Symposia, events and presentations


20 June 2013 Final Conference of the VOICES project was held in Hotel Savanna, Dakar, Senegal. Representatives from the health sector as well as ICT-entrepreneurs from Dakar were present during this event. The results of the m-health pilot in Senegal were presented as examples of voice-based services that can benefit health workers and other stakeholders. The Open Source voice-platform Emerginov was presented as the central tool for development of voice-services for global development.

14 June 2013 More media coverage: A large article about the results of VOICES in the Science for Development Network

3 June two papers accepted at the Annual conference of the academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship ( on:"Strategic framework for social and economic viability in inclusive innovation project"  and "Six methodological guidelines for organizing inclusive innovation in bop projects". by TNO.

14 May VOICES project and m-agro knowledge sharing pilot presented ath the World Bank in Washington DC, USA by Hans Akkermans (VUA). The presentation was done via a videolink and also a number of WB officials abroad attended the presentation. Terrafrica and NEPAD representatives were also present.

13 May VOICES project especially WP5 presented at the World Resources Institute and USAID by Hans Akkermans (VUA), in Washington DC, USA.

13 May  Article ""The biggest media in Africa" in Silicon Africa about Zakary Diarra, honey producer in Mali, beneficiary of RadioMarché voice-based trading service.

4 May Paper "Voice-based Web access in rural Africa" is nominated for the best paper award at the Web Science 2013 Conference.

3 May VOICES project mentioned as news item:  VU Amsterdam's website.

2 May The paper "Voice-based Web access in rural Africa" is presented by Nana Baah Gyan (VUA) at the Web Science Conference 2013, Paris.

2 May Malian online ICT news site reports about the m-agro pilot of the VOICES project after the Conference in Bamako, Mali, 23 April 2013. "Les Technologies vocales pour permettre aux populations défavorisées d'acceder aux TICs" by Fousseyni Sanogo.

25 April: New Scientist covers VOICES in a short article.

23 April: Final Conference of the WP5 m-Agro Knowledge Sharing pilot in Hotel Azalaï Salam, Bamako. Presentations and demos by SE, WF, VUA. 65 participants.

9 April: Joint paper "Use case and requirements analysis in a remote rural areas in Mali" presented at the REFSQ 2013 Conference Essen, Germany. Joint publication of VUA, WF and SE. 40 attendants from the scientific community (Requirements Engineering).

31 March: Community building activities: a subgroup of the VOICES consortium (VUA, SE)  submit a proposal for tailor-made-training (TMT) of staff of Sahel Eco how to sustain the results of the m-agro pilots in Mali after the end of VOICES. The program is Nuffic/TMT - Dutch Government.


29-31 May 2013 TNO submitted and presented a paper at the IST-Africa 2013 Conference & Exhibition in  Nairobi, Kenya  on "diffusion of mobile agricultural Information services in Ghana

28-29 March: The (Mis)Fortune of frugal Innovation - International workshop, Grenoble, France.

24-26 March BIOVISION conference, roundtable organized by Fondation Mérieux on “M-health solutions for global health challenge" Lyon, France. "From pilot to sustainable m-health programs in developing countries." Presentation by Pieter Verhagen (TNO).

8 March 2013 "A dialogue with Linked Data: Voice-based access to Market Data in the Sahel" by Victor de Boer, Nana Baah Gyan, Anna Bon, Chris van Aart, Wendelien Tuyp, Hans Akkermans. Semantic Web – Interoperability, Usability, Applicability an IOS Press Journal.

7 February 2013: Community building activities: a subgroup of the VOICES consortium (VUA, WF, SE, NWU) submit a proposal for the roll-out of the m-agro pilots to Burkina Faso and Ghana, after the end of VOICES. Donor is EU-ACP EuropAID.

January 2013: ICTD master course starts at the Department of Computer Science of VUA. The results of the VOICES project are used as study materials for the students. (Scientific papers, deliverables, voice technologies, methodologies etc.). 12 students participate actively. Three students build a prototype of a new interface for RadioMarché, which allows farmers in Mali to enter voice-based product offerings into the database.


November 10-19 Community building activities in Mali. Visits to local radio stations involved in the pilot of WP5 and focus group with farmers using the VOICES systems Radio Marché and Tabale.

September 28 2012 Lecture to students of Faculty of Social Sciences VU Amsterdam about approach and methodology of the WP5 pilot. 40 attendants.

July 9, 2012 Two posters "The Web of Radios" and "Bringing the Web of Data to Developing Countries - Linked Market Data in the Sahel" are presented at a poster session during Web Science Summer School at Lorentz Centre, Leiden University, The Netherlands. Academic community, 40 participants.

June 26, 2012 Posters about VOICES-related research topics presented at Network Institute event, VU University Amsterdam, Academic Community 130 prticipants.

