Telenor Myanmar has opened the first Community Information Center (CiC) in Myanmar, the Norwegian firm said.
The centre, called Telenor Light House, is located in Lewe in Naypyitaw. The second Light House will be opened in Dala in Yangon shortly, Telenor said.
Telenor is partnering with Myanmar Information Development Organization (MIDO) to establish and run 200 CiCs in Myanmar. The partnership between Telenor and MIDO was signed in June.
“Opening the Light Houses is an important milestone for Telenor in Myanmar and a step towards fostering user adoption of mobile services and digital literacy across Myanmar. We hope everyone in the local neighbourhoods will use the centres,” said Petter Furberg, CEO of Telenor Myanmar.
U Nay Phone Latt, executive director of MIDO, said, “Each of the 200 centres will in time provide a connection to the outside world for rural communities that traditionally have not had access to connectivity or the masses of information available online.”
The Light Houses aim to boost user adoption of mobile connectivity and internet in rural areas and improve digital literacy through nationwide initiatives for schoolchildren.
The centres are run by local entrepreneurs, and will be open to anyone in the local community, from farmers to youth and local villagers.
Telenor will provide the required technical equipment and connectivity to the centres whereas MIDO is responsible for selecting the local social entrepreneurs who will run the Light Houses.
Telenor and MIDO will jointly train the entrepreneurs and collaborate on developing the centres for sustainable business.
Both Telenor and MIDO have trained the local entrepreneurs on how to operate the centres from a technical and commercial point of view. The entrepreneurs were also trained on how to ensure the Light Houses are turned into sustainable businesses and that they are catering for the needs in the local community in which they will operate.
Ko Thant Zin Tun, the 37 years old local entrepreneur who will run the Community Information Centre in Lewe, said, “I believe that the Light Houses can positively impact the development process in Myanmar. … [they] will offer valuable support to the youth and women who are trying to implement their entrepreneurial dreams.”