February 2007

Telecentres – The Egyptian experience

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Technology Access Community Centres project was launched in the Governorate of Sharkeya marking the first telecentre in Egypt. TACC users have become more active in community involvement and have improved their quality of life

Introduction

In March 1998 the “Technology Access Community Centres (TACC)” project was launched in the Governorate of Sharkeya marking the first telecentre in Egypt. The telecentre was established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Egyptian Cabinet Information Decision Support, the Governorate of Sharkeya, the Investors Association and the Sharkeya Chamber of Commerce.  The objectives of the TACC was focused on providing the community with access to information technology and the skills needed for effective use of this technology to encourage sustainable development. 

The Governorate of Sharkeya was selected due to its high unemployment rate and illiteracy rate, highlighting the need for a job creation and educational development catalyst.  The project established three TACCs in Zagazig, 10th of Ramadan City and the Egyptian Chamber of Commerce building. The health, education, and communication sectors of Sharkeya represent areas were seen to be in need of the potential benefits of the introduction of the TACC project.

The TACC produced numerous achievements through providing the local community with access to information technology. This was achieved through combining the establishment of an ICT infrastructure and the necessary human resources, offering affordable services, and encouraging IT participation through community outreach. It was successful in providing the local community in Sharkeya, from a variety of population segments, with the skills needed to use information technology by offering training courses, actively assisting users, designing web pages and providing information in the local Arabic language.  These achievements were supported by the human resources, infrastructure and outreach abilities that existed at the TACC centres. 

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