MOBILE MESSAGING FOR SERVICE INTEGRATION IN MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES IN LESOTHO

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IST-Africa Conference and Exhibition (IST-Africa), 2013

Chabalala S. Chana lala. Nat. Univ. of Lesotho,
Lerato Lerata, Nat. Univ. of Lesotho, Lesotho
Sekese Molete, Nat. Univ. of Lesotho, Lesotho

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Abstract:

In recent years, mobile messaging has been one of the world’s fastest growing communication tools, facilitating an affordable platform for improving communication within the communities in which we live and work. Adaption of information and communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure has the potential to enable socio-economic development, more especially in marginalized rural areas (MRAs) where resources are scarce and infrastructure is highly limited.

This paper presents part of the work conducted at the National University of Lesotho to establish and setup a prototype towards improving ICT infrastructure access for rural communities in Lesotho. This work involves implementation and integration of a mobile messaging gateway for services development, aiming to break communication barriers in MRAs due to lack of resources.

Although short message service (SMS) has mainly been used for person-to-person messaging, services from applications to person have become extremely popular in recent years. The integration of Internet services and mobile technologies brings network services and web applications to a new level of mobility down to the user level.

Through adoption of living-labs (LLs) methodology in ICT for development (ICT4D) projects, recent works illustrate that applications targeted at the helm of service provisioning for cross-platform mobile devices have the potential to benefit the MRAs.

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