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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

ICT must go rural to boost usage – Expert

INFORMATION and Communications Technology (ICT), must go into the rural areas so as to close the gap between city and rural dwellers especially women, according to ICT advisor to the African Development Consultant, Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma.

In an exclusive interview with Champion Infotel, she said that rural women need not do any thing extra ordinary to access ICT, but pointed out that whenever the relevant infrastructure are made available to them, they have no choice than to embrace it holistically.

Therefore, “It’s ICT that needs to become rural to be accessed by residents in such areas,” she said.

Ms Nwakanma also pointed out that other issues required to be addressed include basic education, electricity, affordability, content and the linkage between ICT and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) initiative.

For her, the fund to facilitate this dream of providing ICT access for the local people could come from the government budget implemented to the letter, the organsied private sector (OPS), foreign donors, recuperate loot among others.

She argued that every one of these have a role to play in ensuring that women generally benefit from ICT revolution currently going on in the country, especially for the rural communities.

“Government, regulators, the OPS and foreign donors in capacity building must join hands,” to facilitate adequate networking, support to the civil society organisations (CSOs), in this venture of reaching out to the communities across the divide.

Additionally, Ms Nwakanma said it would give boost to research and development, even strengthen the role of the civil society.

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