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Multipurpose Community Telecentre Project

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The very limited Information and Communication Technologies available in Ethiopia are concentrated mainly in the capital. The British Council in Ethiopia, has therefore, initiated this project to establish four telecentres in four public libraries out side Addis Ababa i.e. in Wolisso, Debre Birhan, Aksum and Gondar.

This initiative, in line with the Ethiopian government's policy for the development of modern information facilities in the regions, also responds to the call of the African Information Society Initiatives (AISI) to NGOs and donors to support integrated rural development through the use of ICTs. The AISI also aims to ensure access for local communities to international, regional and national 'information highways' to accelerate socio-economic development

The objectives of the project are:

  • To make the world's pool of information accessible to the communities at large and to develop awareness of the use of the emerging technologies and resources.
  • To reach influential members of the local authorities and communities through modern information provision and to demonstrate concern for the social and economic development of Ethiopia outside the capital.
  • To support distance education, telemedicine, etc.
  • To act as a model centre for encouraging similar local initiatives in the future.
  • The first of its kind in Ethiopia, the Wolisso Multipurpose Community Telecentre (WMCT) was opened as a pilot centre on 26th February 2000, by the former British Ambassador, H.E. Gordon Wetherell, the Commissioner of Ethiopian Science and Technology Commission H.E. Asrat Bulbula and Ms Rosmary Arnott, Director, British Council.

    Extensive consultation with the Regional authorities including considerations of proximity, available infrastructure, population-size, and its status as a centre for nearby towns were some of the factors for selecting the pilot sites. The Debre Birhan Multipurpose Community Telecentre was opened in January 2002.

    Aksum Multi-purpose Community Telecentre was also opened in Aksum in October 2002. The official opening in this historic city was attended by officials and community leaders from both Aksum and Mekele, representatives from the Ethiopian Science and Technology Commission, colleagues from the British Council and British Embassy and Tony Baldry, MP. This is the third such telecentre in Ethiopia, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

    There are also other initiatives in the area of community resource centres in Ethiopia. Oxfam's Canada's publication on establishing such resources centre is a useful guide - Sharing Knowledge Handbook. (pdf)

    For more details, please contact:

    Abebe Chekol: A/Manager, Governance
    Adwa Avenue, Artistic Building
    PO Box 1043
    Addis Ababa
    Telephone 251-1-55 00 22
    Fax 251-1-55 25 44

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