The role of ICT in community rural development : the case of Buwama multi-media community centre Mpigi district, Uganda
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The study explored the role of ICT in community rural development with a critical look at how the project is meeting community needs. Much focus analysed people’s perception of the project, impact of the project to rural livelihoods, and a great extent of identifying the management and sustainability strategies in ensuring project sustainability. Information and Communication Technologies have radically changed the modes of production and organization of work at global and national levels. And quite important is the fact that there is a direct correlation between access to ICTs and socio-economic development, and ICTs are no longer the consequence of development, but rather a necessary precondition for development (Net tel Africa ...). Developing countries have also come up to bridge the digital divide that exist between urban and rural as regards use of ICTs and in Uganda, the government adopted the telecentre model to ensure equitable access of ICT services in rural communities. It is therefore from this background that the study explored the role of ICT in Community Rural development and especially with focus on how the ICTs have been a vehicle to development. The study findings are based on the analysis of the Buwama Multi media Community project in Mpigi district whose aim is to provide access and promote application of modern ICTs, learning resources and build local capacity for sustainable rural development. This study employed a case study design in exploring how ICTs in this rural community are implemented and sustained to meet community needs. The telecentre project has been beneficial to the community especially to the ICT beneficiaries for example, many testified on how the project has transformed and empowered them; socially, politically and above all economically. This was possible with the strong government and donor support that was injected in the project right from its inception. However, presently, the funding ceased a year now and the project is totally sustaining its self although with many management and operational challenges. Quite important is the fact that the people who benefited from the project are a generation in between 1999-2008 with strong support and facilitation; but the current generation might not be in position to equitably share the fruits of their predecessors because the telecentre is grappling with myriads of challenges. Therefore, there is need to revitalize the telecentre to reach out to the present and future generation for sustainable development, a shift in the mind set of the community to considering community projects as their own, and also the factor of clearly streaming proper management in the telecentre.
Masteroppgave i development management- Universitetet i Agder 2010