Investigating a Telecenter’contribution to Community Economic Development: An Experience of Buayan, Sabah Malaysia

Gusni Saat, Gary Loh Chee Wyai

Abstract


eBuayan is one of the community telecentre established by ISITI-CoERI, is started to serve the community in 2009 with two main objectives to be reached, (i) to bridge digital divide between rural and urban inhabitants; and (ii) to promote economic development of the communities. The first objective is the prerequisite to achieve the second objective. A pertinent question is to what extent the telecentre was served as a catalyst for socio-economic development of concerning community? Investigating such question means the paper uncovered issues that constrained the the role of the telecentre as instruments to upgrade economic development of the community. The aim of this paper is to investigate and discuss the eBuayan achievement based on it objectives. Based on a constructed conceptual framework of “informative and marketing community” issues underscored the effectiveness of the telecentre in struggling it objectives are discussed. This paper argued that the dialectic relationship between community informative domain and community marketing domain in order to achieve eBuayan objectives were remain less successful. Local products that can be promoted through the telecentre by using the internet were yet to be developed by the community. It was due to the following factors: (i) the community members were ignorance about how to market their local products via the telecentre; and (ii) a potential local products that can be marketing via the internet is remained not been developed; (iii) the informations circulation on internet marketing within the community nationally and globally were remain too small. The first and second issues were resulted by less participation among the community’s member to the telecentre project. With regards to the third issue, it was due to the users were limited to a small numbers of youths with no regular usage. Inability the community to utilise the telecenter as the marketing means because it is a new innovation for them. In order to be able to cope with the telecenter as economic development centre the community should participate actively in terms of training, local product innovation and also get fully supports from external stakeholders.


Keywords


development; indigenous community; telecentre

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