Mascom to hand over Kitsong centres

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana 

As has become tradition, this year, Mascom will hand over 10 Business Communication Centres, popularly known as Kitsong Centres, at an event pencilled for the Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC). The number will bring the number to a total of 81 Kitsong Centres around Botswana. The handover will be on the 22 of January.

The handover of the centres is targeted at the youths of Botswana who are always the beneficiary of the projects. In the year 2000 a study was carried out on information needs assessment and found that it was necessary for the rural members of society to be assisted to become fully aware of the computer applications and use these applications on their day-to-day activities especially in accessing information for their operational activities to enhance their businesses processes and services and social needs.

According to Mascom, the company realises the impact that this initiative can have on Batswana and the youth in particular. “We are convinced that the increase in the use of ICT can transform the lives of ordinary people by bridging the rural urban digital divide,” said a statement.

Following the success of the Nteletsa 2, Area 4 Project, where Mascom collaborated with Botswana Government to provide coverage and establish Kitsong and Community Access Centre’s to a total of 41 villages, Mascom invested more than 7 Million Pula towards the sustainable local community development projects.

Speaking at last year’s  handover event Mascom chief information officer, Lilly Sullivan, explained that "The Mascom Kitsong Centre services include airtime and simcard sales, email and Internet services, photocopying, printing, typesetting, fax services, and computer training," said Sullivan. In addition to these services, some innovative Mascom Kitsong Centre and business-driven operators continue to develop other revenue streams, including photography, stationery sales, graphics and video productions, as well as computer games.

Mascom is committed to a further 10 new centres to be rolled out next year to bring the total of Mascom Kitsong Centres countrywide to 71, she said.

Last year. During the same event, the former minister of Transport and Communication Nonofo Molefhi explained that Mascom had invested over P12 million in ICT projects aimed at encouraging the youth to be involved in entrepreneurship. He also urged other private companies to support and partner with Mascom to channel their services through the centres stressing that partnerships are vital for fostering an enabling environment for the communities to fully realise the socio economic benefits of the ICT infrastructure and services. 

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