Tanzania: Identifying rural ICT needs
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CTA. 2004. Tanzania: Identifying rural ICT needs. ICT Update Issue 21. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Pantaleon N. Shoki reports on a study of ICTs for rural development in the Karagwe district.
The Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD) conducted a study to identify community-based ICT needs in the Karagwe district. The study consisted of a survey of four groups of 10 respondents each, including community members, representatives of the private sector and civil society organizations (CSOs), and government officials at both district and local levels. The study confirmed that the Karagwe district has a rather limited ICT infrastructure. According to the respondents, the most accessible ICT services were the telephone (26%), newsletters (20%), the Internet (20%) and radio (13%). When asked specifically about ICTs used in agriculture or for rural development most respondents said they were unaware of any. The study found that most CSOs working in rural development are unable to provide ICT services to community members because they do not have the funds to do so. However, the study also found that the private sector is willing to collaborate with CSOs and community members to establish agricultural market information centres. All of the participants in the study agreed that ICTs were important for agricultural and rural development. However, when asked to specify which ICTs they needed most, the responses diverged. CSO staff and government officials most often mentioned access to and training in Internet services, whereas community members were more likely to specify community radio, telephone connections and newsletters containing agricultural information. The study concludes that something needs to be done to enable rural communities in Karagwe district to use ICTs in their day-to-day agricultural activities, and to communicate with the rest of the world. The study recommends that Internet connectivity should be provided, preferably through wireless systems in order to reach rural communities that are not connected to the national power grid or telephone network. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Pantaleon N. Shoki is a policy researcher at the Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD), Mwanza, Tanzania.
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