Dream Big Technologies, a local startup that some of you might remember as a runner up at the ZOL Startup Challenge is not stopping at that one great startup idea.
It’s already getting its hands involved in another project. This time its a countrywide initiative which involves collaboration with local post office entity Zimpost.
By using the postal network’s tech infrastructure, Dream Big hopes to turn every post office in Zimbabwe into a National Information Dissemination Centre (NIDC). Zimpost’s postal network has over 200 outlets throughout ZImbabwe and these are accessible to virtually every community in the country.
NIDCs are centres that take advantage of the internet service available at a post office to provide teleconferencing, video based information dissemination as well as the primary delivery of information through news and informative programs.
This builds on the existing and planned Information Communication Centres (ICCs) which have been rolled out through a mandate from the Ministry of ICT Postal and Courier Services.
This rollout has seen the Ministry collaborating with Zimpost in a pilot that has established three ICCs so far. 52 centres are meant to be established in each district in the country in the next 5 years.
While these ICCs offer printing, email, photocopying, computer training and internet services, they still haven’t plugged into their existing network infrastructure in the way that Dream Big intends to facilitate.
Dream Big is integrating hardware in the form of iBoardTouch LED screens with the available internet connection, and structuring the content delivery with groups or entities that are keen on reaching out to any of the communities that will be at the centres to get this information.
The NIDC project is largely a community focused facility that is envisaged to have a huge impact particularly in rural communities. This will be helped by its ability to allow engagement between the audience receiving the content and the person facilitating.
According to Dream Big founder Ignatius Munengwa, the NIDCs will deliver varied content which will cover many areas. This can be knowledge and information on matters pertaining to public health (think of Ebola and HIV/AIDS), education or tutorials on important skills in areas like Agriculture and Mining.