Africans that has has offices outside of Africa as well as in it, African or international? Nevertheless, the categories are retained since the distinction is clear in most cases and facilitates reference.

2.  List of organisations

2.1  African


  • AAUL (Association Africaine des Utilisateurs de Logiciels Libres)
  • ACALAN (Académie Africaine des Langues / African Academy of Languages)
  • ACSIS (African Civil Society for the Information Society)
  • AfNOG (African Network Operators' Group)
  • African Union/Union Africaine/ União Africana / الإتحاد الأفريقي
  • AfriNIC (African Network Information Centre )
  • AISI (African Information Society Initiative)
  • ALIN-EA (Arid Lands Information Network Eastern Africa)
  • BASAL (Basic Standardization of All [unwritten] African Languages)
  • CASAS (Centre for Advanced Study of African Societies)
  • CELHTO (Centre d'études linguistiques et historiques par tradition orale)
  • CERDOTOLA (Centre régional de recherche et de documentation sur les traditions orales et pour le développement des langues africaines)
  • CICIBA (Centre Internationale des Civilisations Bantu)
  • CIDLO (Centre d'investigation et de documentation sur l'oralité)
  • CLAD (Centre de Linguistique Appliquée de Dakar)
  • CTexT (Centre for Text Technology, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa
  • EAC (East African Community)
  • EACOSS (East African Centre for Open Source Software)
  • EACROTANAL (Eastern African Centre for Research on Oral Traditions and African National Languages)
  • ECOWAS/CEDEAO (Economic Community of West African States / Communauté économique des états de l'Afrique de ouest)
  • IAI (Institut Africain de l'Informatique)
  • Kasahorow
  • Lancor
  • Meraka Institute (South Africa)
  • NEPAD (New Economic Partnership for African Development)
  • OKN (Open Knowledge Network)
  • OSISA (Open Source Initiative for Southern Africa)
  • OSIWA (Open Source Initiative for West Africa)
  • SADC (Southern African Development Community)
  • SANGONeT (Southern African Non-Governmental Organisation Network)
  • SchoolNet Africa
  • UNECA (United Natione Economic Commission for Africa / Commission Economique pour l'Afrique des Nations Unies)
  • UNISA (University of South Africa)
  • WARC/CROA (West African Research Centre / Centre de Recherche Ouest Africain)

Individual African country organisations

See list of Organisations by Country.

2.2  International

  • ADEA (Association for the Development of Education in Africa)
  • ADEN (Appui au désenclavement numérique - France)
  • AED (Academy for Educational Development)
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • AfLaT (African Language Technologies)
  • APC (Association for Progressive Communications)
  • Apple, Inc.
  • ALTA (African Language Teachers Association)
  • Aspiration
  • Canonical
  • Cisco Systems
  • CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique - France)
  • DFID (Department for International Development - UK)
  • EDC (Educational Development Center, Inc.)
  • FAO (Food and Agriculture Organiztion)
  • Ge'ez Frontier Foundation
  • Geekcorps
  • GILC (Global Initiative for Local Computing)
  • GISW (Global Information Society Watch)
  • GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit - Germany)
  • IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority)
  • IBM (International Business Machines)
  • ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)
  • IDRC/CRDI (International Development Research Centre / Centre de Recherche sur le Développement International – Canada)
  • IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission)
  • IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force)
  • IICD (International Institute for Communication and Development)
  • INALCO (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales - France)
  • ISESCO (Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation)
  • ISO (International Organisation for Standards)
  • ISOC (Internet Society)
  • IT+46
  • ITU (International Telecommunications Union)
  • JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency)
  • Kabissa
  • Language Observatory
  • LISA (Localisation Industry Standards Association)
  • LLACAN (Langage, Langues et Cultures d'Afrique Noire)
  • LLSTI (Local Language Speech Technology Initiative)
  • LRC (Localisation Research Centre)
  • LTRU (Language Tag Registry Update)
  • Microsoft
  • MINC (Multilingual Internet Names Consortium)
  • MultiLingual Computing, Inc.
  • NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities - US)
  • NSF (National Science Foundation - US)
  • Nokia Corporation
  • Nuance Communications, Inc.
  • OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards)
  • OIF (Organisation Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie)
  • OLPC (One Laptop Per Child)
  • Progiciels BPI
  • RIFAL (Reseau international francophone d'aménagement linguistique)
  • Rosetta Project
  • Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency )
  • SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics / Société Internationale de Linguistique)
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Tactical Technology Collective
  • TILP (The Institute of Localisation Professionals)
  • UNDP/PNUD (United Nations Development Programme / Programme des Nations Unies pour le Développement)
  • UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation)
  • Unicode Consortium
  • United Nations/Nations Unies
  • USAID (United States Agency for International Development)
  • W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)
  • WordForge
  • AAUL

