Since 2008 CTA has been organising Web 2.0-related networking and capacity building events across African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. 2011 saw the first such event in Rwanda where since then the initiative has really taken off.
In 2011 upon invitation of Dr. Agnes Matilda Kalibata, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), CTA began to collaborate with the Agricultural Information and Communication Centre (CICA). This led to a series of noteworthy initiatives and follow-up activities.
In 2011, 82 people (27% were women) were trained in Kigali in three learning events. Organized in collaboration with MINAGRI (10-14 October, 17-21 October, 2011) and the Rwanda Telecentre Network (RTN) (7-11 November 2011), the trainings were welcomed with enthusiasm and paved the way for adoption of web 2.0 and social media applications within the ministry and other organisations.
Participants were introduced to selected web 2.0 applications and discovered how to use them in a hands-on approach. The curriculum covered advanced online searching, getting information served via alerts and RSS, collaborating remotely using wikis and Google Docs, using VoIP, online mapping and social networking. Participants had the opportunity to get practical experience on how to use innovative applications and to reflect on how they could adopt these innovations within the context of their work and organisation.
The training of trainers (ToT) aspect was taken into consideration in the organisation of the events. CICA deployed one staff member to act as assistant trainer for all three Learning Opportunities aiming at building in-house capacity and preparing the ground for replication. The same occurred within RTN.
One year on and the impact of these sessions has far exceeded expectations. MINAGRI has consolidated its presence on Facebook andTwitter, and CICA run two on-the-job training for MINAGRI and projects’ staff. A total of 50 individuals (42% of whom were women) were trained in the use of VoIP, online mapping and professional / corporate social networking in 2012.
In the last quarter of 2012 Rwanda’s Web 2.0 agenda is packed with planned activities.
The replication and endogenous spread of these Web 2.0-related initiatives testifies the interest of key stakeholders in Rwanda for institutionalising Web 2.0 and Social Media at all levels within the Agricultural and Rural development sectors, and we understand - more is in the pipeline. It appears that ‘opportunities’ have paved the way for ‘action across the board’.
At CTA we are proud to be associated with this initiative and eager to hear about the impact on the ultimate beneficiaries: agricultural value chain actors. Time will tell ...