Nothing is better than attempting to transform people by boosting their knowledge and improve their living conditions. In Africa and especially in Togo, Elderly people, Artist Painters and Fishermen even though they would like to contribute to their country’s development by their everyday hard-work, are not emerging. Government is not helping and their activities lack efficiency, proper management and appropriate internal communication and with the external world. This is the reason why the ICT in particular People.net, the knowledge charity infrastructure’s potential are proposed as a solution. Communities and various economic sectors could then reinforce their capacity by acquiring the proper knowledge they lack. However, a systemic approach should be considered by the introduction of an efficient and all stakeholders or users accepted ergonomic approach in order to boost the usability of the proposed People.net platform.
Ghana as the whole Africa is recording an economic growth of 5 to 6% each year. Nonetheless, the one of the most prosperous economy of West Africa, Ghana is facing huge issues of unemployment of both the university graduated and the large masses of the non-tertiary-educated who are struggling to be competitive Assare B ( 2017 ). Moreover, “African countries are bearing the brunt of what the United Nation (UN) has deemed to the worst humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War. A lethal combination of drought and conflict has pure at least 20 million at risk of starvation in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UN says” (The Africa Report, 2017 ). Also “a survey of 15 African countries found that in 11 of these countries the proportion of older people living in poverty was higher than the national average. This is particularly the case when older people live in families with young children. In Uganda, 64 per cent of older people live in poverty compared to 38 per cent of the population as a whole. This poverty prevents older people from participating in society, and from accessing services for themselves and their families.” ( HelpAge, 2008 ). The stigmas of poverty in Africa are enormous and are not easy to numerate. It is a complex situation combining both lack of basic needs and infrastructures and lack of ambition and emotional aspiration and also an increasing lack of political will.
“As noted in the previous section, donor agencies increasingly support NGOs in providing services to the poor in Third World countries where markets are inaccessible and where governments lack capacity or resources to reach the poor. In most Third World countries including those in Africa, both states and markets are weak or in decline. In Africa, the persistence of the dual crises of weak states and nascent or declining markets
pose a classic dilemma for proponents of either market- or state-led economic development. The failure of both markets and governments in Africa to deliver economic development has contributed to the rapid growth and expansion of NGOs on the continent” Makoba J ( 2002 )
Indeed, several NGOs are implementing varying social projects within the continent. Some are westerns others are Africans. They most of the time share money to the participants of their programs in order to help them alleviate sometime their typical poverty situation.
Moreover if the role of non-profit organization is emphasizing on philanthropic and social works, it is also important to underline the strong need of funding which must be secured in order to start different development projects.
However we are reaching a new era in the development of the social work characterized by a critical lack of funding for NGOs as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. Funders are not giving like before, said Makoba J ( 2002 ) . Hence, Information and Communication Technology are nowadays fundamental tools used to address several issues in social or economic lives as revealed several ICT analysts. It is used to develop huge social Information systems through which people interact with the machines in order to insert, treat data and produce the information and move it all over the world. Even though it is not the definite solution for development it is contributing to people development when it is wisely and efficiently implemented; Peron B ( 2010 ) et al. The document will apply the Peoplenet solution to the different situations above stated. Case studies in the area of Elderly People’s life, visual artists’ environments and the traditional fishermen will present each their lives and activities and demonstrate how the Information and Communication Technology will not only improve their everyday activities but also enhance their quality of life through the use of the knowledge sharing platform named People.net.
Poverty and its causes in Africa
The majority of the people in the world and so in Africa in particular is poor and this state should not be imputed to only the poor themselves who are not taking the right decision but also to the irresponsibility of their government who are guilty of not putting down the right plan for their development including building and making available the basic infrastructures needed for social and economic development. “The figure is an increase of over two million people from that of 2011. Ndungane said government should be ashamed of these figures. He accused cabinet ministers of being interested in enriching themselves at the expense of the poor.” eNCA ( 2017 ) Governments are also confused and forced to be in this situation by the world super powers, wealthiest countries, the so called “international community” and multinationals, the transnationals and big businesses who increasingly introduce international business policies that deepen the state of the poverty of their people. “Behind the increasing interconnectedness promised by globalization are global decisions, policies, and practices. These are typically influenced, driven, or formulated by the rich and powerful. These can be leaders of rich countries or other global actors such as multinational corporations, institutions, and influential people.
In the face of such enormous external influence, the governments of poor nations and their people are often powerless. As a result, in the global context, a few get wealthy whiles the majority struggle.” Shah A ( 2014 ) Indeed the poor become poorer and the rich become richer and only few of the people rise up to become wealthier.
The era of African economic prosperity and social development
“Africa has experienced high and continuous economic growth in the past decade, prompting analysts to argue that the continent has reached a turning point in its development history and is poised to play a more significant role in the global economy in the twenty-first century.” Unctad ( 2015 )
And furthermore it is said that “In terms of its economy, Jegede (2002:1) points out that about 90 per cent of Nigeria's annual revenue comes from petroleum – it exports two million barrels of oil a day – and that it ranks as the country with the seventh largest oil reserves in the world.” Olabode S et al ( 2005 ). This country is now known as the first economy of Africa ahead of South Africa that is already recognized worldwide as emerging country.
All things confirming that the continent which was formerly considered as the poorest area of the whole world is now changing to become the economic Eldorado of investors. In reality Africa is attracting more and more investment “Over the last decade, Africa has emerged as a prime investment destination for global businesses seeking M&A opportunities. The value of African inward investment has tripled in the last ten years reaching more than $182bn while deal volumes have doubled now standing at a total of 2,417.” ( Freshfield, 2015 )
If we consider that economic prosperity is an important condition that must trigger social development throughout the continent, several African nations have made genuine progress by increasingly funding and effectively execute social programs:
Kenya introduced a system of free primary school for every child, which has helped to bring back over 1 million children into school.
Mozambique has significantly reduced poverty rates by about 25% and has improved the number of school going children.
Uganda has also reduced HIV infection rates from 20% to 6% in a span of 10 years. This has reduced the cases of child orphans because of HIV/AIDS.
