ICT, important vehicle for socio-economic empowerment

Just the other day when I was watching a movie titled ‘Pirates of the Silcon valley’ I started recollecting and thinking how nature always finds a way of bettering life, this inclination of nature getting a way of improving and fostering life is utterly spontaneous.

Just the other day when I was watching a movie titled ‘Pirates of the Silcon valley’ I started recollecting and thinking how nature always finds a way of bettering life, this inclination of nature getting a way of improving and fostering life is utterly spontaneous.

The movie shows the emergency of two of the most extraordinary individuals of our modern technological era, Bill Gates of Microsoft and Steve Jobs of Apple. It is fascinating how these men started and got where they are, but most importantly their relentlessness and innovations have blessed the world and made it a better place.

Over the years, technological trends have been evolving and impacting lives differently in various settings. In this aspect, Africa had been left behind due to a number of factors most of which rotate around poverty levels and undeveloped capacities.

But in recent years with increasing progressive activities in commerce, education and other sectors where Africa has emerged strong and enthusiastic, ICT infrastructure has permeated naturally in the many layers of what was once referred to as a dark continent.

Africa’s readiness to embrace and adapt to the digital world enabled it to successfully contain and benefit from the forces of globalization that have swept through the globe in recent years.

Communities have seen to it that they adapt and put to use all the ICT trends that have been rolled out in recent years, starting from the computers, internet, to the hand held technologies like mobile phones.

ICT, as we speak, is an integral part of people’s lives, and possibly the ultimate tool fronted to confront the world’s leading problems and challenges since it has been identified to be a link that blends well in people’s daily lives.

It has been empirically tested that empowering communities to fully adapt and integrate ICT products in their daily lives is one sure way of positively changing people’s lives because it positions them to be managers of their socio-economic lives.

During the recent Third Global Knowledge Forum (GK3) held in Kuala Lumpur, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and its research partners pointed out that ICT’s have been found to be powerful tools for reducing poverty, combating HIV/AIDS and fostering human development in general.

ICTs can better function to bring about human development if they are packaged in a way that they are juxtaposed with people’s development needs and challenges.

It should be in such a way that a progressive connection is created where people will easily adapt ICT tools in solving their problems and improving their livelihoods.

Within this week, an ICT oriented program called Digital opportunity Trust (DOT) was launched in Rwanda.

I was impressed by this programs model of packaging ICT in a business model such that adapting to this model will enable beneficiaries especially in the rural setting to easily conduct their businesses for a holistic socio-economic development.

The program has a framework of working through interns who will be trained and placed in the various communities to sensitize and educate community members first of all on the benefits of adopting ICT tools and how they can impact their socio-economic lives.

During the launch the Minister of ICT, Ignace Gatare said that DOT programs are properly aligned with government development frameworks.

He further noted that the diversity of activities packaged by the program such as training young ICT entrepreneurs to develop job creation skills are totally prudent and timely.

“Our country is investing considerable efforts in developing policies, strategies and actions aiming at putting in place the enabling environment to accelerate socio-economic development and growth using ICT as an empowering tool,” he explained.

With a holistic and inclusive approach and a proper mindset, ICT tools will play a great role in socially and economically empowering people to improve their lives through their various activities such as business, agriculture, tourism and other sectors, due to its all round benefits in bridging the information gap, effective communication and research.

gahimore@yahoo.com

ADVERTISEMENT