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Key findings from field visits to Mali and Zambia Design team-Africa Mission 3-19 August, 2007 Gracian Chimwaza ITOCA-Info Training & Outreach Centre for.

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Presentation on theme: "Key findings from field visits to Mali and Zambia Design team-Africa Mission 3-19 August, 2007 Gracian Chimwaza ITOCA-Info Training & Outreach Centre for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Key findings from field visits to Mali and Zambia Design team-Africa Mission 3-19 August, 2007 Gracian Chimwaza ITOCA-Info Training & Outreach Centre for Africa

2 Mali Population: 13.9m Desert coverage: 65% Languages: 50+ Adult Literacy: 55% GNI:$440 Zambia Population: 11.9m Languages: 78 Adult Literacy: 68% GNI: $630

3 Presentation The design-team mission Use of ICTs in rural environments What we asked What we learned Radios Cellphones Community info centres Challenges to information flow --------


5 We visited ….. villagers farmers women groups cooperatives government officials NGO Faculty extension researchers policy-makers librarians info specialists private firms regional trade educationists

6 What we asked……. What information the smallholder farmers currently access? What information farmers would like to access that will enhance agriculture production and improve their livelihoods?

7 ICT as it supports rural livelihoods in the developing countries -----

8 What we learned…. ICTs supporting Rural development: Radios Cell phones hand-held devices: Ipods, MP3 Community information centres Computers, internet, telephones Technologies enabling info dissemination to smallholders

9 Manabougou, Mali

10 ‘Community’ FM Radio stations Mali: 200+ stations Zambia: 40+ stations 75-100km radius coverage Low startup cost Mass broadcasts Multiple local languages enhance information dissemination

11 Radio Listening Groups-Zambia Radio Farm Forum listeners, especially women, listen to broadcasts in groups Discuss what has been learned and implement ideas Group also embark on socio-economic activities Listen, Discuss & Act

12 Public- Private initiatives National Agricultural Information Service (NAIS) by MOA-Zambia Established in 1967 to support extension Link research and extension Diffuse info on inputs, crop management, livestock Trying to address the different farming systems and diverse regional/local needs for farmers NGO, CBO & private sector Farmer Field days Inputs schemes

13 Zambia Educational Radio Community radio broadcasts 80,000 students 30-min lessons per day Volunteer class monitors (9-12 th grade graduates) Education Development Center's (EDC) & Ministry of Education

14 Cellphone: ‘Juice my mobile!’ Growing. popular. “ The uptake of cell phone technology by societies which never had wide-spread access to traditional telephones and still don't have predictable access to electricity or television, is astounding” From the Report on the WorldAgInfo Visit to Africa 3-19 August 2007 (Mali and Zambia) by Dr. Patrick O’Shea and Prof. Thane Terrill

15 Centre Local d’Information et de Communication (CLIC)-Mali

16 Marketing Information System-MALI agricultural MIS run by Observatoire du Marché Agricole (OMA). collects, disseminate up-to-date produce market info via computerized radio system nationally

17 Use of Community radios on the increase Mali has over 200 community radio stations fact that basic literacy is being taught with solar powered radios

18 Internet Access Limitations Inadequate telecommunication infrastructure Structural inefficiencies in connectivity Govt monopolies and regulatory policies make bandwidth expensive and difficult to access

19 The Mali CLIC operation: located on the outskirts of Bamako centre established through a grant subsidized internet connectivity for 1 yr paying $1250 per month for 128k relying on typing local students term papers no clients came during our hour visit unviable business model Bandwidth challenges

20 Highlighted Challenges to info flow Low literacy Multiple local languages Mali: 50 (Bambara common) Zambia: 78 (7 official) Infrastructure problems unavailable or unreliable electricity broken computers low and expensive Internet connectivity mobile recharges (air-time) expensive unpaved roads to towns/markets

21 Ideas discussed for consideration… Low literacy and multiple language problems: Need for translation of info to local languages Need to convert digital/text info to audio to enhance dissemination and communication Need to extract high level info and repackage it. Need for appropriate, relevant curriculum delivery at different levels. Use of multimedia technology to deliver content

22 Weak linkages

23 Smallholder farmer info problems identified: Lack of basic info regarding increasing yields, food security & improving health: planting times, inputs (fertilizer, seed, pesticides) equipment, crop & livestock management, market prices, Credit, weather conditions (rainfall, droughts, water harvesting/table)

24 Information-chain problems Issues raised: –access –timeliness –adequacy –relevancy –quality –trust Lack of feedback mechanisms

25 The segregation of women Different rolls for men and women in the villages Even different products like shea Women spend more time in the fields and working on feeding family Info flow is not balanced Work separately Women of Manabougou spoke out about their info needs

26 Not all work..

27 Regional Common Concerns An impressive level of cross-national cooperation is already taking place across much of the Francophone area of Africa. A common currency (the CFA) is now used in multiple countries. The Institut du Sahel (INSAH) facilitates collaboration across nine member states (Cape Verde, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mauritania)

28 “ICTs are then viewed not as an end in themselves but as tools to facilitate a range of information, communication and transaction services that contribute to improving rural livelihoods” From a workshop for World Bank staff held June 5, 2007 Report titled Using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to support Rural Livelihoods: Evidence, Strategies, Tools

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