In Tanzania, over 10,000 schools were built and many more teachers recruited so as to enable the country achieve its MDGs. There is hope for Africa after all” Daniel H ( 2013 )
However, NGOs need to be more and more proactive by Introducing and reinforcing the use of ICT in order to definitely achieve their goals which are helping to alleviate poverty situations. Participants of their social programs and other people will by this way acquire knowledge for the transformation and wellbeing.
Information Technology and the Poverty reduction concept
The Information and Communication Technology applications or its infrastructures developed are not just made for no purpose or just for economic development. It also has its role to play in the social development context. Koffi Anan pointed out the enormous potential of information Technology at the first meeting of the United Nations Mansell R et ( 1998 )
In order to keep the young people from gangs and give them adequate jobs SOS Children Village Djibouti for example developed an ICT4D project by establishing e-learning maritime courses that will provide those youngers the necessary maritime jobs skills which is critically in need across the country ((SOS Children Villages, 2015).
And also “At the Hermann Gmeiner School in Arusha, Tanzania, teachers, students and co-workers are learning how to make computing work for them. It's SOS Children’s Villages Tanzania’s latest project in Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D).”
Not only ICT must be used to address social issue, it also helps in the running aspect of several other non-technology-based social projects and also in the development of NGOs self-business organization. ICT is nowadays at the heart of the NGOs whole system function. However, most of African NGOs overrode the integration of this development tool. This is due to a critical digital divide that is preying on the African NGOs effective projects development. This situation is causing several problems that are deepening the living condition of disadvantaged communities and this is becoming difficult for NGOs to achieve their various development and poverty reducing jobs. Olabode S et al ( 2005 ) noted several issues including:
lack of information for decision-making about the deprived communities for their own development
Issues of location of appropriate information to be delivered to those disadvantaged communities
No mechanisms for generation and sharing information with others nationally and out of the country
Decision making, conflict resolution and self-governance are difficult due to a critical absence of reliable information
There is a strong need for capturing information from communities for effective and efficient management process
It is therefore important to point out that the best way to help those communities in their search of life improvement is to use information Technology to let them acquire the necessary knowledge and information they will be looking for. The knowledge Infrastructure like People.net will then be very helpful. “People.Net is a community information service designed for building information distribution between people who want to help others and people who need that information. The core of the developmental work of People.Net consists of understanding the ecology of poverty, delineating and developing the services, creating feasible interaction paradigms, and finally managing its adoption and the risks involved in this.” Saariluoma P ( 2009 )
|The approach of data collection for these researches is a focus group, as the people and the environment considered are a marginalized one; The researches are very new in their kind. Thus it is difficult to apply observation as a research tool as it was inspired by RWJF ( 2008 ). “Focus groups are group interviews that give the researcher the ability to capture deeper information more economically than individual interviews.” RWJF ( 2008 ). “The focus group method is a qualitative research technique or a group interview method, which brings together a cross-section of stakeholders in an informal discussion group format” revealed Roussi R ( 2011 ).|
The research is intending to bring up well-being within different communities met by the researchers, and the solution proposed is the ICT infrastructure named People.net dedicated to produce knowledge to be used by the above communities to tackle their life and activities improvement issues and their own involvement become compulsory. This participation will stress their strong commitment for the production of the design of the future ICT infrastructure that should provide that specific information to either the elderly people, the visual artists and the fishermen of Katanga…, therefore in Africa.
Life-based Design (LBD) should be the design tool that will be helpful in achieving the above goal. This research is exploring the formal life of the participants and stakeholders of the communities as it is stated in the LBD processes by forming a focus group for this purpose. LBD is a human centered technical creative design encompassing: the formal life analysis, the concept design and design requirement, the fit for life design and the innovation design. Leikas et al ( 2002 ) “When looking from the point of view of LBD and micro innovation, a focus group can also be used as a bottom-up user-driven instrument for innovation; creating new ideas, creative concepts and for examining a specific subject or theme, such as different forms of life. In the area of social media, for example, a focus group can be organized to study how people talk about this specific phenomenon, and what kind of language a certain group uses. In addition to exposing the discursive elements of a particular phenomenon, the focus group method can also be used to collect data about the group’s knowledge, habits, motives, attitudes, experiences, and expectations. This is particularly what we are interested in within the LBD process – looking at real life examples, in addition to possible user suggested design solutions.” As an illustration of the use of LBD in the social and development environment, especially in the emerging and developing countries, Datye S ( 2012 ) developed an interesting solution for decision support for committing resource and acceptance within the voluntary sector. It is a guide for engineers in the technical solution development for the voluntary sector in Asia but also in Europe. This work was inspired by the LBD tool.
Our researches have used a focus group of ten ( 10 ) coming from different aspect of their dedicated activities for each Case Studies including: Elderly People interconnection deficiency in Togo, The impoverished Artists, Painters in Togo and The Togo traditional fisheries activities: The Fishermen of KATANGA.
|Eight ( 6 ) focus group sessions of two ( 2 ) hours each were held in order to collect data under both my supervision and of Steeven Adotevi one of my Students. Audio tape and videos were used to collect all the primary data of this research. Secondary data have also been collected mainly from websites, e-books and e-journals. The formal lives we cover in this research is emphasizing the understanding of the question by exploring the biological, socio-cultural and psychological factors that are supporting the rules and regularities of actions Leikas et al ( 2002 )|
The rule following actions, various factors and values and also the possible technology following action were determined during the investigation throughout the three ( 3 ) formal lives below including: the Elderly People in Togo, Artist Painters and the Fishermen of Katanga. Various discussions engaged within the focus groups, have helped to find the goals for the solution design.
Furthermore the analysis was focused on several of them for each case study including:
Elderly People interconnection deficiency in Togo
The impoverished Artists, Painters in Togo
The Fishermen of Katanga/Togo
Case Study 1: Elderly People’s interconnection deficiency in Togo
The purpose of this project is to investigate the socialization and the interconnection of the elderly people in Togo in order to get information for their life improvement and well-being as they are ageing. Therefore, we have developed this project to impact on the behavioral statement of the elderly people in Africa by focusing on Togo; which is one of the African poorest country with a poverty line of US$1.25 a day Chigozie E ( 2016 ) based on investigations of socialization and interconnection of the elderly people in Lomé, capital town of Togo. Indeed, some decades ago, the elderly people were abandoned in our societies, often isolated in a house where there is no financial assistance, sanitary and so on, as it always happens in Africa. “Yet older people are often excluded from development programs and discriminated against by health care” said Stanley E ( 2008 ). Moreover the elderly people find no more opportunities of sharing between themselves or with other generations. This document is presenting the elderly people in Togo in relation with their psychological, biological and psycho-sociological context in order to present the critical social issues of this category of people in the society. The document is presenting integrated information on issues concerning the care of elderly people and it will help design People.net infrastructure to be developed for poverty reduction through knowledge transfer.
