Why did we start eKhaya ICT?!
Some people just shake their head when they hear what we are trying to do. I know what they mean I sometimes catch myself thinking similar thoughts: how can this work at all? Poor persons living in so-called developing rural regions don't have enough to eat, clean water to drink, western medical facilities - what will Web 2.0 bring them? Is it any use at all in an area that does not have any infrastructure?
The answer to all these questions lies in the following argument:
Poor persons living in such regions do not form a homogenous mass - people can be very different no matter what their culture is! As such, there are members of those societies that can very well benefit from the introduction of new technologies.
Further, recall that new technologies are in themselves an indispensible form of infrastructure. We have set ourselves a mission, because we believe that bringing Web 2.0 and internet to such regions will help the people there. Why do we think this is a realistic goal? Because there are a lot of other organisations out there trying to bring power, connectivity and other forms of technology to such areas. Often these groups are in developed regions far from the areas they intend to help. We are at home here in Africa and enjoy an advantage through this fact.
People who don't understand what we are doing, also often have another problem which cannot be countered logically. They believe cultures other than theirs are inferior and do not even deserve a try. In truth however, all cultures have evolved and are remarkably efficient at dealing with their environment and also resisting fast pased changes. We have a lot to learn from them and their unique perspective and history! In turn, we want to help them realise that their environment has changed. They live next door to the global village, and are free to come and go as they please.
I am very excited by what we are going to learn!
March 26th 2007 02:19