You could help our friends at Zittenet to get $3,000 to kick start one of their projects simply by voting for their idea in Africa Rural Connect's search for good ideas. There are lots of interesting ideas competing with each other, at the ideas page of the ARC website. The Zittnet idea is in the communcation section. Obviously we think Zittnet's idea is best - so you could just trust our judgement, go to their page and click on the “endorse' button on the right hand side, or read the other ideas too so you can consider how Zittnet's idea compares with others and vote according to your own judgement. The Zitnett idea is already a front-runners - in third position at time of writing - and needs every endorsement it can get. Please share this information.
More about Zittnet
Zittnet is one of Fantsuam Foundation's initiatives. It is already an established social business and this idea is for a new service it would like to run specifically for farmers, building on what it already offers.
As a social business it already gives a double benefit to the local community:
First: it provides an Internet “last mile” service – a wireless connection which enables other sites, some way from Fantsum Foundation (FF) to benefit from FF's connection to the Internet. It serves a a number of rural locations where there is no other way to connect to the Internet – including a clinic and several Internet Cafes.
Second: any profits Zittnet makes are for serving the community, either by improving the Zittnet Internet service or by subsidising the other non-commercial community services that FF provides.
Zittnet now aims to establish Agricultural Network Centres (ANC) in local villages connected to ANCs in local and regional markets. An ANC manager will monitor activity on an electronic farm register so that both farmers and traders can find real-time prices and levels of supply and demand and complete transactions before incurring travel and related expenses. The financial risk associated with bulk supply and purchase will be reduced as information provides greater certainty, allowing businesses to exploit economies of scale more effectively. The ANCs will also publish market information regularly to assist rural businesses to plan more effectively.
A practical idea worth voting for
The Zittnet idea is a good idea in its own right, but it is more than an isolated idea. It is an idea that is embedded in other established community development projects. It is designed to satisfy real needs in communities which are already connected with FF in high trust ways. In all projects that try to apply technology in rural areas there are three important aspects to bear in mind - technology, information and people. The technology is important, and the information it will bring is important too, but most important of all, for early take up and for long-term success, is how the project connects with real people who will genuinely benefit. Zittnet's connection with the local communities is a strong reason why the $3,000 first prize awarded to the Zittnet farmers project would be a well targeted investment - and your endorsement could tip the balance in favour of Zittnet.