Reaching the Hard to Reach: Information Technology Reached Rural Kaudwane in Botswana

Bolelang C. Pheko (University of Botswana, Botswana)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 52
EISBN13: 9781466602168|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-117-1.ch005
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Information Technology has become core in national development across the globe; hence, the government of Botswana decided to use ICTs to give rural people newer options of communicating, sourcing, and sharing information through the introduction of a project called Nteletsa 2. A village, Kaudwane, whose residents have relied on the word of mouth for so long, is now communicating through mobile phones as a result of this program. This project is done under the Rural Telecommunications Strategy with a goal of providing telecommunications services to rural areas in the most cost effective, efficient, logical, and transparent manner possible. The government works in partnership with Botswana Telecommunication Centre which provides mobile services with capability to deliver Internet, voice, and data. The project also uses Public Communications Centre (PUCC) now referred to as Dikitsong Center operated by communities in partnership with Mascom or Botswana Telecommunication Center. Services include provision of an Internet café, charging individual cellular phones at a fee, and selling airtime to both locals and visitors. The result is great: employment creation and easier communication amongst individuals and visitors. However, low literacy level of some villagers limits use. Also, there are high maintenance costs due to poor roads.
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