General view on Elderly People
Elderly people involvement in the society
Elderly people when they reach sixty, have as spare-time interest in politics. They keep only for themselves the history of the country with all these reverses and secrets. “ being older involves many different things that might also affect political behavior: for example, relative to younger people, seniors have more life experience, other generational experiences such as the memory of World War II, or are at a different position in the life cycle, such as being retired” Goerres A ( 2006 ). Most of them have access to the least news thanks to the media such as radio or television. For this matter, most of the elderly people share the same opinions and their opinions very often match. But this kind of discussion doesn’t interest the last generation at all.
“Approximately two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa still live in rural areas and rely largely on near subsistence agriculture or traditional pastoralism for their livelihoods. In such settings, families have to be very self-reliant.” Cohen B et al ( 2006 ). Moreover, “The proportion of older farmers especially is significant and growing. The percentage of farmers over 55 is 7.1 in sub-Saharan Africa” O’Neill K ( 2014 ). However by the time they become no more available for the job, these older farmers lease their farms to the young people who provide them some percentages of income after the harvest. They are involved then in gardening and have much time to develop friendship through social games.
Elsewhere, the elderly people, whether living in urban area or in villages, almost promote the preservation of the ancestral and familial tradition and they are rarely understood by their grandchildren. Religiously for instance, the elderly people remain preservers of animism whereas the new generation is rather Christian or Muslim.
“The efforts of different organizations like Green Belt Movement, churches, United Nations Environmental program and world commission on Environment, to preserve and rehabilitate the environment should take into consideration the attitude of the Africans. These efforts should learn from traditional ways of nature conservation and try to come up with modified attitudes suitable for the contemporary African world. The African worldview and beliefs that encouraged the sacredness of the universe and all created beings should be taken into consideration if contemporary Africa wants to preserve the environment. African religious heritage, which links Africa with nature and God, should be the point of departure in preserving the environment.” Mkenda B ( 2010 ) .
Though they only want to teach the youngest people by conveying them little by little their knowledge, they have tendency to make them flee even make them their enemies; as “The gerontocratic order is undermined by a feeling that the older generation has disgraced itself (deauthorization)” Geoghegan T ( 1969 ). In fact the elderly people have shown their sadness against the attitudes of the youngest. the investigation with the young population reveal that they don’t appreciate the intrusion of the elderly people as the youngsters say: “they are the same, we are always wrong in whatever we do with the elderly people, we cannot do anything in front of them without a rebuke or unfinished advices” is an answer to the question “what are your relationships with the other elderly people apart from your parents or relatives?” It’s because of this the youth does not cope with the elderly people and they stay far from them.
Although when the elderly people are questioned about the intergeneration relationships, seventy three percent affirm that if the youth were humble and polite they would pass on their knowledge to them. But they still try to do it and are confronted with narrow-minded and bounded spirits. There is a clear permanent misunderstanding between the two generations. This disagreement intensifies the feeling of loneliness and isolation of the elderly people, who have pain to express their feelings with the youth.
Togo Elderly People interconnection
Methods of interconnection
“It is well known that loneliness and quality of life significantly affect psychological wellbeing. Individual differences such as level of education, marital status, learned behaviors, social skills/hobbies and social support could affect loneliness” Arslanta H et al ( 2015 )
Therefore, this loneliness and the intensity of the weakness of the familial links do not allow any development of the elderly people. There is a need to create for him a new family, composed of people with whom he could easily get on. The youth in general, does not respond to this criterion, the elderly people should be among themselves.
A recent article of the Harvard School of public health study published in the American journal of public health suggests that “strong social ties, through friends and family and community groups, preserve our brain health as we age and that social isolation may be an important risk factor and cognitive decline in the elderly.” (Tera Parker-pope, socializing Appears to Delay Memory problems, the New-York times well, June 4, 2008 quoted in Visiting Angels, 2007). Also “Psychologists and gerontologists (i.e. physicians specializing in the health of older persons) tell us that maintaining social ties to others and participating in group activities can be essential to the overall health of senior adults. In fact, there have been several studies that have demonstrated that seniors who enjoy an active social life are happier and less depressed than those who lack opportunities for socialization.” ( Travenseliving, nd )
However, even though they feel isolated, in the African villages, there are some common habits which make the deans often meet together to enjoy themselves. For instance, there is a story of a student who hears that his grandfather at village is accustomed to going with his shoes to his village market by bike on market days. When he comes back home, they choose someone house where they eat the dinner. They sip the local beer and afterwards they play Awaley before separating in a good mood.
In the towns, this kind of fraternity is very rare; nevertheless, the care of the retired people are remarkable in some areas such as traditional bars where local beers are sold, lottery game kiosks or simply in front of the house of one of them where you can see them playing Ludo game or discus about politics.
To make more friendships, they form associations. The communication between these people was almost non-existent because most of them are uneducated and untrained to use new technologies, and there are also many languages according to the different ethnic groups of the country. The associations of the elderly people are very important. They can be precious support, punctually or on long term for several reasons: administrative support, moral support, organization of activities adapted to the loss of autonomy, and so on.
