Often known as the ‘forgotten island’ of Africa, Madagascar is one of the most impoverished countries in the world. With around 50 per cent of the population living in poverty, most of the island’s inhabitants cannot afford access to health and education services.
Bringing education and long-term skills to help the Malagasy people escape the poverty trap the Madagascar I.T Programme was jointly implemented by TVF, local NGO – the Dodwell Trust, Microsoft and the Madagascan Government. 480 desktop PCs were supplied to 40 Resource Centres (across the island in Tana, Andasibe, Itasy, Mianinarivo, Anjozorobe, Ambositra). The Resource Centres remain open 7 days per week and during evenings to accommodate children from 120 schools and adults from 400 Adult Groups (community groups, women’s associations, traders, hotels, farm co-operatives, and conservation groups).
Teachers were trained specifically in a range of educational areas. Beneficiaries attending the centres can learn how to use computers for research, development, micro-finance, women’s revenue initiatives, trade, eco-tourism and conservation. This project is strategically aligned to a youth project being implemented by the Madagascar Youth Minister. Furthermore, the project coincided with the fibre optic infrastructure project from Mozambique, providing the next generation with new educational and employment opportunities.
According to the World Bank, similar projects in other countries have had a positive impact on poverty, inclusion and access to services including education. The five-year programme projects 242,000 direct and 717,000 indirect beneficiaries.
“We send our thanks to TVF for their important help for Madagascar’s children and population who want to benefit from use of computers. I.T technology will be a motor for education and development of Madagascar in all domains, and will permit Madagascar to enter into the global technology arena”.
Razafimanazato Julien, Madagascar Education Minister