ICT4D and ICT4Ag

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VACID Africa welcomes individuals and organizations that would like to adopt ICT4D and ICT4Ag in their activities.
We promote efforts and activities of individuals and communities to access Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to enhance their livelihoods by opening new opportunities. For that we work with organizations that promote access to ICTs by individuals, communities and organizations. Where they do not exist, and the knowledge that they are necessary is not resident in the communities, we help them realize which ICTs are best for them given their local circumstances. Since we work in rural areas, we work to integrate ICTs to agriculture in which case we support adoption of ICT4Ag.

BUT some of these terminologies may not be well understood…so we shall define them for those starting to learn ICTs in these areas….

ICTs are defined to include electronic communication hardware, software, networks, and media for collection, storage, processing, transmission, and presentation of information in the formats of voice, data, text, and images. Some of the common examples of ICTs include: Stand-alone or locally-networked computers, websites, Online/Offline databases, Mobile telephones (smart or otherwise), email, chat, Internet telephone (VOIP), shared web-based systems, VHS and audio tapes; DVD/CD based multimedia materials, Television and FM Radio given the evolution in ICTs, we can now add cloud computing.

Technology is a term used to define the evolution of practical knowledge and tools used in this effort from manual to mechanical, to electrical, to electromechanical and electronic systems. This also includes the new terms like nanotechnologies… the evolution continues. Whatever they are, the technologies have to be appropriate for the environmental and social needs of the consumers. Technology used at community level has to be appropriate to the needs of the communities. Appropriate technologies are the technologies that apply from the bottom up; addressing the consumer needs of such a technology.

ICTs are appropriate at individual and institutional level. They interlink data, or computer, networks with telephone networks using media or devices that facilitate the inter-linkage. Where media are used to interface voice and data through electrical signals, they are called multimedia devices. When used to deliver written materials stored on linked computer servers on a global network that interconnects computers, they form the Internet, a resource used to store data/knowledge from diverse sources and resources.

ICT4D or information and communication technologies for development derive from the stream of development thinking that uses ICT to drive sustainable development. Development.

The UN defines development to be to activities that help individuals lead long and healthy lives, to be knowledgeable, have access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living and to be able to participate in the life of the community. So when we consider ICT4D, we are looking at ICTs that:
1. Help the ICT user to earn an income and hence eat well as well as afford a good health care programme
2. Enables one to collect data, interpret the data in a way that provides timely information for decision making and which when synthesized using the ICTs makes it possible for one to learn new ideas and concepts
3. Supports connectivity and the resources that such connectivity provides…one can use money send via mobile money, electronic ATM systems, assets being sold/auctioned affordably on the net, sites to visit etc…

In a nutshell, ICT4D is the realm of technology that promotes development in all its realms of wealth creation for a livable life.

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