Means of Communication of Elderly People in Lomé
According to the statistics of our investigation, almost ten out of ten of retired male elderly people of Lomé are informed on news by the daily newspapers and by radios. Most of them usually sit under trees or in gardens with radio beside them or holding a daily paper. Porter E et al ( 2012 ) confirmed that “Parents, grandparents, teachers, and others of an older generation in their communities look on at this enthusiastic consumption of technology, sometimes with fascination, even anticipation, but often mixed with palpable unease and apprehension, especially where girls are concerned”. In villages, most of the elderly people who have phones are people who have their children or grandchildren in town or abroad. As “ For many countries in Africa, money transfers from citizens living abroad are an extremely important source of income - sometimes even more than development aid.”Schadomsky L ( 2017 )
On the sample of ten people, only three elderly people watch TV from time to time to get news. This is due to the eyes problems that the elderly people have because getting old is usually followed by the decrease in sight. “Nobody wants to lose his sight, but impairment of sight due to old age is one of the most common ailments affecting the elderly. According to the American Association for the Blind, more than 6.5 million Americans aged 65 and more suffer from a severe visual impairment” Peterman S ( 2015 ). The internet is rarely used by the elderly people of Lomé. Some elderly people who have children abroad use sometimes SKYPE to chat among themselves and with other people who were interested in social networks or internet when they were on duty, continue to use them.
The sending of messages through an interposed person still remains a means of communication in some families of elderly people. This, because of confidentiality in messages which should not be shared with other people, also most of elderly people encounter difficulties in typing messages to be sent due to biological issues, problems of movement of hands or due to some diseases such as Parkinson… in general, the elderly face several obstacles: physical problems that limit their ICT usage; lack of computer with Internet access; and even lack of general interest in ICT ( Czaja & Lee, 2007 quoted in Neves B et al, 2012 )
Some elderly people use the money transfer (Mobile-Money) service FLOOZ of Etisalat group of Togo ( Moov ). It is the easiest way to transfer money and pay some goods and services in Togo and in some other countries in Africa: “In fact, it is easier to pay for a taxi ride using your mobile phone in Kenya than it is in Sydney. Considering that mobile money is projected to become a $617 billion industry by 2016, according to research by Gartner, this is a big deal.” This payment system is transforming life of elderly people who will no more travel far away before making some financial transactions. Botsman R ( 2017 )
Solution Proposed by the Elderly People themselves
Creation of the elderly people centers
The creation of meeting centers or lodgings for the elderly people is an initiative that the government of Togo should execute. It is a challenge that will help to establish intergeneration knowledge and competences sharing. By doing this the youth and the adults who are working now can join to take profit of the expertise of the elderly people which will contribute to the development of the economy of the country.
As in the European countries, the NGOs, the private enterprises or others could build hosting centers for the elderly people at lower price to enable everybody to have access to it. Hence, elderly people could be thought ICT skills by the youngsters in order to improve their use of ICT equipment. It will be a type of project which will also “facilitate intergenerational contact and encourages values such as commitment, patience and teaching. In the end, everyone is a teacher, because the young end up learning these values from the elderly during the time they spend together” Vila J (nd). All these will help first of all the elderly to communicate among themselves, share their professional experience, their expertise, their competence and their desire for the development of their grandchildren and then enable the grandchildren to make profit of the knowledge of the elderly people. It is very important to notice that the isolation is a factor of troubles and health issues due to the lack of affective support. The fact that you live alone and the lacks of social activities are frequently associated with high mortality rates coming from several pathological causes.
The family of the elderly people must also take into account this initiative in order to pay visit regularly to the aged parents, or if there is a possibility you lodge them with you, and also the aged parent also can pay a visit to his children from time to time. This will help to avoid the isolation of the elderly people and especially to make them feel in family which will extend their life span. The children of these elderly people must take care of them; satisfy their daily needs especially financial and communicate even remotely with them. As confirmed Asthana A ( 2017 ) who explain that the best way is “ensuring that people felt the responsibility to care for elderly mothers and fathers” Because according to the investigations most of the elderly people die quickly because of lack of health care due to the lack of financial means. With a little pain the elderly person can pass away and his children will look for a big amount of money to organize great funerals whereas these means could help to take care of the patient during his life. Hence, “Social isolation among older adults places them at greater risk compared with social isolation among younger adults” Holt-Lunstad J ( 2015 )
Government to serve Elderly people better
The politics needs to do institutional and financial reforms to improve the living condition of the seniors. By doing reforms, they could grant the participation of the elderly people in the social life, the opening up of the retired people, the health of the elderly people and especially in the villages where old people have food, health and social difficulties. The government has to make sure that the state pension is adequate for these needs and paid on time. “Furthermore, free financial advice should be made available to retired people so that the stress of worrying about money could be reduced as far as possible.” Wiecek D (nd) The channel of free advice should mostly be throughout computers and any other ICT terminals. Therefore elderly people need to be properly trained by some government “ICT for all” project as the information technology will help the government to be closer to this disadvantaged community. It is important to know that in Togo there are some NGOs which are in charge of the well-being of the elderly people in villages and which should be reinforced to do so.
Information and Communication Technologies Integration
Sensitization on ICT use media
Sensitization is a key process in the fight against the phenomena of disdain, the non-consideration of the elderly people. This sensitization should merely be focused on the use of Information and Communication Technologies and benefit from its poverty tackling impacts. This should be in both parties including: the government which has to convince them to use ICT for their development and how it should be at the heart of the development and poverty reducing plans; and also throughout the whole community of elderly people in order for them to easily accept to acquire ICT knowledges, exchange among themselves and with other generations in order to share experience and knowledge on several issues by participating in several fora and social media.
“Even very poor families invested a significant amount of money in the I.C.T. category — information and communication technologies which, according to Al Hammond the study’s principal author, can include money spent on computers or land-line phones, but in this segment of the population that’s almost never the case. What they’re buying, he says, are cellphones and airtime, usually in the form of prepaid cards. Even more telling is the finding that as a family’s income grows — from $1 per day to $4, for example — their spending on I.C.T. increases faster than spending in any other category, including health, education and housing. “It’s really quite striking,” Hammond says. “What people are voting for with their pocketbooks, as soon as they have more money and even before their basic needs are met, is telecommunications.” Posner A ( 2011 )
People, even in African poorest areas realize that communication is the most important tool ahead of any basic need as that could help transform his life and acquire those basic needs. “Mobile phones are increasingly ubiquitous in poor countries, which now account for ; As Elsie Kanza, of the World Economic Forum, said: “Regardless of social class, almost everyone [in Africa] has a mobile phone, or two or three. Even in remote villages, mobile phones have replaced the bicycle or radio as prized assets.” The Guardians ( 2012 )
Therefore, we are in the era of knowledge acquisition for poverty reduction instead of gifts and grants offered free.