3.  Localisation & multilingual computing

Organisations, agencies, institutions and companies that are in some ways involved in work in, or promotion of localisation of software and/or content in more than one country.

Intergovernmental Governmental Non-governmental Academic Industry
Africa (see individual country profiles) Kasahorow, CTexT, Meraka Institute, UNISA
External or international (and active in more than one country) RIFAL IDRC, Sida AfLaT, Ge'ez Frontier Foundation, IT+46, LLSTI, OLPC, SIL, Tactictal Tech, WordForge LRC, GILC Progiciels BPI, TILP

4.  Languages

Agencies, institutions and organisations that are in some ways involved in work in or study of African languages (or linguistics) in more than one country.

Intergovernmental Governmental Non-governmental Academic Industry
External or international (and active in more than one country) OIF, UNESCO CNRS, LLACAN, NEH, NSF Rosetta Project, SIL ALTA, Language Observatory

5.  ICT: Promotion, policy, projects

Agencies, institutions and organisations that are in some ways involved in work in or promotion of use of ICT in more than one country.

5.1  Summary table

ICT (policy, ICT4D/E, telecentres, "digital divide" focus)
Intergovernmental Governmental Non-governmental Academic Industry
Africa AISI (see individual country profiles) ACSIS, AfNOG, AfriNIC, ALIN-EA, OSISA, OSIWA, SANGONeT, SchoolNet Africa IAI
External or international (and active in more than one country) FAO, UNDP, UNESCO, WSIS ADEN, DFID, GTZ, IDRC, USAID ADEA, AED, APC, EDC, Geekcorps, IICD, ISOC, Kabissa, OKN, OLPC, GISW Cisco Systems

5.2  Other sources for information on entities promoting ICT access/use

6.  Software

Organisations that deal with some aspect of software and utilities - production, marketing, regulation - but for which localisation (#3 above) or ICT promotion and policies (#5 above) are not major concerns. (this category definition needs refinement)

Intergovernmental Governmental Non-governmental Academic Industry
Africa (see individual country profiles) AAUL, EACOSS Lancor
External or international (and active in more than one country) ABBYY, Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, Nuance

7.  Standards

Standards as relate to internationalisation of ICT are dealt with by various bodies.

Intergovernmental Governmental Non-governmental Academic Industry
Africa (see individual country profiles)
External or international (and active in more than one country) ISO, ITU IANA, ICANN, IEC, IETF, LTRU, MINC, OASIS, W3C LISA, Unicode

8.  Other

Various other agencies, organisations, institutions, and companies not mentioned above that work in more than one country, or are regional in scope, may also affect the "localisation ecology" in Africa.

Other organisations whose importance means they can affect the localisation ecology
Intergovernmental Governmental Non-governmental Academic Industry
Africa African Union, EAC, ECOWAS/CEDEAO, NEPAD, SADC, UNECA (see individual country profiles)
External or international (and active in more than one country) ISESCO, OIF, United Nations JST FUNREDES Canonical, IBM, MultiLingual Computing, Inc., Nokia, Sun Microsystems

9.  Selected conference events/processes

This is a list of some conferences that relate to African languages and/or ICT in Africa and/or localisation. These include some that are specific to Africa and some that are international in scope including Africa.

9.1  Africa

ICT-related conferences

9.2  International

  • World Summit on the Information Society / Sommet Mondial sur la Société d'Information (WSIS/SMSI)

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