Africa Higher Education Research Institute (AHERI) and Basic Internet Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate and collaborate in providing Infrastructure that guarantees affordable access to the Internet and information in unserved and underserved communities. AHERI is a project under Community Initiative Support Services (CISS) a non governmental organization based in Kisumu City in the Republic of Kenya with operations in three counties of the former Nyanza province that is Kisumu, Siaya and Homabay. Community Initiative Support Services focuses on food security , poverty reduction and youth engagement, preventive health and transformative masculinity, environmental management and conservation. AHERI on the other hand facilitates collaboration and knowledge exchange among Africa Universities in the areas of e-learning and public Health
The main goals of this project are to:
- Engage in emergent Internet issues at the National, Regional ,continental and global level such as digitization initiatives
- Promote cooperation between AHERI and the Basic Internet Foundation with a view to encouraging the availability of and improving access to the Internet and its resources in Kenya as well as countries on the African continent.
- Creating an enabling environment for education , digital health, innovation and entrepreneurship such that the Internet contributes significantly to the economic development of Africa as well as building technical and research capacity in the region.
Implementation Road Map
The Project team agreed that the pilot phase should focus on the following sites:
1. Nyalenda Informal Settlement in Obunga in Partnership with KUAP (www.pandipieri.org)
2. Obunga Informal settlement in partnership with KUAP (www.pandipieri.org)
3. Omuga Technical and Vocational Centre Kabondo Homabay
4. CISS Community Centre Akala Gem County Rural www.cisskisumu.org
5. CISS Community Centre Ng’iya Rural www.cisskisumu.org
6. CISS Community Centre Kisumu County Peri-Urban subject to availability of additional Infrastructure
The Project team held a debrief meeting at the CISS Offices in Kisumu City. There was consensus that there was need to train Project Officers where the Infrastructure will be deployed on the following issues:
1. Management of the Infrastructure
2. Content Management
3. How end users can access other premium services that will be availed through the infrastructure.
The Project team was also in agreement that extensive awareness will need to be conducted to facilitate usage of the Information hotspots and related services. The team engaged engaged with various stakeholders to explain the benefits they would accrue from the information spots and the digital centres as shown below.
AHERI picked up valuable lessons while implementing phase one of the Community Connectivity project which will definately be used to improve the next phase which will connect 14 Community centres to the Internet.