Factors influencing the use of information technology in telecentres in the rural setting of Kiambu county, Kenya
Most telecentres in Kenya and specifically in Kiambu County have not adopted ICT. This is despite the government investment in ICT recognition that telecommunication, information services, and IT sectors are important for economic growth.The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors influencing the use of information technology in telecentres in rural setting of Kiambu County, Kenya. The study sought to establish whether qualification of staff, existing ICT infrastructures, location of the telecentres and product mix offered by the telecentresinfluence the use of information technology in telecentres in Kiambu County. The study employed descriptive research design. The target population of the study was 20leaders and staff in the telecentresin Kiambu County and 10,000 community members who are the users of the telecentres. The study adoptedFischer formula to calculate the sample size whereby a sample size 384 community members and 20 telecentre leaders formed the sample size. The study adopted purposive or judgmental sampling to select the respondents. Primary data was collected through the use of both the questionnaire and the interview guide.The researcher personally administered the questionnaires through the use of data collection assistants.The data was analyzed through both descriptive and inferential statistics. The descriptive statistics included frequency distribution tables and measures of central tendency (the mean), measures of variability (standard deviation) and measures of relative frequencies while inferential statistics involved the use of linear regression model to test the form of relationship between the variables. The analysis was aided by the SPSS software. The analyzed data was presented in tables and charts. The study found out that there was a significant relationship between the use of ICT in telecentres and qualification of the staff, infrastructure, location of the telecentres and product mix. The study concludes that staff qualifications and especially computer skills affect use of ICT in the telecentre.Location of the telecentre affects its access to convenient connection with electricity and internet. Inadequate facilitiessuch as computers, power, photocopiers, scanners, laminators and printers, lack of enough chairs and space, as well as unreliable internet affected the use of ICT in the telecentres to a great extent. The variety ofproductand services offered in the telecentres varied and they also influenced greatly on the use of ICT. The study recommends that there is need to employ qualified and competent staffs with adequate qualifications and experience so as have a significant contribution in the adoption and use of ICT in the telecentres.Itis essential for the government and the local authorities to provide critical facilities and infrastructure in the telecentres that fits local needs and so as to ensure that the community accesses appropriate service in the telecentres and also offer supportive learning environment.
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