The Deployment of an e-commerce platform and related rrojects in a rural area in South Africa
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In our paper we describe the development and deployment of an eCommerce platform in Dwesa, a rural area in the former homeland of Transkei in South Africa. The system is designed to promote tourism and advertise local arts, crafts and music, and it entails a number of related projects. Deployment of infrastructure, technical support, promotion of the initiative and teaching of computer literacy take place during monthly visits of approximately one week, and involve young researchers from two universities (one previously disadvantaged; the other historically privileged). This ensures a synergy between technical expertise and understanding of the local context. Findings so far emphasize the importance of contextualising the intervention to suit local needs and adjust to the local context. The platform is currently being extended to include e-government, e-learning and e-health capabilities. If proven successful, this model can be exported to similar areas in South Africa and in the rest of Africa. This could open up potential opportunities for the still unexplored market for ICT in rural Africa.