THE BENINOIS NETWORK OF
Songhai is a project of a new African society
whose mission is to create a better society that can take its
place in world affairs. This is only possible if the actors in
this movement experience an improvement in the quality of their
social, economic, and intellectual lives. The new technologies
of information and communication constitute a vital element in
The need to improve production, organization, and productivity
led Songhai to participate in the creation of community "telecenters"
in the larger cities where Songhai sites exist: Porto-Novo (south
east), Savalou (center) and Parakou (north).
The activities of the telecenters are integrated into the overall
activities of Songhai.
The Songhai community telecenters have the following objectives:
- To increase the level of knowledge in each community by giving
the citizens the means of procuring and exchanging information
relevant to their socio-economic and professional activities.
- To create within the Songhai community a culture of sharing
information and experiences both internal and external.
- To train the target groups (grassroots communities, pupils,
entrepreneurs, health workers, businessmen, students, etc.) to
appropriate and utilize the new technologies of information and
- To facilitate the acquisition and exchange of experiences among
farmers and other members of the rural community.
- To share technical results and experience gained by Songhai
with other development actors on the continent through the new
technologies in information and communication
On the whole, the Songhai telecenters are venues for transmitting
and exchanging information and for rendering office services thanks
to multimedia communication tools that are easily accessible to
Thanks tThanks to the partnership with IDRC, Songhai has been able
to implement a network titled "Network of Information and Communication
for Sustainable Agriculture in West Africa". Its first mission
is to develop and test the contents of distance learning; its second
is to identify and adopt technologies appropriate for networking
with different key actors (students, entrepreneurs, teachers, etc.)
within the framework of the promotion of sustainable agriculture
in West Africa.
This project facilitated the satellite connection of the Porto-Novo
telecenter, which has lead to the following benefits:
- Development of distance learning.
- Forums and discussion groups.
- Development of multimedia courses on CD-ROM as well as on the
- Provision of services accessible via the web.
- Experimentation of an electronic supply and demand market of
local products (agricultural commodity market).
- Video conferencing.