VOF Week 2: (I Speak for Kenya)
I first came across blogging three years ago, and I quickly created a blog. I run the blog on and off for a period of one year, before I neglected it. The cost was high for me, I was a university student and access to the Internet was something I had and I still have to budget. At the beginning of this year, I decided to start another blog. Coming up with relevant stories is a challenge. I am impressed that there has been tremendous improvement in the “blogging industry,” though security still posses a problem
In Kenya blogging is a concept that is enjoyed by a few mostly the elite. The basic tools needed for blogging are:
- A Computer
- Internet connection
Unfortunately these are not easily accessible. Internet connection comes with a price. It is cheaper to type the text offline then paste it, but that will mean that one has to own a computer or borrow. In cyber cafes even if one is not using the Internet, one still has to pay to use the computer.
Then there is the issue of readership. This is mainly caused by ignorance. The majority back in my country still do not know about blogging, this is not to say that there are no bloggers, there is a good number of bloggers in Kenya who are movers and shakers both nationally and internationally. However, the local audience is limited but growing. Those in the rural communities do not have access to the internet, if at all they know about blogs, and those in the urban areas may not afford to pay for reading blogs in the cyber
On the other hand I must say that the government has made tremendous effort to improve Internet accessibility. From the introduction of fibre optics cables that will make Internet access cheaper, to the rural electrification projects (making electricity available in the rural area thus attracting investors and development), and the introduction of computer classes in public schools, I can say that things will be changing soon. A generation of more informed persons is emerging.
What is needed is for you and me to continue working hard to empower the woman and the girl child. There are very few women bloggers, in my country, again the world of computers, software and its uses has been annoyingly accepted as the “man’s world”. Tell the women there is a medium they can use to tell their story to the rest of the world. They own that space. www.blogger.com Visit and create your space. Just by posting to your journal in World Pulse one is a blogger.
Once the space is created it becomes your responsibility. More needs to be done in this area. This is a journey clearly cut out for us because the level of illiteracy is still high especially among the women, and the quality of education provided especially for those in the rural areas is still low.