Girls and Women Mobile and Electronic Commerce Project in Nyamira and Kibera

 

This project seeks to forge links between groups from rural Masaba North District and urban Kibera, a slum district near Nairobi. These links will use Internet communication. This requires use of Community Access Points (CAPs) and training of groups in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and in use of CAPs. The network of CAPs will have more added to extend the area covered. The project is primarily aimed at women but no one is excluded from using the facilities.

The purpose of the links between rural and urban areas will be to provide a larger market for agricultural products from the rural areas. This gives the producers opportunity to increase income and raise themselves out of poverty. The urban groups also benefit as the produce flows through them to the consumers. There may also be recycling opportunities for providing reclaimed raw material for rural enterprises. The increase in trade is expected to provide an economic benefit which will touch many more than the original target groups in both rural and urban areas. Once the links are in place other ventures may be expected to develop. Previously, improvements in communication with rural areas have seen life saving benefits in situations of drought and famine.

The initial phase of the project will focus on adding the new CAPs and upgrading equipment in the existing CAPs. The local organisational support for the CAPs will be established to ensure the long term support for this infrastructure. Once the CAPs are functioning, they will provide the training venues for ICT training of groups. The intended number of trainees is approximately 1,500. Training is given in small groups. Once ICT training is complete the establishment and support of micro-enterprises is the final step.

The project is expected to take two years with the first three months dedicated to CAPs. It is a follow on from the successful “Let Us Connect” project which proved the success of ICT training and local CAPS. The project costs will be kept low by use of volunteers as it was for the previous project.