Nelly Bassily | April 18, 2011
Internet cafes and telecentres have been springing up all over Africa in the last decade. Many provide internet, email, and various other information and communication services. In rural areas in particular, telecentres face many challenges, from securing a regular electricity supply to financing and sustainability. Efforts have begun in Rwanda to launch 1000 telecentres in the country: http://www.share4dev.info/telecentres/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=303%3Adeploying-1000-telecentres-in-rwanda&catid=106%3Artn-rwanda&Itemid=316&lang=en
For more information about KIRSEC, visit: http://www.kilosaruralservices.com/
You can learn more about the background and development of KIRSEC on this video: http://blip.tv/file/2640591?utm_source=player_embedded
Learn more about the work of IICD, who support the telecentre, at: http://www.iicd.org/
The website of theTanzania Telecentre Network: http://ttn-tz.ning.com/
Here is a story about how farmers are using the internet in Zambia: http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/unleashing-the-internets-potential-to-fight-climate-change/
One KIRSEC service, market price information, has often been provided by radio, as described in this Farm Radio International script:
-Market News from MEGA FM (Package 83, Script 3, March 2008). http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/83-3script_en.asp
Telecentres can connect farmers to the world, allowing them to access the information and news they want. They also provide opportunities for interaction. You could consider preparing a radio piece on how farmers access information. Consider the following questions in your research:
-In your broadcast area, what opportunities do farmers have for accessing information – for example, libraries, radio, extension services, NGOs or telecentres?
-What type of information do farmers commonly look for?
-How important is it to farmers to communicate with people outside their community?
-Are current information services meeting farmers’ needs in your region? How could their needs be better met?