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Who are Rural ICT4E Buyers? Parent Teacher Associations, not Government

By Wayan Vota on September 13, 2010

When we talk of deploying information and communication technologies in schools across Africa, most people assume the technology will be bought by the national, regional, or local government, or by the school itself. This may be true at elite government schools or wealthy private schools, but as Savsign reports, in rural areas of northern Ghana, its the Parent Teacher Associations, or PTA’s that are supplying technology to classrooms:

Availability of Computers at School:

When the teachers were asked if they have computers in their schools, it was discovered that 61.5 %( 32/52) of them said no they have not got computers and 38.5% said they have got. Once again five of the teachers did not answer this question.

How Many Computers are Available:

From the response given by the teachers it was realized that the highest number of computers that their schools had was 6, followed by two and the rest one computer each.

Source of Computers Available:

In a follow up question, of if they have, how they got the computers, majority (30.4%) through the PTA, followed by bought by school with 26.1% and then PTA, school administration and NGOs. The least here was donated by NGO with 4.3%.

Now if you’re selling ICT to school systems in rural Africa, you should take note of this survey. Not every country will have PTA’s leading the purchasing, but in every country they have an untapped buying power. So while you may financing student computer labs with school fees, don’t forget to pitch computer labs directly to PTA’s. They may turn out to be the better client.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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One Comment to “Who are Rural ICT4E Buyers? Parent Teacher Associations, not Government”

  1. Dear Wayan,
    Many thanks for making this publication known. Let me draw your attention that Savana Signatures, which conducted the research has moved from the wordpress to http://www.savsign.org

    Cheers!