In today's inter-connected world where digital information is virtual, it's either you get linked or risk being left behind. It makes perfect sense then for organisations of good standing to constantly strive to take along the masses in the fringes of development so that they too can be integrated into the mainstream world wide web.
In pursuit of this noble aim, over 30 participants gathered this week at Botswana College of Agriculture for a weeklong training course on Web 2.0 and Social Media for Devlopment. Co-sponsored by the ministry of agriculture and the Holland-based Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation EU-ACP (CTA) the training introduced the diverse array of participants sampled from government departments and the private sector to the raft of Web 2.0 applications available in the digital space and trained them on how to use them. In the first three days of training participants have already been introduced to the phenomenon called Web 2.0 and Social Media and how it has changed our traditional systems of doing things.
Some of the tools already tried include advanced online searching, Google alerts and RSS, remote collaboration via wikis (Wikieducator) and Google Drive, as well as Online content curation: tagging and social bookmarking; finding places using Google Maps and blogging. The participants are all excited at the opportunity and intend to use it at their respective worstations once they return. According to Giacomo Rambaldi, the Senior Programme Coordinator at the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation EU-ACP (CTA), in his invitation letter, the organisation's mandate includes facilitating access to and dissemination of information in the fields of agriculture and rural development in 78 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).
Course facilitator Baitshepi Babusi-Hill, who is also Chief Communications and Investor Relations Officer at the ministry of agriculture, the training equips participants with the skills and knowledge to enable them to face the challenges of a global village run by digital information. In fact, she said in today's world, sharing information is power unlike in the past when information hoarding was believed to make one powerful. "The opposite is true today, she said. In the findal days participants will be exposed to using VoIP and social networking as well as other tools such as corporate social networking (LinkedIn and Facebook).”