For World Telecom and Information Society Day, I wrote a column on the wrong-headed telecenter policy being implemented by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka with World Bank funds, where I referred to lessons from South Africa that were taken into account in the design, but ignored in the implementation. Here are some more lessons from Africa:
All of a sudden, users don’t need the ‘public phones’ any more. In Senegal most of these télécentres have gone out of business. Bassirou Cissé, the general secretary of Unetts(*) says that “In 2000, there were 18,000 télécentres in Sénégal, accounting for 33% of the Senegalese operators’ revenues and 30,000 jobs. Today, most of them have closed down.”
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