The role of telecentres in promoting socio-economic development in Rwanda.

Buhigiro, Seth
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Telecentres are an important tool for promoting socio-economic development in areas with very low levels of e-access. They have the potential to offer benefits to rural communities in education, health, agriculture and business. The purpose of this study was to explore the strengths and weaknesses of telecentres in promoting specific socio-economic objectives set in Rwanda’s National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI II) plan 2006 - 2010. The findings were that telecentres have been effective in contributing to community development through access to information, skills development, job creation, study opportunities, low cost in telecentre services and increased income. The three main challenges that hinder rural communities from advanced e-access were found to be literacy and level of education, language barriers, and lack of skills and awareness. Future policy requires comprehensive guidelines to guide the deployment of rich local content in telecentres that will enable more effective use of these facilities to promote socio-economic development through e-Soko type projects, Umuganda activities and other community or egovernment initiatives.
Telecommunication centres, Community development, Rwanda, e-government policy