The Telkom Centre of Excellence in Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICTD) is a research unit hosted within the the Department of Computer Science at the University of Fort Hare.
The research focus of the centre is on the use of computing technology for socio-economic development of marginalized and rural communities. The field-site of our research is a rural community of Dwesa in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.
The ICTD intervention in Dwesa, which is undertaken in collaboration with the Telkom Centre of Excellence at Rhodes University was formalized into a Living Lab and subsequently renamed "Siyakhula Living Lab".
The work "Siyakhula" means "We are growing together" and was suggested by the community members who are integral and active participants in the project (as per the quadruple helix model of the Siyakhula Living Lab)
The research areas of the centre in the current cycle (2010 - 2012) are:
- implementing a middleware that facilitates heterogeneity , in terms of individual services, communication protocols, resource sharing and reuse on the platform as well as interoperability between service components;
- improving the mobility offering through fixed-mobile integration;
- developing further user-driven, user-centric eServices that leverage both the already deployed computing infrastructure and the available mobile devices in the rural communities in order to develop further eServices.