Managing and Enhancing ICT Uptake in Rural Communities in Botswana

Godson Gatsha (BOCODOL, Botswana) and Regina K. Masalela (University of Botswana, Botswana)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 217
EISBN13: 9781466602304|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-117-1.ch019
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the management of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) deployed in rural communities in Botswana to ensure its effective and efficient utilisation in order to improve the quality of life of the rural people. The key for ICT to reach rural communities and satisfy their needs lies with the availability of the telecommunication infrastructure. ICT rural service centres help connect the rural communities to the global village. One of the critical steps in the management of the uptake of ICT in rural communities is a strategic plan driven by village development committees (VDCs). This is expected to facilitate ownership and accountability of the recipients of ICTs. It empowers the communities and establishes keen interest in the uptake of ICT by male and female, old and young. Community centred development is enhanced when the communities themselves are involved right from the conception of ICT initiatives. Communities are more likely to tap into their indigenous knowledge systems to craft strategies that can minimise the digital phobia, hence, increase the ICT uptake by all age groups. Ultimately this arrangement can ensure gender parity. The increase in ICT uptake by rural communities has the potential to close the digital divide between urban and rural areas in Botswana.
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