Domestic digital divide denotes the divisions between the haves and the have-nots of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) within a country. To bridge the domestic digital divide, the government of Malawi has been establishing telecentres since the early 2000s. It is now two decades since the first telecentre was opened. However, three important questions persist: Who uses the telecentres in Malawi? How are the telecentre used? What are the challenges in the use of telecentres? Using data from users, telecentre management and within telecentres, the study shows that there is uneven access for multipurpose telecentres in the country, as users are predominantly male, young, relatively educated and belonging to low-income levels; that users mostly used photocopying, printing and library services; and that, at one telecentre, a good number of users accessed the internet and computer services. The main challenges that users experienced included inadequate books and computers, the high cost of some services, lack of information in local languages and lack of internet-searching skills. The multipurpose community telecentres experienced poor infrastructure, lack of technical expertise, bureaucratic delays and demand that the telecentres should be free to the communities they serve. The study shows that telecentres are failing to achieve the objective of bridging the digital divide.
Kapondera, Sellina Khumbo and Chigona, Wallace, "USAGE PATTERNS AND CHALLENGES OF MULTIPURPOSE COMMUNITY TELECENTRES IN MALAWI" (2017). GlobDev 2017. 9.