Training to be offered
Elderly people are most of them ICT analphabet and are looking for training in how to use the computer, tablet and even smartphone… Therefore it is important to open drop-in center for them throughout the country in order for them to be familiar with ICT equipment especially terminals as “For many older adults, computers and the internet may seem to be highly complex technologies” ( EPALE, 2016 ) Hence,
“Some of the biggest barriers to digital learning for older people are:
They might break the computer – show them just how robust the equipment can be and how to overcome certain technical issues such as rebooting the system
Online safety – as with anything care does need to be taken when sharing details over the internet and there are available to help with this
They won’t know how to do it – if you keep it simple, relevant and engaging, your older friend or family member will soon know that they can have their own digital adventure” (myageingparents, 2014)
They should also practice the internet navigation and use any application that are accessible whether desktop or web based and could accommodate their various disabilities issues.
Pension withdrawal site
The creation of a pension withdrawal site online should be live. This site will help the elderly people to check their pension and withdraw it online. The withdrawal will be done as a form of communication credit which they will convert in one agency versus the real money and make some basic operations with it like purchase in some supermarket by using money transfer services Flooz of Moov or T Money of Togocel. This site will be a crucial help to seniors owing to their problems of mobility.
Given the newness of this phenomenon, the society hardly assumes these social, family and financial difficulties. The interaction of all these factors needs multidisciplinary reflection for the better care of elderly people and loss of autonomy. Technology has adequate solution for the elderly people in order to help them combat isolation and open their communication and interconnection among themselves and with other generations. Hence, they receive information for their health care, security, their occupations such gardening activities, fishing… also respond and talk to other generations by giving them advices; things that is physically difficult for them.
Case Study II: Impoverished Artists, Painters in Togo
According to the common sense, the concept of art often refers to an imagined form of expression. Art is the manufacturing of objects of rituals, as inspiration, as a vector of the absolute, of the divine, or art as the expression of the ineffable, the unconscious, the contradiction, thus, art is a craft as skilled as any kind of craft freeing man and relaying gains. Arts are used to build and/or maintain social cohesion as the utilitarian concept of the art. “Utilitarianism, at its most basic, states that something is moral, or good when it produces the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people. It's a theory of normative ethics that asks whether a specific action is good or bad, moral or immoral.” Muscato C (nd) Therefore, if the art should support citizenship, it must be subsidized. However if the art is considered as commodity “ culture is a commodity, albeit a "commodity worth buying into” said Hatherley O (nd), hence the arts and the creator should be organized as business industry in a way that it will achieve growth. None of the above is describing the arts sector in Togo and in most of African countries.
The life situation of painters in Togo is generally seen as miserable as they are not earning money or paid for their creative work. Below are presented the various paradigms of the life of the Artists in this West African country Togo, and the solution provided by the information technologies in reinforcing the cultural activity in terms of production, visibility and sales in order to tackle poverty issues.
Artists full of imagination and talents
Since the year 2000, when excellent selections of Togolese painter’s works were exposed at the National Assembly in Paris, Lomé the capital town has seen a great quantity of flourished pictorial initiatives. Since then, some areas of Lomé have been invaded by the movement and talents that grew everywhere. Three big headquarters (district of Lomé) were involved including: Bè, Kodjoviakopé and Tokoin. However, Kodjoviakopé is the one which provided many kinds of artists. In fact the way to reach this level was due to hardworking and natural gift; nothing like education or training.
“Most artists I know were attracted to art at a very young age. They had a natural inclination to draw, paint, sculpt, etc.
Let me tell you my earliest memory with art. In grade one I can remember my teacher giving us a project in . The assignment was to create any type of dinosaur with Play-Doh. Of course I thought the T-Rex was the coolest dinosaur, so I set out to model my dinosaur. I can remember moulding the dinosaur with my hands and fingers and enjoying the feel of the Play-Doh without even looking at what I was doing. When I looked, I had a perfectly shaped body. So I attached the other prominent features, even sharp teeth in the mouth. It actually was my first experience using Play-Doh or sculpting anything! From that point on I knew I was going to be an artist.” Mattews G ( 2013 )
There is no such thing like culture which has helped nurture the skills of future painter’s artistic capacity that is the foundation of their devotion to the painting in Togo, except the desire and the will to self-help these talents emerge. Therefore, where do the inspirations of painters particularly come from despite these problems? Are they innate or acquired? The majority of African painters, chiefly the Togolese acquire their inspirations as innate. As for example “Drawing is often considered a gift you either have or – as many a frustrated artist will testify – don’t have.” affirmed Thornhill T ( 2012 )
Moreover, apart from that, we met a self-trained artist who was attracted by Arts since his early age: During holidays, he worked in a forge where fire and metal contact inspired him. Later on, he completed training in carpentry and cabinetmaking. Furthermore, he received visual Art courses from some Togolese and Canadian visual artists and sculptors. His inspiration comes from socio-economic environment problems, geopolitical conflicts and natural disasters owing to his imagination. In short, history and current events are fertile grounds that allow nourishing his creativity.
Lacy S ( 2010 ) Leaving Art: Writings on Performance, Politics, and Publics, 1974–2007;
explains that ”within engaged art there are practices imported from ethos of political activism from which artists derive inspiration. The notion of the “expanded self”-a singular self within a relational context of multiples others-was one I used in the early 1970s in teaching performance to women at the feminist studio workshop in Los Angeles. This exercise explored issues of relationship and the self within cross-race and cross-class situation, subjects of early radical feminist inquiry. Thirty years later the practice of empathy and relationship are staples engaged art” On the other hand, there are some women artists too; one of them as a female Togolese artist born in Lomé, shares her life between her creative works and her marriage. “Hearkening back to the utopian ideals of early twentieth-century modernist movements, Feminist artists sought to rewrite a falsely male-dominated art history as well as change the contemporary world around them through their art, focusing on intervening in the established art world and the art canon's legacy, as well as in everyday social interactions” Lacy S ( 2010 ). For ten years this Togolese woman artist’s imagination and creativity have translated her genius into her brushes and others. She admits that she is deeply influenced by the Impressionists. It is with great emotion that she affirms that if she is to incarnate in an element of nature, it would be: water. She says it is so inspiring and represents many things: a vacation, a dream, nature, an adventure and a real passion! That is why she remains different every time, sometimes calm and so on. She likes to work at night. By the time people are resting, her inspiration awakens. This is her prime time to create.
