Construction of Lodonga ICT Centre of Excellence

Construction of Lodonga ICT Centre of Excellence, for Community Education and Training.

Background

Rural and semi-urban centre, community education and skills training is a vital component of Project Green Villages Africa Institute’s strategic planning, for sustainable, social, economic, political and cultural development, deemed essential for any meaningful and lasting social change, to take place, leading to a progressive, peaceful, democratic and just societal transformation, for the common good of a modern society.

Our aspirations and hopes

We, at Project Green Villages Africa Institute strongly believe and attach so much meaning to values and potential benefits of a good education, robust and highly competitive work and life skills, for communities to engage effectively and productively, in a sustainable development and progressive living.

We fully support and encourage rural and semi-urban centre communities, to have unhindered access to educational and skills training opportunities and services, as they are a critical means and ways, to develop the human person, to become fully enlightened, functional, active and productive member of any society, effectively contributing to the progress of the development of their own communities at local community levels.

We also believe and advocate that, this can be successfully done and achieved in a democratic, inclusive, participatory, transparent and responsible manner and within the rule of law, justice, equality and fairness.

Project planning and development

For Project Green Villages Africa Institute to fully realize this very potential, for a fundamental and meaningful social change, we have embarked on an ambitious community project, to plan construction, equipment, staffing and servicing, a brand new and most modern, Rural Community ICT Centre for Excellence in Education and Training of rural and semi-urban centre communities.

It will be the first and the best of its kind, not only in the West Nile sub-region, but the whole of Uganda.

It is expected to cost around $ 20 million US dollars. Complete with off grid, solar energy technology deployed and applied to supply a reliable and affordable, source of electricity, to power the facility, it will be build on donated land, (in Lodonga Sub-county), near Lodonga Catholic Mission Parish. The facility will also house the offices for the national Headquarters of Project Green Villages Africa Institute, in Uganda.

All required funding will be raised through the efforts of Project Green Villages Africa Institute, along with support from its social justice action and development partners and sponsors, who are willing and determined to see the construction of the facility completed successfully.

Work on the construction of the centre is expected to start at the end of the third quarter of 2016, or in the first quarter of 2017, as it is anticipated that enough funding will be raised by then, to begin work on land preparation of the site.

Negotiations on land acquisition will start as early as December of 2016. A final report on the progress of this initiative will be available at the end of this year, hoping that there are no delays anticipated.

Renewable energy, ICT and the Environment

It is asserted that clean energy projects across rural communities in different parts of sub-Saharan Africa, such as East African Community, which includes Uganda, would help more communities in rural areas, deploy sustainable energy resources and increase local electricity production capacity for off grid power services, which would enable people in those communities to achieve maximum poverty reduction and eradication, while effectively winning the war against disease, hunger and malnutrition.

In Uganda over 85% of the population of over 35 million people, do not have access to grid quality electricity or any electric power at all. This is a staggering number of people, most of who live and work in rural areas, such as rural communities of the West Nile sub-region of north western Uganda.

We believe that a definite answer to this puzzle could be deployment and application of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, to provide off-grid or micro grid electricity, to power rural communities, right out of poverty and into better conditions and standards of living, in a highly sustainable environment, while helping to reduce the impact of climate change and carbon foot print.

Most of us know and agree that, for the best of intentions, solar and wind energy can be reliable, affordable and clean source of electric power, for lighting and heating homes and businesses, providing better and safe study environment and times for school children, improving women’s and children’s health, providing and improving access to information technology, communications, education and skills training, often leading to job creation and gainful employment for rural communities.

With effective planning and due diligence, we can therefore use this environmentally clean sources of electric power, which is increasingly becoming affordable and highly sustainable, to create and develop community information centres, as part of Rural Community ICT Centres for Excellence for Education and Training.

Finding the right and most appropriate ways and means to deliver such rural community services, efficiently and effectively to alleviate human suffering and strengthen the resolve and resilience of the disadvantaged and often marginalized communities of vulnerable people, living in rural and semi-urban centres, in most of sub-Saharan Africa, including the West Nile sub-region of north western Uganda, should be given new priorities, for urgent action, given the nature and extent of challenges facing the rural poor.

Nobody should be subjected to such high levels of poverty and under development given how resilient and resourceful they can be, when they have direct access to vital resources, under visionary, prudent and effective leadership and direction.

Consistently delivering such vital services would undoubtedly bring more opportunities, with countless benefits to rural communities, especially rural peasant farmers and small holders, over 80% of whom are engaged in subsistence agriculture, with aquaculture, agri-business and agro forestry gaining momentum and acceptance, as viable means of livelihoods, for rural communities.

Adequate social investments in renewable energy sources would ultimately provide enough power for sustainable irrigation technologies, to improve soil conditions, in addition to other relevant agricultural inputs, such as improved seeds, organic fertilizers, manure and better and sustainable agricultural practices.

