The GKD Moderator has asked:
> 3. Can information distribution centers (e.g., public access
> telecenters) offer a viable economic solution to a community's
> information needs, by, in effect, sharing a single high-bandwidth
> connection among many users, and thus spreading the cost?
  
My name is Cecilia Matanga from Zimbabwe in Southern Africa. I couldn't
agree more with what you guys are doing. I am actually glad I
subscribed. I have followed the discussions on ICTs with a lot of
interest but unfortunately for us here we can only dream of Telecenters.
As much as I appreciate the benefits of Internet as a tool for
information gathering and dissemination, we are still far from having
access in the remote areas of Zimbabwe. We, at the organisation I work
for, are actually trying to share the importance of the Internet as a
resource through Cyber-Training workshops.

Most Internet Cafes in Zimbabwe are in urban areas and even then do not
have the social/community component. They are just managed, manned and
owned by a few individuals for profit-making purposes.

I, however, believe that sharing a single high-bandwidth connection
offers a viable economic solution to a community's information needs but
there is need for commitment from the recipients. They need to commit to
sustenance of the projects thereafter. I have watched with a heavy heart
as most projects fail to take off as soon as the donor withdraws from
the forefront. A lot of training, awareness and issues of identification
are necessary in the planning phase of the projects for recipients to
realise the usefulness of the project.

Thank you for your contributions. I have a vision of Africa where
important information is just a click away.




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