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Monday, August 29, 2005

Entrepreneurship, key to rural ICT projects

ENTREPEURSHIP has been identified as the key to successful rural projects especially in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Speaking to Business Champion exclusively, the Senior Project Manager of the United States-based Sun Microsystems Incorporated, Ms Sobana Iyengar, said this formula would help a lot, mostly where it concerns those in the rural areas.

Responding to the ways of improving the embrace and penetration level of women in ICT, she asserted that if a rural woman discovers that ICT would boost the sell of her produce or an artisan, "definitely it is a buy".

She advised organizations that outreach for these women to always equip themselves, especially the civil society organizations (CSOs) with an attitude that these women are intelligent in their caliber.

"Do not go by offering them dole, but by understanding of the culture, constraints and restraints they face individually and as a community," she said.

Creativity, Ms Iyengar pointed out is in abundant in the rural communities, saying that without ingenuity and survival techniques, "many of these people would not have survived in harsh condition".

She cited an instance that by enlightening such people on the value of education, "Every mother would definitely want their daughters to have a better standard of living".

Noting, that even ever before ICT revolution came, "we have seen rural women willing to undergo hardship to educate their daughters to become doctors, teachers and nurses".

Pointing out that since ICT involves more equipment cost, each country, mostly in developing nations, should come up with solutions like a tax break for ICT equipment donations to rural sector development.

She believes that all the possible resources to fund rural efforts available are worth tapping, saying that a good compelling reason from the womenfolk would also advance this cause to boost rural communities with ICT.

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