BENEFITING: GPF APOSTOLIC MISSIONS NETWORK
INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT)
This project is a three phase plan designed to help bring low-cost Information and Communications Technology (ICT) training and services to communities throughout Kenya.
Phase one will be to establish a low cost IT centre in Kitale - Trans Nzoia County in Kenya (East Africa)
During phase two we shall conduct research to evaluate the results of the centre and the possibility of establishing similar models in Trans Nzoia County, as well as in a further three more regions in other parts of Kenya and East Africa.
If the centre is deemed beneficial, phase three will see it rolled out to other communities that lack ICT training services throughout Kenya and East Africa.
Why is this project important?
Developing a model for a low cost ICT centre aimed at rural and peri-urban areas in Kenya is a necessity in helping the country develop, achieve a middle income status and meet the Millennium Development Goals.
Access to computers and the internet brings a wealth of opportunities for communities, the benefits of which have been seen in other developing countries. Empower Africa International would set up these ICT centres with a focus on building local ICT skills to ensure their sustainability.
The Kenyan government has identified the development of ICTs as an important means to build national competitive advantage and is promoting a number of national strategies to support computer training across the country. However, outside of major urban areas, ICT training remains hard to come by and there is a significant lack of low-cost IT training programs that are accessible to the less well-off.
Whilst there are some ICT centres offering simple services (internet cafes), they do not focus much beyond simple computer use. There is an opportunity for community ICT centres proposed by Kenyasoft to offer an innovative programme of training aimed at addressing the needs and advancing computer skills within poorer communities.
The challenge with ICT centres is to design them and the training they offer in a way that will deliver positive outcomes in terms of community development so that they can be replicated at low cost elsewhere. Because ICT is a means to improved development, and not a goal we need to ensure this project is sustainable and can be replicated elsewhere. It is therefore important that this project :-
- has a low set-up cost borne by the centre (therefore the centre will not have to charge large fees to recoup the initial investment)
- provides an innovative training programme that benefits the poor .
- has a cost structure for services that is based on a pay-what-you-can principle so all can have access to the services of the centre
- uses local skills to build and maintain the ICT centre long after the implementing company/ organization has departed
The goal of the project is to create a replicable ICT centre model which can be used throughout Kenya and East Africa.