Uses, benefits and challenges of using rural community telecentres as tools for development: the Case of Vikwa Community Telecentre in Kasungu, Malawi

Abstract: 

This paper examines the uses, benefits and challenges of using telecentres as
tools for development in Malawi focusing on one community telecentre: Vikwa
Community Telecentre in the Kasungu district of Malawi. Quantitative and
qualitative data were gathered using a questionnaire administered to 46 users;
interviews with the Telecentre Manager; and observation of the categories of
people coming to the telecentres; what they were using and challenges sues and
challenges within the telecentre. The findings indicate that the users are
improving their skills and knowledge, school performance, finding new friends
and saving money. The community uses the telecentre to improve work related
skills, keep in touch with friends and families and look for jobs. The negative
finding is that telecentre usage is uneven as users are generally poor male
youths with little education. Furthermore, the users face a number of challenges
when using the telecentre. For the telecentre to have more impact on
development, the paper recommends that the Vikwa Telecentre should work on
attracting all groups of people in the community, change the internet service
provider, buy an electricity generator, acquire more books and computers and
train staff in customer care.

Page Numbers: 
1 - 21
Other information: 
To cite this article: Kapondera, S.K. & Namusanya, D. M.(2017). Uses, benefits and challenges of using rural community telecentres as tools for development: the Case of Vikwa Community Telecentre in Kasungu, Malawi. Journal of Development and Communication Studies, 5(1): 1-21. https://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jdcs.v5i1.1

 

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