The relevance and use of social media for South African NGOs will be explored at the fifth annual SANGONeT "ICTs for Civil Society" conference taking place from 15-16 October in Johannesburg and from 20-21 October 2009 in Cape Town.

"Social media and web-based applications are transforming the way in which non-profits accomplish their missions in many parts of the world," says SANGONeT executive director David Barnard.
"With South Africa's high mobile phone penetration, as well as the eagerly awaited increase in local broadband capacity in the next few years as a result of the arrival of various undersea cables, we might be on the verge of an exciting period of growth and development in social media uptake in the NGO sector," he adds.
Social media are tools that allow groups to generate content, engage in peer-to-peer conversations and exchange content. The key features of social media are participation and interaction, connecting people and providing the tools necessary to have a conversation – all important components of NGOs' day-to-day work.
The conference will give specific attention to three key related issues:
* How NGOs are and/or should be using social media tools in support of their work;
* How social media tools are used on 'Africa's computer' – the mobile phone; and
* Identify and reflect on NGOs' future technology needs and requirements.
The SANGONeT conference will explore these issues by drawing on the experience of local and international experts, showcasing innovative projects and facilitating the transfer of skills.