The core business of telecentres globally is to empower the communities they serve, through efforts like making available timely and relevant information on issues that affect communities such as health, food security, global warming, climate change etc. Access to some of this information is not easy for an individual telecentre as most research institutes are not easy to access.
Through partnership with CTA, KenTel thought it wise to further create public private partnerships to ensure information flow across all the sectors of development. In all this the individual telecentre then becomes the beneficiary of a lifelong channel to information for their use. They have a task of localization, repackaging, translation to simplify the information their audiences who are the local farmers, out of school youth, health workers and extension service providers among others.
Of importance is the general need to reach out to farmers with the relevant agricultural information to help boost productivity and promote food security as well as the generation of local content derived from the rich indigenous knowledge yet to be explored from the diverse Kenyan communities.
KenTel, a national movement for Kenyan telecentres through support from Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) got into partnership with local research institutes - International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and International Livestock Research Institute ILRI, organized a two day workshop dubbed 'Agriculture, Local Content and Indigenous Knowledge workshop' held at ICIPE on the 9th and 10th December, 2010.The workshop targeted telecentre managers from 30 telecentres from across the country to deliberate on the available strategies of enhancing agricultural information and local content development and to work around reforming their telecentres towards being central avenues for relevant information dissemination. This opportunity for telecentres to access local research institutions was also aimed at opening avenues for telecentres to expand their knowledge base, access more information and act as dissemination charnels for such content.
The experience of the two days was great following feedback we got from participants. KARI and ICIPE to work closely with KenTel to further enhance the work of the telecentres in the communities, as indicated in the details documented by this report.
Enock O. Chiteri, UCRC/KenTel