Another female Togolese artist studied at the University of Lomé where she obtained her Bachelor degree in sociology. She learned to discover art from childhood on the side of her father who was a painter himself. Her desire to create is inspired above all by living objects such as the animals of the forest, lion, elephant, antelope, giraffe and the secrets of art; she succeeds in her marvelous creations. These experiences are really encouraging as female in art worldwide is quite difficult too “The picture in the UK is equally dispiriting: female artists account for just 4% of the ’s collection; 20% of the and 35% of ’s collections. Only 33% of the artists representing Britain at over the past decade have been women.” Ellis-Petersen ( 2017 )
Some artists were in the past security guards or cleaner in supermarkets or offices; and as those works do not help or they’re closed, they are currently carving, working collaboratively and selling their art works in supermarkets. In short, all the Togolese painters in the depths of their souls are passionate of the artwork of every day even though their economic situation is not improving, reason why they are all starving and malnourished. “Young actors, musicians, and fine artists enter into their programs with passion oozing from every pore, but once they leave, making that passion their work becomes too difficult for many to sustain. And so they slowly slip into the “starving artist” stereotype, barely scraping by and sacrificing their health and well-being for the sake of their art” Ellyson ( 2017 ). Basically, these poverty issues of the artist in Togo should be solved by the introduction of the arts entrepreneurship initiatives.
Artists Painters facing difficulties to evolve in the society
The artist Painter Van Baarle L ( 2013 ) expressed herself about the motivation in arts work and the avoidance of the art block by saying that: “I felt the need to share this, because I think it can be a nice motivation for anyone out there who wants to evolve as an artist. It’s proof that constant work and showing up every day can achieve great results.” However, some expatriates living in Lomé explain that the cultural life of the capital town may seem rather sad: lack of financial resources, cultural spaces that are few, turn professional artist is almost non-existent; low public interest in Togo, less commitment by public authorities.... This is obviously too difficult when you take time to meet artists who are struggling to show their work, to discover these places that are moving and changing the cultural habits of the inhabitants. We quickly become aware of the swarming of actors and initiatives that are beginning to take root and that transform and energize the Togolese cultural life however!
Better advertising and recognition of Togolese culture is essential, both for the Togolese themselves and for the country's openness to tourism and trade with foreign countries. Artists are the first ambassadors of a nation, valuing and making alive the identity of a whole nation, favoring a better cohesion that makes possible the societal and political battles on the way of the development. Talking about arts institution Clifford J ( 2014 ) said “By becoming spaces for deepening the understanding of different cultures and providing room for participative and creative encounters, cultural institutions may, in our opinion, play a pivotal role in connecting people and in building a more cohesive and open society”; A way that needs creativity more than ever. So, what are the evils that hinder this recognition and this radiance of the Togolese culture?
First of all, in Lomé there is a certain lack of places of creation and production, of cultural spaces strictly speaking, to enable artists to work and perform (the role of cultural capital in cities development). Hence, Professional performing places that are playing the role of cultural capital in cities development (and thus also well-trained staff and easily accessible technical equipment) are essential to enable Togolese talents to develop, leaving amateurism and participating in major international events. Nevertheless, the existence of dynamic cultural centers, mostly associative structures, multiplies initiatives with the means of federating around the "network of cultural centers". Cooperation between cultural actors is essential to move forward!
Talking about everyday life, the human relationship, the nature, the spirituality of the painters in Togo, we note after questioning some of them that their condition is not good at all, they often wake up tired, no Breakfast for the children, they cannot educate their children, what leads them to theft, banditry, sale and use of drugs. The majority of their children find themselves in the ghettos where they are uncontrolled.
Some artist in order to showcase their work own rudimentary galleries of Art’s objects and they collect works of ancient arts. They carve pieces of wood and bone and some personal innovative technics used to age craft and various objects and transform them into antique objects. “This is essentially what occurred in the modern visual arts industry at the turn of the century. From being one criterion among others, innovation gradually became the dominant criterion. This was accompanied by a shift from a peer to an expert selection system.” Gemser G et al ( 2000 ) For several years this artist has painted on canvases and on assemblages of carved planks. He considers his paintings and sculptures as four-dimensional objects! His art stems from the ability to combine various mediums into a single work. He tries to represent his spaces using different artistic techniques such as painting and sculpture. His creations are part of the "contemporary" movement. He carves local and exotic wood and transforms this raw material into antique and symbolic objects or artifacts. This is what he calls reviving history or revisiting an ancient civilization. He expresses himself, saying that he tells and creates through painting. He uses recycled materials such as textiles, plastics, metals and wood products. To these heterogeneous objects that he fixes on his canvases or on his assemblies of wood, he adds color. Acrylic, natural pigment and oil paint brighten his creations. He restores the still life by giving it a new life.
Health Care is the main issue
Most Togolese painters complain about their everyday lives. Their income does not allow them to meet their basic needs in order to plan their health care. Many of them work on the roadsides where they breathe dust. But they do not use drugs or do not undergo treatment to allow their body to get rid of these inhaled gases. Thus they are exposed to many diseases. The government officials in Togo for example, people in this sector as well as their families (their wives and children) benefit from health insurance named INAM ( National Institute of Health Insurance ). According to the fact that artist are classified in the private sector, painters do not benefit from any health insurance. These painters are people who have a lot of worries, a lot of anxiety about how they will offer a fulfilling life to their family. Thus, they age prematurely and they constitute an important part of people who suffer from heart diseases such as stroke ( Cerebrovascular accident ) for example. These are people who only go to health centers when their health is very critical. They do not undergo any checkup and they are often victims of silent diseases like heart attack... They are families that are facing the great evils of this world. Because they are unable to support themselves and their families, in their majority, they abandon their children. This results in banditry, rudeness, unwanted pregnancy, robbery, rape and many other ills. So, they usually die young because of the above-mentioned reasons of undernourishment ... “57% of artists have experienced periods during the past five years where they have been unable to earn money. Witepski L ( 2015 )
” They are oppressed families and have no defense. Consequently, what solutions can be provided to the latter in order to improve their living conditions? To overcome these problems Togolese painters and artists are facing, they should be supported Psychologically, materially and even financially, create work centers where they will come along to work together, pay for their goods and create recreational centers to allow them to enjoy themselves a bit. The definition of a clear strategic policy is to promote volunteering within the framework of its means of actions to respond first to a concern of restructure, then to energize and finally make the voluntary action bear fruit in the service of the national development of the Togolese painters. Thus, volunteerism is an expression of solidarity that leads men and women to devote their time, their techniques, their experiences and their material or financial assets to the realization of humanitarian works with no major concern for counterparts other than the satisfaction of having contributed to the well-being of humanity. In other words, it is the gift of oneself for a just cause or better, the vocation to wish the well-being for people or the community. This voluntary service calls on all actors to help the needy populations, in order to contribute socially, economically and psychologically to their self-promotion. For, it is voluntary acts that determine men.
