Meddie Mayanja's Blog (20)

How to reduce telecentre costs and management challenges

I suspect some of you have already read about NComputing. The company

has a ground breaking solution to computer challenges telecentres face.

Its simple to deploy, compatible with standard software, highly

efficient - consuming 95% less electricity than a typical PC and

significantly easier to manage and cheap (starting at around $70 per


Ncomputing solution is based on the fact that today's PCs are so

powerful that the vast majority of… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on February 20, 2009 at 17:11 — 1 Comment

Telecentre Leaders Forum - MENA opens in Cairo

The TLF opened here in Cairo today with the focus on networking, knowledge sharing and development with more than 70 telecentre practitioners from Egypt, Yemen and Sudan. Speaking at the opening session, Dr. Ekram of Ministry of ICT in Egypt reminded participants that telecentres should essentially contribute to community development. He noted that telecentres have indeed helped rural community access ICT and training opportunity in previously under served areas in Egypt. Dr. Ekram warned that… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on November 19, 2008 at 6:00 — No Comments

e-money in Kenya: the story of M-pesa

Much has been said about the potential impact of cell phones to development. With high access - nearly total in urban and peri-urban areas around the world, what is left is useful content and good implementation plan.

Kenya has been experimenting with e-money (a.k.a "M-pesa"). For more than a year now, With this service, Kenyans can open up a digital account on the cell phone, send and receive money, pay bills like electricity and obtain credit. Users can also withdraw money from… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on November 6, 2008 at 9:06 — No Comments

Call for articles - Mountain Forum Bulletin

The global Mountain Forum supports knowledge exchange by collecting and disseminating information on sustainable mountain development. It also fosters member interaction and supports advocacy and policy processes.

One channel is the 6-monthly MF Bulletin which focuses on key strategic themes of the Mountain Agenda. It is available on-line and distributed as hardcopy to members with poor internet access. For earlier editions see… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on September 19, 2008 at 15:32 — No Comments

Same issues…different context: the tale of telecentres in Europe

When Trif Romina and Adrian Popa concluded the story of Jimbolia telecentre, I looked up to them and said – “most of those issues, I have heard in other parts of the world”. Yes - I have. Trif is the telecentre manager while Adrian is the Director Blythswood – NGO that runs the telecentre. They were talking to Gabi Barna and I about the telecentre and reflecting on how telecentre-europe network might be helpful to the telecentre.

Jimbolia telecentre started in 2006 – it is located at… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on September 16, 2008 at 3:00 — 1 Comment

When you light a burner… stay out of the way

Ahkar the Director of Microsoft Community Affairs reminded us that when you light a burner…stay out of the way or else you be burned. But protect the frame so it can glow stronger. This remark could easily pass for a topic in management – that’s how powerful it is. Ahktar was talking to the steering committee of telecentre europe about where the network should be heading in the next few months - out of an incubator into the real world.

Telecentre-europe had a rare opportunity to… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on September 14, 2008 at 3:30 — No Comments

Strengthing telecentre-europe network

I have been camped here in Timisoara at the invitation of the Gabi (Chair of telecentre-europe network steering committee) since Sept 11. We are discussing how to strengthen the network and facilitate concrete collaboration among telecentres in the region.

Ofcourse this site has demonstrated that people want to learn from each other -- but also indicated that more needs to be done. Telecentre practitioners need training curriculums, concrete services that communities can use, access… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on September 12, 2008 at 15:00 — No Comments

Knowledge sharing |putting it in context…

That water is the most precious, rear resource in the hot desert threatened Sudan is well documented. Yet, locals find it within themselves to share it with any traveller in need by setting up road-side watering (drinking) points (called Sabir). Actually, these are small pots made out of clay that are stationed on tripod stands – usually in a set of three, under thin sheds…checkout the photo. Neighbours refill them every morning. You see, clay is porous and passes on this great attribute to the… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on June 25, 2008 at 10:30 — No Comments

How not to keep records | from Kida telecentre, Mali as Adult literacy training starts in Algeria telecentres

I arrive at Kita telecentre on a wet Tuesday morning. It located 180 km West of Bamako, Mali. The telecentre is centrally located in this rural but busty, little township boasting of a population of more than 35000. We are welcomed by Abdulaye Diallo, he is the co-owner of the telecentre. He is a highly motivated manager and knows how to do business – my first impression.

I ask him how the telecentre is used and how many people come a day. I am told that users can access computer… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on June 24, 2008 at 21:26 — No Comments

Telecentre community comes of age| what time can do…

A participant asked me “…after three years of’s work, how has the telecentre landscape changed, what can you say about the future?” I looked at him and smiled in admiration. He had just posed a great question – one that needed a cute response. The thing is, I had only two minutes to respond.

