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Beyond the Net 3 December 2018

Botswana Chapter Digital Literacy Program Seeks to Empower Rural Village Development Committee Leaders

The newly charted ISOC Botswana Chapter is set to spread the Internet Society mandate in Botswana through engagement with relevant stakeholders. The diverse team of technical, communications, and policy practitioners will venture into impact initiatives to complement the Internet Society mission and mandate. As a Beyond the Net 2018 beneficiary, the local chapter is embarking on a project titled: “Internet for Development of Rural Botswana: Empowering Village Development Committees Through Use of the Internet.”

The Village Development Committees (VDCs) are the custodians of community development initiatives. VDCs operate on values of engagement, consultation, and participation and this project hopes to contribute in enhancing these values using the Internet. The digital literacy trainings program is designed to target VDCs leaders in 4 remote regions with the aim of empowering these village leaders with digital tools and resources. VDC Tech Champions will be identified and will be responsible for continued facilitation of the digital literacy training program.  To facilitate future support, ISOC Botswana will donate laptops and wireless Internet modems to ensure resources and access.

Beyond the trainings, this project will collect impact stories of the anticipated improvements in VDCs’ operations, relating to digital access and engagement. The hope is to eventually expand the program to other regions of Botswana.

In October 2018, the project was successfully launched in the Boteti District by His Honor the Vice President of the Republic of Botswana Honorable Slumber Tsogwane. In his remarks, the government of Botswana committed to support initiatives by the ISOC Botswana Chapter and its partner entities. The hope is for ISOC Botswana to join the conversation on Internet policy and actualizing the e-government strategy. Phuthego Chere, the ISOC Botswana president called on support from relevant stakeholders for future expansion of the initiative to reach other areas of Botswana.

Digital literacy is a sure way of ensuring that rural communities become players in the digital economy. It is therefore with much excitement that the Chapter looks forward to implementation of the project and contributing to the of the Sustainable Development Goals theme of leaving no one behind.

We’re looking for new ideas from people all over the world! Find out how to empower your community using the Internet. The Internet Society Beyond the Net Funding Programme funds projects up to $30,000.00.

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