2013 VOF Week 1: Youth Access to Internet and Communications
In a world that has totally become evolved with Information, Communication Technology (ICT), most countries continue to be left behind.
What would we call access to internet? The access may be there, but at what cost? When we look at the average youth in Zambia today and I will not just limit it to the urban youth but also include the rural youth. How many of them have the access to a simple computer and get the skills to use them? Yes, you may argue that technology has come much closer to everyone by the use of mobile phones that come in all makes and prices. Whilst I am appreciative of the fact that mobile technology has saved a lot of people including myself on a number of occasions.
So youths can easily make use of it as long as they have a mobile device with WAP and so long as they know how to go about using their mobile phone than just for facebook and whatsapp. The hidden challenge is the fact that most of these youths do not know how to make use of the functionalities of the devices.
The limitations are not on the devices but in the users. Well the options are there not at the level we would want but look at it from this perspective internet bandwidth is a scarce resource and the level of use determines the service in turn.
I probably think the service provider is charging too much but if the internet I use is for downloads and business support, my concern won't be cost it will be entirely about reliability and availability to my business because it indirectly or directly generates revenue or income for me. So if the internet fails or network is unavailable I will then claim am not getting value for my money.
In a nutshell, for youth to communicate effectively they need access and availability to internet and other communication channels.