Thursday, October 7, 2010

Focus Group session on Telecenters at AgKnowledge Africa

During "AgKnowledge Africa", the Share Fair on Agricultural and Rural Development Knowledge in Africa in Addis Ababa, we will feature a Focus Group session on Telecenters, coordinated by Mr Paul Barera, Executive Director of Rwanda Telecentre Network (RTN) and Chairman of Knowledge Network for African community Telecentre (KNACT)

The concept of telecentre has been used for the last 20 years as a strategic option to provide access to ICTs for rural and under-privileged communities.

Recent studies and field practices have demonstrated that telecentres play key role in contributing to the achievement of Millennium development goals (MDGs). In developing countires, telecentres exist and have different names as well as operational mode: Telecottages, community e-centres, multipurpose community telecentres, multimedia community centres, village information shops, info-kiosks and community knowledge centres.

Telecentres are, by their development focus, distinguished from cyber cafés, which exist only for profit, without concern as to how the technology is used to improve socio-economic situation of communities.

However, with the use of new ICTs, telecentres provide opportunities to facilitate knowledge creation and sharing and can also strengthen or replace the traditional system which were/or still used to acquire knowledge. Telecentre which focus more on facilitating knowledge creation and sharing can be refer to as telecentre 2.0.
The aim of telecentre group is to discuss and examine the role that telecentre 2.0 can play in the process of knowledge creation and sharing for the benefit of rural folks.

More specifically our group discussion aims at:
  • Share best practices on how currently telecentres are facilitating knowledge creation and sharing
  • How best this process can be improved
  • What kind of partnerships can be build at regional and global level to foster the role of telecentres in knowledge creation and sharing
The session process:
The group will have a least 2 facilitators. The first one will act as ‘moderator’ for the discussion; the second will serve as note-taker or ‘recorder’.

The discussion will start will short presentation to update participants on concept of telecentre 2.0 and knowledge centres. Other presenters will follow to share best practices on how telecentre are facilitating knowledge creating and sharing in rural communities.
A moderated discussion involving all participants will follow

We will feature Anthony Mugo, from Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN). He will share ALIN's success in the start of Maarifa (Knowledge) centres or telecentres in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

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