How Do We Make Community Owned Information Networks Work for the Poor?

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Executive Summary

ICTs have been identified as the catalyst to assist developing countries bridge the development chasm thus alleviating the effects of poverty. However, Africa is littered with ICT projects that have failed or struggle to survive. The key question asked in this paper is how do we make community owned information networks work for the poor? A case study from Angola shares key lessons learnt in developing shared cost models in telecentres in the face of exorbitantly high connectivity costs. The real challenge faced by such projects is to build enough demand to make such a network financially sustainable.

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