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ICEIDA Boosts Mukono Information and Communication Centre PDF Print E-mail
 

Iceland through her Development Agency ICEIDA has provided support in form

of Information and Communication Technology equipment worth US$ 17, 000

equivalent to twenty six million Uganda shillings (26,000,000) to

CEEWA-Uganda Mukono Information and Communication Centre (MICC). Ms Agusta

Gisladottir, the Country Director ICEIDA officially launched the support

on 31st July 2007 at Seeta, Mukono District. The equipment includes Nine

(9) new computers with related accessories, Nine (9) computer desks, An

inverter and a photocopying machine.

 

“It was realized that women entrepreneurs were more constrained than their

male counterparts in accessing information due to their multiple gender

roles. Therefore as a mitigation, women needed to have information points

of presence that are easily accessible, thus the basis for establishment

of this Mukono Information and Communication Center,” Ms Milly Mugenyi,

CEEWA-U Vice Chairperson, said during the launch.

 

“Last year, Iceland approved $6m for a 10-year development program. This

year, $2.5m has been set aside to support Uganda’s development process,”

Ms Agusta said. The projects include the Functional Adult Literacy that

will train 8,000 fishermen in the islands of Kalangala and Mukono.

 

She explained that ICEIDA will also support Kalangala District Development

Program, Fisheries Quality Assurance, Entrepreneurship training,

Geo-thermal and some Non- Governmental Organizations.

 

MICC was the first ICT centre to be established by CEEWA-U in Seeta, Goma

sub-county, Mukono District in 2003. This was after successful

implementation of the ICT pilot telecentre project in the communities of

Nabweru and Buwama. The ICT centers are aimed at bridging the information

gap between information sources and end users.

 

]“At Mukono centre, women entrepreneurs can access information on sources

of credit, product development, market and market prices, information on

gender awareness as well as business management skills,” Mugenyi said.

 

The centre also provides entrepreneurship training, business management

skills, to women entrepreneurs and also provides the same services to the

general public at a market price to generate income for the center’s

sustainability.

 

Mugenyi said as a result of the awareness that the ICT project has created

in the area; there was increased demand of services not only by project

beneficiaries, but also the entire community especially in computer

training and Internet applications.  However, the available facilities

have been inadequate to satisfy this demand. “With a well-facilitated

centre, beneficiaries’ skills in usage and application of ICT tools

especially Internet will be improved in addition to enhanced information

sharing, exchange and networking,” Mugenyi added. She said the facilities

will also lead to increase in number of customers not only for computer

training but also Internet, which will enhance the center’s sustainability

for the benefit of the community.

 

The CEEWA-U Vice Chairperson called on all stakeholders particularly in

the ICT sector to pay attention to the challenges that still limit use and

application of ICTs such as Infrastructure (rolling out ICT services,

power supply and connectivity), localizing content, raising more awareness

to change peoples’ attitude towards ICTs and overcoming the multiple

gender roles that constraint women’s access to ICTs.

 

“There is need for all of us to strive to influence the implementation of

a gender responsive national ICT policy and programs because CEEWA-U has

tested ICTs as an invaluable tool in poverty reduction in terms of

improving livelihoods, reducing production costs, extending participation

to a wider population. We should continue to mobilize the power of

partnerships because the strength of the individual partner may vary but

our collective strength is considerable,” Mugenyi emphasized.

 

Ms Nassaka Lugemwa thanked ICEIDA and CEEWA-U on behalf of the project

beneficiaries. “We are grateful because we shall no longer experience

power shortage; jam on computers as it has been previously,” Nassaka said.

 Women in Goma Sub County and the community at large have not been left

out in the new information era according to Ms Nassaka. “We have been

trained on how to start, manage, improve and sustain our businesses with

the use and application of ICTs. This has improved the status of our lives

and some businesses have given birth to other new ones. The use of easier

and cheaper channels of communication has minimized costs in our business.

Some how, somewhere we have become business consultants among our

communities because we are informed,” she happily asserts.

 

 

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