[kictanet] Private Sector Roles (activities, motives & challenges) Day 5 of 10

John Walubengo jwalu at yahoo.com
Fri May 23 09:18:45 EAT 2008

Thanks Fred, Samuel et al,

This was actually getting to the level I had anticipated.
But we have to move onto the Private Sector Roles with
regard to ICT4D.

What are some of the activities the Private sector is doing
in this area?  Anyone from Celtel, Safaricom, Nation Media,
Standard Group, Royal Media, KDN, Symphony, Strathmore,
TESPOK, Jamii, etc, (list definately not exhaustive)

Plse share the activities, objectives and challenges along
the lines of CFSK.

We have today and tomorrow on this one.


--- Fred Okono <fredokono at cfsk.org> wrote:

> Thank you so much for your kind words Leonard. I am not
> quite sure there is a "secret", but the following have
> certainly helped greatly:
>   1.. A clear-headed analysis of the problem we wished to
> address, which turned out to be a multi-faceted challenge
> underpinned by a lack of resources;
>   2.. Crafting an integrated solution, that addresses the
> multifaceted challenge on a "one-stop shop" model;
>   3.. Truly and constantly listening to and engaging with
> the partners we seek to uplift, and inputing their
> feedback into our programmes;
>   4.. An uncompromising organisation-wide commitment to
> clearly defined and reasonable standards in all we do;
>   5.. A rare organisational esprit de corps driven by a
> caring and unassuming chief executive and powered by an
> incredibly enthusiastic, fired-up and innovative young
> staff;
>   6.. Finally, building strategic partnerships with
> partners that share our vision and feel for our mission -
> whoever they may be, wherever they are: Government,
> private sector, civil society, etc.
>  Leonard, the Government -  particularly in the last five
> or so years - has done a tremendous amount of work to
> promote ICT: removing a great proportion of taxes
> previously chargeable on computers; establishing a
> Directorate of eGovernment within the pivotal Cabinet
> Office in the Office of the President; allocating a
> quantum of funds for ICT integration in the budgetary
> provisions for all Ministries; establishing the ICT
> Board; etc. And at CFSK we have enjoyed enormous goodwill
> and moral support from the GoK, including space to host a
> number of our Regional Centres. However, we do wish we
> could also get a budgetary allocation - it would enable
> us to tremendously upscale and outscale our operations,
> and we have proven worthy of this I dare say! And we also
> wish there were many more Dr Bitange Ndemos in the upper
> echelons of the Civil Service and more ICT-saavy Cabinet
> Ministers and Members of Parliament!
> My feeling is that the Government's challenge has been
> failing to work with existing programmes that have proven
> their worth, as opposed to establishing its own
> programmes that replicate those other programmes - often
> without the benefit of the expertise and responsive
> structures that characterise these non-governmental
> programmes (an absolute essential in this dynamic field).
> I also feel that the Government is often hampered by a
> lack of personal buy-in from the officers that are
> directly responsible for implementation - irrespective of
> what the "high-up policy" may be. A computer literate
> officer, addicted and dependent on his computer like most
> of us out here are would be a most enthusiastic proponent
> for more ICTs (from their personal appreciation of the
> same) than the illiterate officer who is merely
> attempting to implement policy but has no personal
> experience or appreciation of the same! 
> Then of course the Government has to take a bird's eye
> view of the needs of the nation, requiring delicate
> balancing given the limited resources available. The
> tunnel vision - worms-eye view? - of sector players like
> ourselves may limit our appreciation of the other demands
> made on the Government; leading us to question their
> failure to do more in our particular sector. Our demand
> should be that the public resources allocated to our
> particular sector are put to the best possible use,
> creating the greatest good for the greatest number of
> people - which of course is not always the case!
> In response to your last query I dare say there is a
> place for both policy advocacy and implementation CSOs in
> this sector. But at CFSK we firmly believe in an
> integrated approach - we implement as we advocate!
> Subsequently the kind of advocacy we engage in is firmly
> informed by the practical hands-on experience we have
> garnered in the trenches! And I can tell you the
> differences between desk-bound advocacy and that driven