This was at the end of the international workshop on sustainability of telecentres in Lusaka (June 2008). I have not stopped thinking about that question ever since. Actually, I… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on June 23, 2008 at 18:30 — No Comments

Proven tips in resource mobilisation for telecentre community

Ever been on a resource mobilisation mission for an activity so important - telecentre event, content development for communities - but only got lacklustre response. I suspect you then wondered whether you might be able to sustain the momentum or even start the activity itself. Alright, help is on the way. I have a few practical tips that I picked up recently from people involved deeply in resource mobilisation for telecentre community.

I don’t know about you. But for me, what I like… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on June 22, 2008 at 16:30 — No Comments

The telecentre community re-union in Zambia

Telecentre practitioners and network leaders gathered here in Lusaka June 17 – 19 to share experiences and develop strategies for sustainable telecentres in Africa. Perhaps the hallmark of the event was the participation of CTA, Info-bridge and IICD with an open invitation to telecentre community for partnership.

The event was momentous. Take CTA ( for instance which has been one of the leading players in dissemination of agricultural information resources across the APC… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on June 20, 2008 at 20:07 — No Comments

Telecentre Europe network take yet another step…

I am preparing for my flight out of Barcelona after three days of work with the steering committee of telecentre Europe. You might recall – from my blogs elsewhere, that I went to Riga in April for TLF-Europe, where the network expanded and set new targets with a benchmark at Barcelona June 2008. Yes, this was the occasion. We reviewed documents and strategies developed since Riga.

This meeting was a great opportunity for the steering committee to reconnect. You see, the committee… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on June 20, 2008 at 20:05 — No Comments

Telecentre Europe on planning retreat... glad to join in

I am now in Barcelona, will be working with telecentre europe network steering committee for the next 2 days to define services and strategies for rolling them out. Its part of the follow-up to Riga Europe TLF

Will bring you thoughts and highlight too...

Added by Meddie Mayanja on June 13, 2008 at 23:31 — No Comments

Highlights from the 5th edition of East Africa TLF

Looking back at the end of TLF, feel satisfied with the time, energy and commitment everyone shared. I suspect participants will say it was a successful event in a number of ways. This is why:

- Participants made a firm decision to start a telecentre academy (for East Africa region based in Uganda and national one for Sudan)the decision was indeed about how to implement and who does what…as the necessity had been overstated a couple years ago. As one participant put it, telecentre… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on June 13, 2008 at 23:26 — No Comments

East Africa Telecentre Leaders’ Forum – show off benefits of staff exchange

As I listened to telecentres and network leaders here at the East African Telecentre Leaders Forum (EATLF), I kept thinking – so, can these interesting activities be taken to scale?

The first day of the event featured concrete stories about creating innovative content and services, partnerships, building telecentre networks from Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Brazil and India. I was particularly impressed by Uganda Development Services (UDS) telecentre efforts to… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on June 13, 2008 at 23:25 — 1 Comment

Telecentre Network Resource Mobilisation Training: How I got more…

I joined the training workshop in Bangkok to learn, share, co-facilitate and connect with telecentre practitioners in Asia. Seven days after, I feel all was achieved and more… I always like more!

From regular contacts with telecentre networks around the world and personal experience, I know that networks have not, most often taken full advantage of the resources available. Did I say full..? It could even be a generous estimate. Fast forward; this is all due to inadequate… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on April 19, 2008 at 7:54 — No Comments

TLF-Europe outcomes | How I see it

The structure of the event meant that firm decisions and actions were agreed throughout the 2 days. Every group session and plenary was potentially bring back an action. In several cases, participants agreed to undertake joint activities such as Bulgaria (icentres) and Romania (EOS) who went as developing a proposal. In the case of EUTA, it was dissolution of the Association and participate in Telecentre-Europe network. Other outcomes include:

1. Expansion of the steering committee… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on April 15, 2008 at 18:39 — No Comments

TLF - Europe underway – all eyes on knowledge sharing and the network

The day started with introductory remarks from (Meddie), Microsoft (Melissa) and LIKTA (Prof. Imants Freibergs).

It had earlier been intimated to me that the audience is a mix of experienced telecentre practitioners and new birds - that were unsure if their technology centres and public libraries are indeed telecentres. In my remarks therefore, I underlined the operational definition of telecentres, consisting a place where technologies are accessed for training and… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on April 15, 2008 at 18:36 — No Comments

Telecentre Leaders' Forum - Europe | day 2

...then it was Wednesday, and the TLF-Europe run its final day. It was time to take stock and firm up outcomes.

Overall, I was impressed with this event. A couple of weeks earlier, the taskforce was grapping with the agenda and nature of participants that would make the main objectives of the event come alive - knowledge sharing and consolidating the telecentre network.

By Wednesday afternoon (day 2), I could see momentum among participants; they wanted the network and… Continue

Added by Meddie Mayanja on April 15, 2008 at 18:30 — No Comments

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