New ICT centre in Taita Taveta to connect villagers with the world



Villagers pray during the opening of Grace Mvono Community ICT Centre in Mwambela village, Taita Taveta County. [Renson Mnyamwezi, Standard]

Standing tall at the remote Mwambela village, overlooking the awe-inspiring Shomoto caves in the Taita Hills, is a newly unveiled Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centre.

Situated on the outskirts of Wundanyi town in Taita-Taveta County, Grace Mvono Community ICT Centre is first of its kind in the area.

Residents cannot help but marvel at how their village has been thrust into the digital world, something that was a remote possibility a while ago.

The facility will not only help villagers to connect with the rest of the world but also transform their lives through access to Internet services.

The facility was constructed by an investor and philanthropist from the United States, Tom Whitton, at a cost of more than Sh7 million.

The project targets vulnerable groups like the youth, orphans, widows and people living with disabilities.

It comes at a time when Internet access and affordability remain the biggest challenge for the country’s rural population.

The project is also expected to improve the poor education standards in the area through e-learning and facilitate economic growth of the county.

Residents and leaders say Internet use is the way to go, now and more so in future.

Yesterday, joy and ululation rented the air in the village as Whitton and local leaders commissioned the facility.

Grace Mvono Community ICT Centre is first of its kind in the area [Renson Mnyamwezi, Standard]

Sophy Mwasaru, the chair of the project, could not hide her joy following the launch.

“Blessed is the hand that gives,” she said in appreciation of the donor funding for the facility.

Apart from Internet, other technological services to be offered at the centre include computing, data management, e-learning and research.

According to Whitton, all these services entail the transmission and reception of information of some kind.

“ICT permeates all aspects of life, providing newer, better and quicker ways for people to interact, network, seek help, gain access to information and learn,” he said.

“With its presence everywhere, information communication technology (ICT) has an immense economic significance.”

He said in recent years, the merging of various kinds of technology has been increasing the number of options that people and institutions have for making contacts and keeping in touch.

“It’s not difficult now for the villagers to communicate with the rest of the world because they have access to Internet. There are many opportunities that ICT offers to enterprise, among them opening up new possibilities for businesses,” said the investor.

An official from African Smile, Kilian Mwalasha, said today’s consumers can shop for goods and services online from the comfort of their homes through the Internet.

He said the ICT facility will enable local farmers to easily market their agricultural produce internationally.

“Income generating programmes will come up and this will help transform the lives of the local community,” said Mwalasha who linked local farmers to the investor.

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