Monday, April 22, 2024

Young entrepreneurs receive Kitsong cabins from Mascom

As a gesture to show commitment and dedication to help in uplifting the communication infrastructure in more villages, once again Mascom has handed over 10 new Kitsong centers to young entrepreneurs to operate as their own businesses, making a total of 61 kitsong centers.

Mascom partnered with Botswana Government through the Nteletsa II Rural Telecommunications Development Project, and extended coverage to a total of 41 villages and also set up Kitsong Centers in each of the 41 villages.

After the success of this project, Mascom continued to build on to this investment by establishing 10 Kitsong Centers in 2011. To date Mascom has invested over 12 million Pula in Information Communication Technology (ICT) projects aimed at encouraging the youth of Botswana to be involved in entrepreneurship.

“This is the commitment that Mascom is pledging to continue working with the nation of Botswana towards Vision 2016 by aligning their activities with the pillar of being a prosperous, productive and innovative nation,” said Nonofo Molefhi, the Minister of Transport and Communications. Molefi said the objective of this initiative is to bridge the digital divide by taking ICT services closer to Communities in rural areas.

Mascom awarded 13 new villages (Hatsalatladi, Pitsane, Phitshane Molopo, Bokaa, Digawana, Kokotsha, Shakawe, Mogobane, Mokwate, Chadibe, Matlhako, Lentsweletau, Pilikwe) with Kitsong Centres in an effort to bridge the rural digital divide. The young entrepreneurs were challenged to take the training opportunity as well as the experience acquired to look positively into the future. He added that they should not give up in their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs

Mascom contributes to the use of ICT in rural communities by making donations of ICT equipment to Primary Schools and Kgotlas. He hailed Mascom efforts, saying it is indeed a commendable gesture that Mascom deserves to be applauded for.

He urged other private companies to support this initiative and partner with Mascom to channel their services through these Centres.

“These partnerships are vital for fostering an enabling environment for the communities to fully realise the socio economic benefits of the ICT infrastructure and services,” he said

Mascom selected 10 villages from a total of 21 villages considered for the opportunity. The Mascom Kitsong centre package typically comprises of a branded Porta – cabin equipped with computer terminals, printers, copiers and Data cards. Mascom provide start-up computer consumables and stationary.

The fully equipped centre is then handed to a carefully selected youth to operate for their own profit. It is a prerequisite that these youth are unemployed and reside in the selected villages. The standard Mascom Kitsong Centre services include airtime and simcard sales, email and internet services, photocopying, printing, typesetting, fax services, and computer training. In addition to these services, some innovative Mascom Kitsong Centre operators have developed other revenue streams including, photography, stationery sales, graphics and video productions, as well as computer games.

Further to this Mascom provides operational support to the centres for both ICT equipment maintenance and Sales support. They have also trained and setup up 10 other Mascom Kitsong Centre Operators as MyZaka Agents who will now be able to register clients who wish to use the Mascom mobile service.

Mac Donald Tlhowe, an entrepreneur from Digawana, said his winning of the award is a great pleasure in his lifetime.

“I am proud and happy to have won such an award amongst others, this means a lot to me,” he said with a glowing smile.

Business minded Tlhowe attributed his success to the skills and knowledge he attained and his desire and commitment to venture into a business enhanced his capabilities.

Baakile Motswagole from Bokaa said she wants to be an inspiration to his peers and living proof that if one has a dream and tries extra hard he or she can attain his or her ambitions.


Read this week's paper