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July 1st - First Thursday Topic - Phones in rural Africa: practicalities and potential

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  • Pamela McLean
    Join us to discuss Phones in Rural Africa: Practicalities and Potential for our First Thursday chat this month on July 1st. Go to worknets chat room
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 25, 2010
      Join us to discuss "Phones in Rural Africa: Practicalities and Potential" for our "First Thursday" chat this month on July 1st. Go to worknets chat room  to log on. International times and general First Thursday details.

      This chat about rural phones started as a private discussion between members of the Dadamac UK-Nigeria team on Wednesday 23rd June. We want to carry on our discussion and have decided to continue in a public space so that others can listen in and contribute. Anyone who is interested in what the real situation in rural Africa regarding phone use may find our chat valuable. We will be continuing our discussion along the lines we had already started - community benefit of phones and the stumbling blocks to their use. Given our recent concern with Sickle Cell Awareness day heath issues were much on our minds.

      The discussion will focus on phones in rural areas - the details will depend on the perspectives of people who chat.

      Some quotes from the original discussion give a flavour of what might be covered:
      • What about Health and use of the mobile in rural Nigeria?
      • i would prefer will dwell on topics that can bring about improvement in the lives of local youths
      • It might be possible to make the phones use VOIP then offer free calling between phones, just like skype
      • Sharing Health information as cost effectively as possible for remote communities where health services are not readily available
      • I remember Dr Chris saying he loved the fact that people could phone before bringing sick people  to see him - so if he was away they knew to wait until he returned
      • I think the cost of calls is a big issue here.
      • With Micro Finance field officers doubling as Info Agents, that's some cost saving, enhancing their status,
      • yes that is practical,cost effective and socially beneficial to all showing that MF is not just about the loans and recovery etc
      • .... talking Social Business, I think, and this is what MF, our model is all about
      • This is an issue which is coming up at a lot of NGO meetings but not a lot of people seem to really know what to do about it - so it could be very useful for a round table discussion.
      • Sharing Health information cost effectively for underserved and remote communities is a problem that will not go away as demonstrated by the constant stream into the FF clinic since last Friday event. 
      • Folks are just hearing of the event, someone came in this morning from Gombe. Getting the information is primary. If these folks had the info, they'd have been seen by Prof Obaro and Dr Inusa on Friday.
      • For me a big problem is the lack of phone networks in those rural areas, how erratic they are and the cost of making calls.
      • We have found phone access in most unsusual remote locations during the ESSPIN: fortuitous access. These can be mapped
      • The providers are concentrating on urban centres where they can make the most profit
      • The Pareto priciple - 80% 20% rule
      • I made a 10 minute phone call yesterday evening.  It cost me nearly N300.
      • Government is yet to meet the challenge of providing the incentives for providers to explore rural locations
      • The providers say they have to cover cost of diesel for their generators: thats where the high price comes in
      • so that is something for the solar power innovators
      • That should be the challenge, what do you do in spite of these constraints to save life through easier, affordable phone access?
      You are welcome to join us.

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