|Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Justification|
|ICT and Rural Development Justification|
The promotion of a stable agricultural sector in Africa is thus not only a moral imperative but also the basis for social economic transformation for a continent with over 80% of its population surviving on agricultural activities. Earlier strategic interventions aimed at developing direct agricultural innovations and technologies that increase food production and farm productivity. These innovations that include better seeds, farm tools and post harvest technologies unfortunately had little impact on farming in the continent not because they were inappropriate but partly because the innovations lacked equal investment information flow between markets and farmers that resulted into negative feedbacks to many earlier efforts. This led to reduction in farm outputs for most products.
However, the most complicating result was the reduction in the volume money and its circulation in rural areas that rendered subsequent interventions unsustainable. The emergency of ICTs and their potential to support the sector, community telecentres have been adapted as policy initiatives under universal access for most African governments to reduce rural isolation from urban economies. But even when they have worked well to their purpose of creation, this remains at small scale, given the high cost of starting a telecentre and the associated unreliable life cycle supplies necessary to run it (e.g internet connectivity and electricity) within an African setup.
The rapid adaptation and growth of mobile applications in Africa in the last decade provide answers to telecentre gaps and the earlier challenges of connecting urban and rural economies. And if these two interventions are tactfully blended together, they may yield a powerful tool for addressing development calls of oral Africa.