by AKANI CHAUKE in Polokwane
POLOKWANE – REMOTE areas in the northern Limpopo Province of South Africa are to enjoy the benefits of the internet thanks to an investment of US$30 000 (more than R430 000) by a global organisation working to connect the globe to the world wide web.
The Internet Society (ISOC) Foundation has awarded the grant to the ISOC South Africa-Gauteng Chapter to open a media centre in the Mamaila village, which is one of the foundation’s 13 ground-breaking projects globally.
The grant aims to improve the lives of ISOC members through access to information and upskilling.
In addition to the off-the-grid Media Centre, which will provide internet access in a remote area with no access to telecommunications operator services, the much-needed funding will enable the Mamaila Tribal Authority to install Wi-Fi access points within the community.
The grant will also develop the community through training on cybersecurity, content development, entrepreneurship, and the construction, operation and maintenance of community networks.
It is anticipated this would ultimately empower unemployed youth to organise themselves into cooperatives to advance their socio-economic aspirations and expand the planned network infrastructure.
“This is our concerted effort to help drive growth and development, especially while South Africa is grappling with one of the highest level of unemployment in the world and a shortage in critical skills,” said Yandisa Sokhanyile, Chairperson, Marketing and Branding from the ISOC South Africa-Gauteng Chapter.
Unemployment is estimated at 29 percent.
Recently, ISOC established a foundation to centralise and target funding for projects that will improve the quality of people’s lives around the globe.
Sarah Armstrong, Executive Director of the ISOC Foundation, said the 13 projects were selected from a total of 40 applications globally after an almost three-month process of intense revision and analysis by a committee.
Winning projects located in Armenia, Canada, Dominica, Hong Kong, Madagascar, Mali, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey and United States.
In early 2020, ISOC will launch its next call for grant applications.
– CAJ News