At the strategic level, the project must allow the integration of the State into the (daily) social life of artists.
The economic situation of painters in Togo
Talking of the economic situation, it should be noted that their situation is too deplorable. Some of them say that they do this unwillingly and that they do not earn enough money even when they settle in places where there are enough white people (white people are one who manifest some interest in the arts they produce). They say they spend weeks or even months without selling. They have to feed their families, ensure the schooling of their children and others. On the other hand, despite the fact that there are not enough white people in the past, some artists prefer to do their work rather than being civil servants. One of them lately stated that his minimum allowance is $75, but the day we called on him, he sold two paintings at $500 and every day that God makes, he sells at least 50000cfa. So, why should they go to work for $75 per month? This will not even be sufficient to feed him well. His work as an artist brings him enough money and his parents were artists, he grew up with this work and also he has enough relationships thanks to this job. This legacy enabled him to build a house and feed his children. To the question of whether the Togolese painters live on their work, a Togolese painter bows his head a bit, sighs and explains everything. That question, he says, is the one many of his loved ones keep asking.
“And I do not hesitate to answer them in the negative way”, he said. "In Togo, it is difficult to live on art." This does not mean that people do not live on art. Here in Togo, it is because we have an audience that is not art-minded”. "I devote most of my time to art. It is a profession that does not necessarily make you rich, you do not become artist to be rich. We become artist by conviction, by vocation, by passion, "says another artist.
In short, it should be noted that painters residing in Togo complain much about their living conditions compared to painters residing in other countries of the sub region; and much improvement is needed.
Not only are artist Painters living in the worst conditions but also the state is not doing enough to improve their living conditions. They need to be organized for the improvement of their living conditions by reinforcing collaborative work, building in them strong art management skills and introduce ICT skills and infrastructures in order to bring money in by digitalizing, e-commerce and at the same time allow the country to make money through the taxes that will be levied. Digital can be an explosion of dreams and abstractions that will be the beginning of new era of prosperity for the arts in Togo.
Case Study 3: Fishermen at KATANGA
“ICTs can help improving information flows, reducing search costs and generally contributing to market efficiency” said Abraham R ( 2007 ). The first objective of computer science was to have a device for complex calculations. It is the reason why it’s called ‘computer’. As mentioned by some theories like ‘Turing machine’ up to our powerful machines today. This was diversified by the unceasing development of computing. Then, computing and the Information and Communication technologies is playing crucial role in order to eradicate poverty. "You can surprisingly do a lot of good from sitting behind a computer!" said Ruesink M ( 2015 ). Therefore, it helps to find solution to populations in need. In order to use this device to aid our populations as whole and specifically the poorest; we’ve chosen the study of Information and Communication Technologies use and its integration into fishing development. “Using mobile phones at sea, fishermen are able to respond quickly to market demand and prevent unnecessary wastage of catch—fish being a highly perishable commodity” approved Abraham R ( 2007 ) Fishing is an important sector in Togo. This sector was abandoned for some long periods like in the neighboring country Ghana, which was the most powerful fishing country in the West Africa Mills J et al ( 2004 ). However this activity has resumed with very slight improvements currently brought to it. This case study is going to respond to the questions about how fishing sector is organized in Togo. Is this activity secured enough for people involved in the fishing sector in Togo? Thus, we will propose ICT solution to help people to be involved in the improvement of the activity.
Fishing in Togo
The Togolese fishing activity is generally artisanal: the “The type of artisanal fishing described here is conducted on foot or from open boats powered by outboard engines with less than 100HP or, in the specific case of the Imraguen, using sailing boats” Capredom P et al (nd). It contributes to 4% of the GDP per capita of the primary sector. They are carried out on the Atlantic Ocean, lagoon, river, dams and fish ponds. Annual estimates vary between 12,000 and 17,000 tones. They create about 22,000 jobs including 10,000 fishermen (60% full-time) and 12,000 fish traders and processors. All of these jobs directly and indirectly support about 150,000 people. However, production does not cover all the needs of the population, and 60% of fish are imported ( Fish code, 2007 ).
Fishing is getting to be important in our country nowadays. It is placed in the blue economics sector, an economy that Gunter Pauli relates to issues of regeneration that go beyond preservation or conservation ( Gunter Pauli, 2009 ). To boost momentum in this sector, an African Union summit on sea safety and security and development was initiated and convened in October 2016 in Lomé. During this summit, the states insisted on the importance of the blue economy for the revival of the African economy Walker T ( 2017 ).
As a result of this conference, major projects were launched to boost the fisheries sector. Thus the state launched the construction of a modern fishing port at a cost of 16.4 billion CFA francs to bring the fishing port into international standards.
We have to know that the fisheries sector is under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Water Resources, headed by Minister Ouro-koura AGADAZI. The ministry is in ASSIGANME ATIKPODI; its role is to coordinate the activities of the fishermen. Fishing in Togo is generally artisanal, but industrial practices are also taking place there. In the following lines, we will present the different fisheries practiced in Togo
Industrial fishing is a small activity developed in the country. In 2011, only three trawlers (two Guinean pavilions and one hardworking Togolese pavilion) are censured. The potential yield per trawl is estimated at between 600 and 800 tons per year. This fishing in recent years is a victim of foreign pirates. Foreign fleets catch fish on our shores. This phenomenon has spread throughout the West Africa coast ( Greenpeace, 2007 ).
