Friday, February 19, 2010

Tongogara comes online

If you know a bit about Zimbabwe's history the name of Tongogara is known as one of the original freedom fighters. It is also the name of a local council nowadays, the Tongogara growth point.

Since 2006 I have been involved in setting up a so-called Telecenter there. It has involved quite a bit of hard work and patience, more for the people involved in Tongogara than for me, as it involved creating a business cooperative, raising funds, finding a place to house it etc etc.

Last year some equipment, including computers, were donated and training was done in October for the operations manager and some others.

Sadly however, we have not managed to find a way to bring telecommunications and thereby internet to the place. TelOne, the landline provider, says the switches in the area are full. The cellphone providers have coverage but very "spotwise" and not for internet anyhow.

But, as I think I have mentioned, Econet has promised coverage and they are also introducing 3G internet. Yesterday we went for a follow-up visit and I brought my 3G-modem just in case.

Boy was I surprised to find that not only could I connect but it was faster than what I get at home... we are now looking at how they or we can fund some modems and next step will be to make it a "true" Telecenter with internet and phones!

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