Saturday, June 2, 2012

ICT Training in Arusha, Tanzania Mike Achanyi Fontem,ICT Officer & Consultant All our way from west and East Africa to Arusha – Tanzania, nine out of ten answered present at the Regional farm radio office for Africa in Arusha – Tanzania for the training workshop. The participants came from the selected countries; (1) Yaw Nkrumah – Ghana (2) Thomas Engida – Ethiopia (3) Mike Fontem – Cameroon (4) Philip Chinhokwe – Malawi (5) Vedaste Ufiste – Rwanda (6) Daniel Ninsiima – Uganda (7) Evan Kinyanjui – Kenya (8) Seta magabe – Tanzania (9) Daniel mtei – Tanzania Lamine Togola the Malian was absent, reason being refusal of an entry visa for Tanzania. One day one at 9:43a.m all equipments were already set up in the training room and the nine technical administrators each introduced themselves and said what position they hold in their organisation and their functions. The two trainers, Bartholomew Sullivan, who is Radio ICT specialist and Brenda Burreil equally introduced themselves after Tichafara Sigauke the lead key ICT trainer from Zimbabwe who has a complete mastery of Freedom Fone. He was trained in India.
An evaluation form was given to each participant to fill while giving the full meanings of terms such as IVR and VoIP. Still on the form the participants had to say how Freedom Fone will be of importance and how they shall deliver the service to radio stations in each country for interacting with farmers. During an interactive session with participants, Bartholomew asked two very technical questions: How many persons have ever come across freedom fone? Only three participants confirmed by raising up their hands. The next question was how many persons are familiar with Ubuntu/Linux? Six trainees confirmed. The cat was then let out of the bag as explained below: • Freedom Fone is free software that creates interactive, voice-based communication services for organisations or bodies seeking to engage with communities across mobile networks. • Freedom Fone uses voice menus to share information with any target audience, SMS polls to organise opinion surveys and callers can also leave voice and text messages on the service where call data records can be safely stored, organised and evaluated. • There are no geographical limitations to Freedom Fone. By taking advantage of both audio and text functions, Freedom Fone makes it easy to create and share information across literacy barriers in any language. Freedom Fone provides an effective, user-friendly and low-cost solution that helps empower marginalised communities and bridge the digital divide. The training schedule for the week was distributed to all trainees after the above introduction of Freedom Fone. During the first week, eleven (11) chapters of the training manual were covered from Monday – Saturday. Chapter one was very practical as it focused on login to FF home page as admin and, creating Poll, LAM, IVR and uploading contents and sub-contents for user. Day 2: Tuesday 22th May 2012 Chapter 2:- Network configuration Chapter 3:- Twinkle & SMS script Chapter 4:- Telephony 101/ MobiGater Chapter5:- Office Route. The above four chapters were covered , all devices and accessories of the MobiGater and Office Route were equal shown to the ICT consultants and how to configure MobiGater, resetting the office route 2N and they were shown the magic of technology via the assembled and well configured equipments. This phase of the training according to Mike was not easy as in the first day, because they all had to install Ubuntu on their machines individually from the DVD that was provided to them. Run command prompts and inserting the correct text string and checking eth:0, IP addresses, testing and others. Picture of the training session were arranged and forwarded to the participants.

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