Directory of Senegal's 27 Community Multimedia Centres
The UNESCO-supported Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs) play an important role in giving local people access to information.
The just-published Directory of Senegal's 27 Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs) gives a good indication of just how important they are.
The Directory provides contact details of the CMC managers and describes the characteristics and radio programme of each centre.
The radios reach out to rural villagers in local languages with key information on socioeconomic development issues such as health, education and nutrition.
The multimedia centres also give access to the Internet.
Reduce the digital divide
"The CMC is one of the major initiatives taken by UNESCO to ensure universal access to information and ICT, thus contributing to reduce the digital divide," says Director of UNESCO's Regional Office in Dakar, Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta.
The CMCs do not only aim to facilitate such activities as job search or information on product prices in the city, they also encourage the development of relevant local content. One of the goals is hence to gradually accumulate useful knowledge in the communities.
It all started in 2003
It all started in Geneva at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2003. On this occasion, UNESCO, the Heads of State of Mali, Mozambique and Senegal and Swiss Cooperation agreed on installing in each of the three countries a network of CMCs to give more people access to information and promote socio-economic and cultural development.
In Senegal, 27 CMCs were subsequently installed and another 4 CMCs will be implemented shortly.
Finding creative ideas
Recently (21-23 March 2012) the coordinators of the Senegalese CMCs met to discuss creative ideas for developing and raising more funds for the CMCs.
CMCs have also been set up and are working well in Mali and Mozambique. Other African countries have also adopted the concept, including Cameroun and Uganda.