Please forgive cross posting, and please forward to others.
Zittnet project needs votes.
You could help our friends at Zittenet to get $3,000 to kick start one of their projects simply by voting for their idea in Africa Rural Connect's search for good ideas. Zittnet are already front-runners, but need every endorsement they can get. There are lots of interesting ideas competing with each other. Obviously we think Zittnet's idea is best, so you could just trust our judgement, go to their page http://arc.peacecorpsconnect.org/view/299/zittnet-harnessing-information-to-make-rural-markets-work-better
and click on the “endorse' button on the right hand side. Or you can go to the ideas page of the ARC website at http://arc.peacecorpsconnect.org/browse
and read other ideas too so you can vote for the one you think is best in your own judgement. The Zittnet idea is in the communcation section.
At time of writing Zittnet's idea is running third. Zittnet is one of Fantsuam Foundation's initiatives. It is already an established social business and this idea is for a new service it would like to run specifically for farmers, building on what it already offers.
More about Zittnet
As a social business it already gives a double benefit to the local community:
First: it provides an Internet “last mile” service – a wireless connection which enables other sites, some way from Fantsum Foundation (FF) to benefit from FF's connection to the Internet. It serves a a number of rural locations where there is no other way to connect to the Internet – including a clinic and several Internet Cafes.
Second: any profits Zittnet makes are for serving the community, either by improving the Zittnet Internet service or by subsidising the other non-commercial community services that FF provides.The idea
Zittnet now aims to establish Agricultural Network Centres (ANC) in local villages connected to ANCs in local and regional markets. An ANC manager will monitor activity on an electronic farm register so that both farmers and traders can find real-time prices and levels of supply and demand and complete transactions before incurring travel and related expenses. The financial risk associated with bulk supply and purchase will be reduced as information provides greater certainty, allowing businesses to exploit economies of scale more effectively. The ANCs will also publish market information regularly to assist rural businesses to plan more effectively.
What is special about this idea
The Zittnet idea is a good idea in its own right, but it is more than an isolated idea. It is an idea that is embedded in other established community development projects. It is designed to satisfy real needs in communities which are already connected with FF in high trust ways. In all such projects the technology is important, and the information it will share is important too, but most important of all, for early take up and for long-term success, is how the project connects with real people who will genuinely benefit. Zittnet's connection with the local communities is a strong reason why the $3,000 prize awarded to the Zittnet farmers project would be a well targeted investment - and your endorsement at http://arc.peacecorpsconnect.org/view/299/zittnet-harnessing-information-to-make-rural-markets-work-better
could tip the balance in favour of Zittnet.