Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Women's farmer group create their own e-learning material in Mali

COPROKANZA Project: Zantiébogou Women Shea Butter Producers Cooperative in Mali.

On Wednesday 28th May 2008, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capacity-building expert Mr Ousseni Zongo, presented the benefit of ICT tools for Agricultural E-learning. Mr. Zongo is working with the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) in Holland.

He shared the story of work with grassroot women farmers’ organization in Mali, as an example of the projects IICD is implementing in Africa. With the help of IICD, the 1200 relatively un-educated women have strategized, developed, and implemented a project to share knowledge in their local language about their area of expertise; Shea Butter.

This “COPROKAZAN Project” is based in Zantiébogou, a small village out of Bamako, Mali. Recognizing that practical agricultural production tips can best be shared in their local dialect, these women enhanced a font system to include characters from the Bamanan language and by so doing, not only explored digital photography for the first time, but also created a basic PowerPoint slideshow to communicate the procedures and difficulties of production.

This method is particularly effective because though most of the women farmers in the region are uneducated, they can benefit greatly from peer-mentoring and conferencing using ICT to disseminate agricultural knowledge.Perhaps, local-dialect programs like these can be scaled-up to the Sub-Saharan African Regions, to all of Africa and further to the rest of the world.