ICT4Ag: Making it happen

Issue no. 75
December 2013



In this issue

The ICT4Ag conference held in Rwanda in November 2013 was unique in that it brought together a highly representative body of delegates from the ICT and agricultural sectors. Its success will be measured by the action taken by delegates after the conference based on a clear list of action points for the community.

ICT4Ag: Session articles

CTA sent a knowledge management team to the conference to report on the sessions. Here are three articles on gender, broadband and finance based on the team's summaries.

– Capitalising on demand
The session on ‘ICTs/mobile apps for access to financial services and insurance’ identified a number of lessons that will help improve the development of mobile financial services in ACP countries in the future.

– Changing perceptions
The session on ‘Capacity development, gender and ICTs in agriculture’ showed how communities benefit from giving women equal access to ICTs and stressed that all stakeholders, including men and the larger family unit, have to be involved in initiatives to improve women’s access to ICTs.

– Taking risk out of local hands
The session on ‘Broadband’ examined innovative ways of reducing the costs of connectivity and improving access to internet and other ICT services in remote rural areas. Examples include the universal service funds in countries such as Pakistan and Nigeria.

More family than team

Nawsheen Hosenally kicks off a new regular feature called Young voices by describing the experiences of the young on-site and online teams responsible for social reporting at the 2013 ICT4ag conference in Rwanda.

ICT4Ag: Plug & Play day

The conference kicked off with a Plug & Play day. A selection from that day’s demonstrations and other submissions. mFisheries, GeoLive, CropLife, DARAL, and many more...

ICT4Ag: Selected submissions

The conference organisers received an overwhelming number of submissions from professionals in the field of ICT4Ag. A selection from over four hundred submissions.




‘One aim was to have a farmer and farmer organisation representation of 10% at the conference (a figure that was nearly achieved) and a much higher representation of women than is normally the case at ICT or agriculture conferences (25% of participants were women). The youth, ‘an incredibly valuable asset,’ in the words of Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Rwandan Minister of Youth and ICT, would be abundantly present (43% of the participants were between 18–35 years old) and also leave its energetic and positive mark on the conference. And it did not end there: people from many other groups were represented as well.’

Benjamin Kwasi Addom
and Giacomo Rambaldi



A living database for ICT4Ag
Ben Addom, coordinator of the ‘Emerging innovations’ stream, talks about the effort to create a ‘living database’ of ICT4Ag solutions.

Supporting change processes
Saskia Harmsen discusses a number of topics that were covered in her sessions of capacity strengthening, including the importance of grassroots engagement and farmer organisations.

Pooling strengths and resources
Dady Demby discusses various aspect of ‘enabling environment’, including how to create a balance between public and private financing to build ICT infrastructures.