Mascom narrows digital divide
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
Following the success of the Nteletsa 2, Area 4 Project, in which Mascom collaborated with the Botswana Government to provide internet access to 41 villages and established Kitsong and Community Access Centres in each of the 41 villages, Mascom has announced that it will establish another 10 Mascom Kitsong Centres to make a total of 51 Mascom Kitsong Centres countrywide.
Mascom has been working closely with the Village Development Committees (VDC's) and the leaders of the various villages to identify young people and a total of 23 of hopefuls have been identified to run the centres.
The 23 potential entrepreneurs are currently being trained and up-skilled in collaboration Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) and Modi Investments. The training undertaken is on Entrepreneurship Development, ICT and Mascom Product Knowledge.
From the 23 potential entrepreneurs trained, 10 will be selected to operate Mascom Kitsong Centres in their villages.
Mascom will continue providing support to all the Mascom Kitsong Centres countrywide to a point where they are sustainable and self-sufficient.
In a statement to the stakeholders which is also in the hands of biztechafrica, the company says it realises the impact that this initiative can have on Batswana and the youth in particular, and has taken a deliberate step to invest in this project and roll out Mascom Kitsong Centers in different parts of the country every year.
From the total of 51 Kitsong and Community Access Centres put up countrywide, 16 are operated by Village Development Committees, two by Parents and Teachers' Association Committees, two by Primary Schools and 21 are operated by youth selected from the respective villages.
Licensed in February 1998, Mascom is the leading mobile telecommunications operator in Botswana.