June 19, 2012 Presentation of "Decentralised Open Data for World Citizens" including examples of the Mali pilot from VOICES, by Christophe Guéret et al. (VUA) at Policy Modeling Open Data event in Brussels, Belgium. Policy makers form 15 EU countries, computer scientists. 50 participants.

June 6, 2012 Presentation of research project related to VOICES m-agro pilot, by Hans Akkermans et al. at VU Multi-cultural event. Academic community. 40 participants.

June 6, 2012 Presentation about Speech Technologies for Under-Resourced Languages, by Etienne Barnard, (NWU) at VU Multi-cultural event. Academic community. 40 participants.

June 5, 2012 Presentation of VOICES m-agro pilot at Institut français des rélations internationales at the seminar "ICTs and agriculture in Africa, an unexpected alliance." Ifri, Brussels, by Anna Bon et al. (VUA) 70 participants, policy makers from different EU countries.

May 29, 2012 Poster Session  "Bringing the Web of Data to Developing Countries - Linked Market Data in the Sahel", by Victor de Boer et al. 200 participants at session. Extended Semantic Web Conference 2012, Heraklion, Crete. The poster was awarded best poster of the ESWC 2012.

May 28, 2012 Presentation Voice-based access to Linked Market Data in the Sahel by Victor de Boer et al. @First International Workshop on Downscaling the Semantic Web 2012, hosted at ESWC, Heraklion, Crete. 15 workshop participants.

May 28, 2012 Presentation "The Web of Radios - introducing African Community Radio to the Web of Data" by Anna Bon et al. @First International Workshop on Downscaling the Semantic Web 2012, hosted at ESWC, Heraklion, Crete. 12 workshop participants.

May 10, 2012 Presentation of VOICES and m-health pilot by Moustafa Zouinar and Ralph Ankri at IST Africa 2012 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (FT)

May 8, 2012: Workshop on Spoken Languages Technologies for Under-resourced Languages (SLTU'12) by Stephane Boyera (WF), Cape Town, South Africa. Attendants: 80.

April 20, 2012: Mini-Symposium for W4RA students. Organized by Victor de Boer. Intertainlab, VUA, Amsterdam. Target group: academic community. Attendants: 10. Kick start of a Community of Computer Science students for Regreening in Africa.

April, 15, 2012: Presentation of VOICES m-agri-pilot for Re-greening in Africa to 30 students at VU University Amsterdam.  By Victor de Boer and Frank van Harmelen. (VUA)

March 13, 2012: Seminar and presentation of VOICES project and especially WP5 pilot to 12 project managers of IICD. Round table discussion about Voice Technologies and the Radio Marché system (WP5) The Hague (Anna Bon and Christophe Guéret, VUA).

February 14th, Article about WP5 pilot in Mali: Radio Marché published in ICT Update, an ICT4D community bulletin for ACP (Africa Pacific Caribean) agriculture. By Anna Bon.

January 27, 2012: Guest lecture at VUA Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) course on Sustainable Land Management. Target group: academic community. Audience: 40 Master students of the faculty of Earth and Life Sciences. (Anna Bon, VUA)

January 26, 2012: Radio Marché Prototype Demonstration: a short film by Victor de Boer.


January 2011: Visit and presentation on speech technology in VOICES at Université Gaston Bergé in Saint-Louis, Senegal, Etienne Barnard (NWU).

March 28th 2011: presentation on “The Lwazi Community Communication Service: Design and Piloting of a Voice-based Information Service” at the International World Wide Web Conference, Hyderabad, India. Etienne Barnard (NWU).

March 29th 2011 Presentation of VOICES project in Dakar, Senegal by Franco Papeschi (WF).

April 6th – 8th 2011: The  International  eHEALTH, Telemedicine & Health  ICT Forum, at  Medetel Luxembourg, Presentation of VOICES Project. 

May 5th 2011 – VOICES- W4RA presented at Web Science Symposium, Tsighua University, Shenzen, China, by Hans Akkermans (VUA).

May 10th, 2011: VOICES WP-5 poster presentation at the 130 Year VU University Amsterdam Network Institute Symposium, Amsterdam, Hans Akkermans and Anna Bon (VUA).

May 13th 2011: VOICES presented at the IST-Africa Conference, in Gaborone, Botswana. By Stéphane Boyera (WF), project manager of VOICES.

May, 27th 2011: VOICES project presentation at the coordination meeting of the National Network of National Laboratories (RNL), Dakar, Senegal. ESMT.

June 4th – 5th 2011: W3C Workshop “Mobile and Web Technologies in Social and Economic Development”, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, W3C.

June 4th  2011: Organisation of a Web Foundation Workshop for Mobile and Web Technologies for Social and Economic Development in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, presented by Nana Baah Gyan (VUA).