> from the battle front can be startling! Just one example
> - the value of refurb computers which many desk-bound
> advocates will dismiss as digital trash and eWaste
> dumping while those of us who are out in the schools and
> community centre's know that these computers will do
> everything a brand new computer can do and for quite a
> long period of time (albeit a little slower) given the
> NEEDS of the partners we work with and the limited
> resources available to them.
> I regret Leonard that there has been no large scale
> impact assesment of CFSK's work. But from anecdotal
> evidence, we know it is immense - every child leaving a
> CFSK school is a potential lifetime computer user, every
> teacher/principal who has been through the CFSK training
> programmes is an ICT integrator ready to go - and there
> are numerous thousands of each; both categories are
> potential clients of computer sellers and internet
> service providers; and all are converts to the
> Information Age that will preach this gospel to others,
> bringing them on stream too. We firmly believe that
> introducing ICTs in a big way in the youth intensive
> environments is the ultimate gateway to ICT in national
> life. And of course ICT is a great empowerer of young
> people, and ICT and entrepreneurship form a natural
> partnership for employment and wealth creation in an
> enabling environment. Technopreneurship - especially for
> a country such as ours with very limited known natural
> resources to drive traditional industrialisation - must
> be the primary medium-term conduit to Vision 2030. And we
> believbe the work of CFSK has contributed greatly to
> this.
> IDRC will in the near future publish a study of our work,
> but it will focus on our first two and a half years or
> so. We hope to gather the resources for a broader study
> in the not too distant future - particularly focussing on
> impact, not just statistics.
> Fredrick Okono            
> Deputy Director                           
> Computers for Schools Kenya  
> Semco Business Park | Unit 1, Mombasa Road | P.O. Box
> 48584-00100 | Nairobi , Kenya |
> Tel:254(0)202060919, Tel/Fax: 254 (0)20 2060920 Mobile
> (0)723-527106|Email:fredokono at cfsk.org|Website:
> www.cfsk.org     
>   ----- Original Message ----- 
>   From: Leonard Mware 
>   To: Fred Okono ; KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions 
>   Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 8:16 PM
>   Subject: Re: [kictanet] Civil Society Roles
> (activities, motives & challenges) Day 4 of 10
>   Thanks Fred for your excellent contribution. As one of
> the main players in ICT4D , CFSK has been visible indeed.
> The achievements as mentioned by you indicates that your
> contribution as an "Implementing" civil society has been
> more successful than what the government have achieved in
> the same area over time.
>   My question then is: What is the secret? What hinders
> the public sector (government) from moving effectively
> like your selfs? I mean, in terms of resources MoE has
> more than CFSK.
>   Question two: Is there any impact assessment of the
> CFSKs rollout? Can you share some of the critcal
> findings?
>   Lastly, we have another category of Civil Society (that
> includes KICTANET) involved in policy advocacy rather
> than implementation. Which of the two in your view is
> more relevant? the "implementing" civil society (less
> talk) or the "policy advocacy" civil society. It is said
> some countries are so efficient in churning out policy
> documents but very little is taking place on the ground.
> It also said that some Civil Societies in the name of
> advocacy hinder developement by over "advocating" issues
> such as environment and human rights.
>   I want to suggest to the forum that Kicatenet should
> now come out strongly advocating for the implementation
> of the policies that it has helped nurture in Kenya. 
>   Leonard
>   ----- Original Message ----
>   From: Fred Okono <fredokono at cfsk.org>
>   To: mleonardo at yahoo.com
>   Cc: KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions
> <kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke>
>   Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 2:58:48 PM
>   Subject: Re: [kictanet] Civil Society Roles
> (activities, motives & challenges) Day 4 of 10
>   Hi Everybody!
>   We at CFSK are actively involved in taking ICT to the
> people - specifically 
>   what we call youth intensive environments: educational
> & training 
>   institutions and community information access &
> resource centres.
>   We are engaged in all the activities comprising the
> digital 
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