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RCDF to establish 40 telecentres in Uganda PDF Print E-mail

 

 

About forty four telecentres are to be established in Uganda by 2008. However, the 110 telecentres already in existence are facing stiff challenges with some on the verge of closing down. The Rural Communication Development Fund, was set up in 2003, as an instrument of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) policy on rural communications. RCDF’s main programs in the communications industry include supporting Information Communication Technology centres, opening up public pay phones, setting up district portals, Internet points of presence and supporting Multipurpose Community Telecentres.

In this interview, Bob Lyazi, the RCDF’s manager talks about the challenges faced by the 110 telecentres in existence and how RCDF intends to enhance their sustainability.

How many telecentres in Uganda are funded under the RCDF programme?
RCDF is supporting over 110 telecentres in Uganda. But we intend to roll out to forty-four telecentres; 20 Multi-purpose Community Telecentres of which 10 shall be School-Based telecentres and another 10 based around Non-Government Organisation (NGOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs). The other 24 centers are to start as simple ICT training centres.

Under what category are the already existing telecentres and what kind of services are they providing to the rural communities?
All these facilities started as cafes and training centres. But we realized their survival and sustainability was challenging. So we are thinking of diversifying in the services they are providing to the community to ensure sustainability.
The services offered include secretarial services like telephony, faxing, typesetting for those near institutions like public administration, NGOs and learning institutions. Some centres have gone beyond by having repair and maintenance units for computers. Uniquely is the sale of mobile phone airtime, computer accessories and sale of stationary.

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