June 4th 2011: presentation on “Language technology for help lines: a case study”, at the
Web Foundation Workshop on Mobile and Web Technologies for Social and Economic Development, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. Etienne Barnard (NWU) and Aman Grewal (WF).

June 4th  2011 Poster presentation VOICES - WP5 at the Workshop for Mobile and Web Technologies for for Social and Economic Development in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Nana Baah Gyan (VUA).

June 4th 2011: Presentation of the role of VOICES in Regreening initiatives in West-Africa at the Workshop for Mobile and Web Technologies for for Social and Economic Development in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Mary Allen (Sahel Eco).

June 14th -15th 2011: Presentation: “Web Mobile: Bonnes Pratiques de Conception et Développement” (“Mobile Web: Best Practices for Design and Development), at  “Formation des formateurs sur le Web Mobile et les applications Web mobiles” (Training the trainers on Mobile Web and Mobile Web Applications), Dakar, Sénégal.  Francois Daoust (W3C).

June 17th 2011 “Is (Web) Science Ready for Empowerment?” at the ACM Web Science Conference 2011 in Koblenz, Germany, by Hans Akkermans (VUA). See video of this event.

June 2011:  Presentation of the VOICES project at the Steering committee of the international network of national laboratories in Mali (Réseau National des Laboratoires RNL). Countries represented were Mali, Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Niger (France Telecom, Fondation Mérieux).

August 4th 2011 VOICES presented at the ICeND 2011 - The First International Conference on e-Technologies and Networks for Development in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania,by  Christophe Guéret (VUA).

August 11th  2011: VOICES presented at Speechtek in New York, Speech for the Developing World session, Stéphane Boyera (WF) 

August 15th 2011: co-chair of a special session on “Speech Technology for Under-Resourced Languages” at the annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association - Interspeech 2011, Florence, Italy. Etienne Barnard (NWU).

August 2011: Mobile for Education for Development (M4ed4Dev) USAID Workshop, Washington DC, USA, Stéphane Boyera, participation.

September 1st 2011: in The Hague VOICES project presented at WOTRO Conference Incentives Matter! Hans Akkermans (VUA).

September 15th 2011: Project presentation at the European Association for International Education Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, Hans Akkermans (VUA).

September 22nd 2011: e-Business Innovation Course W4RA-VOICES guest lectures, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. By Hans Akkermans.
http:// /HansA-eBiz_Innovation-GuestLectures-22Sep2011-handout.pdf

October 3rd 2011: presentation of the VOICES project at the Servant Leadership in Cyberspace Conference at VU University Amsterdam organized by the Greenleaf Centre for Servant Leadership Foundation, SLCRE; by Chris van Aart (VUA).

October 10th 2011: W4RA-VOICES presented at WAI (Weekly Artificial Intelligence) at VU University Amsterdam, Victor de Boer (VUA). Victor de Boer_sept_2011.pdf

October 23th – 28th 2011: Participation at the ICANN Meeting, Dakar, Senegal, by Franco Papeschi (WF).

October 27th 2011: Presentation of VOICES project and paper “Is data sharing a privilege of a few? Bringing Linked Data to those without the Web” presented at the International Semantic Web Conference, in Bonn, Germany by Stefan Schlobach (VUA).

November 5th 2011:  poster presentation at the Netherlands Association for African Studies Symposium, Berg en Dal, Netherlands, Wendelien Tuyp (VUA).

November 14th - 15th 2011: presentation at the 4th Euro-Africa Cooperation Forum on ICT Research in Cape Town, South-Africa, TNO.

November 18th 2011: demonstration of the VOICES Project at the Orange Expo in Uganda, FT.
November 22nd   2011:   participation and demonstration of the VOICes project at the annual SISIT “ Salon de l'Innovation et des Solutions IT” organised by  Orange Business Service.  

November 30th 2011: Servant Leadership Symposium, Bussum, The Netherlands, Poster presentation, Wendelien Tuyp.

December 2nd 2011: 30 Years of Informatics Education in Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, organized by UvA and VU University. Poster presentation of VOICES by VUA.

December 6th 2011: Toolkit for sustainable impact” Seminar on practical solutions to increase sustainability in NICHE projects, organized by the Platform for International Education and NUFFIC, The Hague, The Netherlands. Presentation of the VOICES WP5 film, Anna Bon.

December 15th 2011: keynote: “Mobile Technologies, Education and Socio-Economic Development” at the m-Learning Week, Unesco Conference, Paris, France, Stéphane Boyera (WF).

December 16th 2011: VOICES project and documentary about Radio Marché presented at Semantic Web Meeting, Intertain Lab, VUA, Amsterdam. By Hans Akkermans, Anna Bon, Bruno van Moerkerken.