It would also increase land under effective cultivation, while giving or allowing local farmers and their households, direct access to information technologies, through which they could obtain new knowledge of sustainable agricultural practices, improved crop production and management techniques, improved and high quality seeds, instant pricing of crops, other farm produce and better access to affordable transportation and ready markets, where they can sell their crops, at fair prices, by being able to cut transportation costs and the middlemen.
This approach would allow small farmers to have a better profit margin on selling their produce at the right prices and at affordable, minimum costs.

In addition, local communities would have ample access to IT education and skills training, for both children of learning age and grown up or mature adults. They would be educated and trained in the use of computers, well equipped with internet capability and access. Such rural community education and training centres would be properly stocked with relevant books, magazines, newspapers and other educational materials, equipment and supplies, for public use.

Such centres of excellence would facilitate linkage of different rural and semi-urban centre communities with one another, first and foremost within the sub-region, then with the rest of the country and finally, with the whole wide world, of an ever changing and rapidly shrinking global village community.

This is an exciting and fascinating possibility, which could change lives of thousands of people living and working in rural communities, as a matter of fact.

Opportunities and possibilities

The opportunities are countless for further and continuous life long education, learning and skills training and improvement and development, for entrepreneurial achievement and success, environmental conservation, protection and sustainable management, for building and establishing sports culture and community sports facilities and services, for healthy lifestyles and well being of people, for political advocacy for human rights, civil rights and individual civil liberties, civic education on basics of the rule of law and law and order for self governance, establishment and growth of democratic institutions at local community levels, for inclusive, participatory democracy and justice, for local community capacity building, through encouragement of innovation, research and development, to enhance technology transfer and adaptation and application of new technologies, for knowledge based, green economies, to train and equip youth with new skills, for light manufacturing and processing in small cottage industries, to be established in rural farming communities, for job creation and employment of women and youth, just for a few to mention.

Future prospects and expectations for rural transformation

The future of sub-Saharan African rural communities, including that of the rural populations of the West Nile sub-region, depends a lot on adequate investments in education and training for a steady pool of highly skilled human resource base, business development of small scale, rural cottage industries for light manufacturing and processing, based on available raw materials, such as agricultural produce and local natural resources, better road network construction and efficient maintenance, affordable transportation and communications systems, ready markets and distribution networks and or supply chains, affordable and sustainable local and sub-regional healthcare facilities and services, lower taxation on profits, for foreign and local investors, willing to tough it out in rural communities, production, distribution and management of reliable, renewable energy electric power, a user friendly local taxation system to help grow revenue base, for public services delivery in the sub-region, in clean and safe water development, for affordable and sustainable sanitation systems, for all, for law enforcement and keeping of the peace, for environmental conservation, protection and sustainable management, including tree nursery production and massive tree planting, forest management, wildlife protection and conservancy, last but not least, attraction of investor interest and new investments in local and sub-regional tourism industry development, in hopes of improving chances of creating more jobs and providing quality employment, to keep more youth living and working in rural communities.

We, at Project Green Villages Africa Institute, strongly believe that all these are highly possible to achieve, with a predictable degree of success and can all be done, so long as there is the political good will, on the part of all government levels in Uganda, potential private investors, (foreign and local), international development community partnerships, willing social investment sponsors, local community initiatives, including the work of existing non governmental organizations, (both local and international), and a combination of the right products and services, for the right reasons, at the right time and in the right places.

Our common belief and shared view is that, the future of rural communities is brighter than ever before, with adequate investments targeted in the development of people, to become more enlightened, through appropriate forms of education and skills training, for informed, efficient and effective participation in social change, as equal partners.

Rural community small scale farmers need more training in running their small farm operations as businesses, in order to thrive and make progress in their livelihoods.

This can be achieved with financial support, through programs such as micro financing, in form of soft interest loans and grants, education and skills training, to build farmers capacity, improve farming practices, obtain improved, high quality seeds and better technologies, better management skills, better business skills, better accounting, bookkeeping and savings culture, better access to ready markets, better prices for their farm produce, better access roads and better and affordable transportation, communications and distribution and supply channels and networks, besides other essential services as already mentioned above.

Project Green Villages Africa Institute intends to fully participate in this process, as an equal partner of rural communities, throughout the West Nile sub-region of north western Uganda, effectively beginning in December, 2016.

We encourage you to support this initiative, in any way you willingly can and want to contribute, to the success of this project, on behalf of the rural communities of the West Nile sub-region of north western Uganda, in our efforts to improve lives of people living and working in rural areas, without ever wanting to unwillingly migrate to urban centres.

While we are working on developing and establishing a web presence and other communications and marketing gear, including social media tools, you can reach us through the following e-mail addresses, current business address, telephone number and our new web site in transit/progress.