ICTs and Health Technology at the Grassroots Level in Africa
"One of the central questions of the 21st century is how technology is producing a change in our mode of operation and how its benefits can be used and applied positively. Today’s communications technology has enormous potential for helping people and communities improve their circumstances. The communications environment in which most people live has changed radically over the last decade, both in relation to the information people have access to, and the opportunities people have to communicate their own perspectives on issues that concern them. Knowledge transfer should not be a one-way street. Too little regard is being given to the role and potential of local, traditional and indigenous knowledge, especially from rural communities, in the global equation. Efforts to reverse the situation have faced several challenges. With scarce resources available for very basic development needs, such as water and sanitation, education, food security, and income generation, one may wonder why countries should then bother to provide these new technologies, and whether they are not unnecessary luxuries in many contexts. It should be realized that these technologies are nothing more than advanced information tools to be used if and when their use is beneficial. Among a poor farmer’s first priorities is to get sufficient food for his family. ICTs can help him find better prices for his produce and enable him to buy more and higher quality food. The issue of ICTs and the digital divide is ultimately about greater choices. New technologies are not a solution by themselves."