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Zack Matere: Creating an Internet that his grandmother can use

Matere, a Kenyan farmer, cycled 10 km to a cyber cafe in order to use the Internet for the first time. He wanted to know why his potato crop kept failing. He Googled "potato disease" and discovered that ants were eating the potato stems, simply adding wood shavings would solve the problem. He benefitted from a quick search but he worried that others that aren't connected could not benefit from technology...

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Mr Matere says he intends to be the link between the internet and the community. The plan is to set up notice boards in prominent positions such as trading centres and even move them to churches on Sundays.

On these boards, called "Seregeya Leo" or Seregeya Today, he plans to post information he gleans from the net on issues such agriculture, health or education which can benefit the community.

It is not just the cost of accessing the internet that he thinks is restricting usage. There is also a cultural barrier as Mr Matere is not convinced that all people would be content to browse via the phone in the isolation of their homes.

"The internet is quite an individual pursuit. But a noticeboard is more of a group thing.

"So if I post an item on a noticeboard on potato disease, for example, the community can read it, talk together and come to a decision."

Information is powerful but it is how we use it that will define us" 
-Zack Matere, Kenyan Farmer. 
 
  • What was it that inspired Zack to make a difference?
  • Was using existing accesible tools (a notice board) important?

Full article on BBC  here

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