The maritime artisanal fishery is the most important activity on the sea in terms of the number of fishers which is 5000. It currently accounts for 70% to 80% of total national fishery production. “In Africa, as in other parts of the world, local fishermen are among the main groups of coastal resource users. Although some West African peoples possess an old tradition of subsistence fishing, drawing on their own technics and boats, and sometime migrating along with populations. Artisanal fishing was until recently seasonal activity practiced in local waters for subsistence purposes. Capredom P et al (nd).
Inland fisheries produce a certain quantity of fish annually, but little is known about it. Production has been estimated at 5 000 tons per year for a long time. There is no human or financial means to make a precise estimate at this time. Continental fishing is exclusively artisanal. It is practiced throughout the hydrographic network and is very active in the Nangbeto hydroelectric dam throughout the year and in the flood zones of the Oti River. Fishermen fish less than 170 days per year and concentrate on one or two types of gear, the most important are: hawk, gill net, line (long lines), shore seine and trap. The boats used are monoxyl canoes or nailed boards of small size (3 to 6 m).
It is more practiced in freshwater than in brackish water and is non-existent in the sea. 711 fish units were counted by counting the ponds and reservoirs for a total area of 702 hectares. The production of this activity was estimated at 100 tons. “Historically, aquaculture development in has targeted the poorest people to address hunger through small on-farm ponds. This has proven valuable for household food and nutrition security and will continue to have a place. But on-farm aquaculture isn't meeting the overall supply gap now, and isn't likely to do so in future for a rapidly growing and increasingly urbanised population.” Van Vark C ( 2013 )
The KATANGA Fishermen
According to the old fishing landscape in Togo, fisherman do not live luxury lives. Unfortunately that is what we noticed during the contacts with the fishermen. We are concentrating on the fishermen of the neighborhood of KATANGA, a shanty town of nearly 3,000 people located at the fishing port of Lomé.
The inhabitants of this shantytown are mostly fishermen; the majority comes from Ghana with their boats. The Togolese are obliged to rally to these foreigners in order to survive. In the neighborhood, fishing takes place from generation to generation. The children who were born there are initiated into fishing from an early age.
Due to the very difficult living conditions in this shantytown, young people living there end up taking alcohol and drugs to escape the problems of their living conditions as “Young people sometimes use drugs or alcohol to escape from their home, or personal, problems. Friends may suggest that coming out for a night's drinking or smoking a spliff might help if they’re feeling down. (healthtalk, 2015)
Fishing generally does not allow these populations to meet their needs. To increase their profits, some residents of the area, especially women, turn to other activities that are directly or not related to fishing. Therefore, some of them run other businesses; they go to the big market to sell the fishes caught by their husbands and brothers. Trainings are given to these women on the management of credit and income-generating activities (AGR) ( Francophonie, 2014 )
The Fishing process is mostly archaic. Traps are set to the fish during the day with the nets. It is at the end of the night on boarding often well colored that the fishermen go to look for the fish caught. The fish is sold at the level of the nearby fishing port during the day.
Traders are the third great actors in the fishing industry. They come every day to the fishing port to buy fish from the fishermen. In general, some of these traders go with the fish they buy to sell them in the market, others process them (cooking, drying) before selling them.
To fulfill our job, we met a shopkeeper who agreed to tell us about her business. She buys the fish at the fishing port. She fries them and sells them. These cooked fish are commonly called "KANAMI".
She let us know that the work she is doing is not easy at all. In order to make a good deal she must wake up very early in the morning to buy the fish from the fishermen who return after spending the night on the sea because during the day there is better product and also the prices increase. After purchase, a second step is to process the fish, which will be dried in the sun in order not to use oil to cook.
For her, the greatest difficulty of their work is exposure to fire. This exposure is a source of illness. According to the lady we met, the flames exhaust and destroy them little by little. Studies have been carried out for this purpose. The World Bank classifies this phenomenon in the most serious environmental problems faced by developing countries. This exposure causes diseases such as tuberculosis, acute respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Asthma, lung cancer and other diseases ( Dr. Vinod Mishra, nd ).
Concerning the price of fish, she told us that it varies according to the supply and demand rule. The more fish is abundant, the less the prices are and vice-versa. We also wanted to know if she uses imported fish. The answer was negative because she is specialized in processing fresh fish (fish caught on our coasts), fish caught by the national fishermen, who according to her are more interesting than those imported and the customer prefer them. With a smile she reminded us that things go better for her with the selling of corn dough ball commonly known as "KOM".
Consumers are the last people of the chain. The fishes caught are processed in different ways and sold in different areas in Togo. Generally, fishes are eaten with the food of the country like” KOM”, “AKPAN”; mixed corn and cassava derived food.
As there are several types of fish on the market, we asked questions to consumers to give their opinion on the products they prefer. Seafood and fish caught locally are preferred to imported fish. But given the recipes you make the choice.
The life of fishermen
The interviews and our research show that people working in the fishing industry are constantly stressed because the income from fishing does not allow them to meet their needs. This was illustrated by the life of the populations of the slum of Katanga that we have presented. These fishermen live in slums with no-regulatory sanitary conditions. This is a common situation in the continent: “In Africa, a staggering 300 million people lack . Progress has been made under the Millennium Development Goals but there are still millions of people without adequate sanitation.” Sieptien S ( 2015 )
Béné C ( 2013 ) argued that “socio-institutional mechanism are understood as the set of rules, norms, conventions, institutional (class) organization, and decision-making processes through which the social actors (individual and collectives) interact to gain and maintain their command (access, use and control) over the resources and the benefits extracted from them. As such, the socio-institutional dimensions of fisheries activities includes the rules and regulations (formal and informal) governing the access to the fishing resources or to the subsequent benefits, but also the political (power-related), economic, social, and cultural resources and constraints, which condition this access and its control. It is within the social and institutional dimensions masked or undermined by the old paradigm that lie the more important causes of poverty in fisheries”
Most of the fishermen are not educated, given their condition of life most of them do not find money to pay for their children's education so they have difficulty to integrate the society.
The immensity of the sea and the rivers are frightening. The fishermen to forget this fear engage in rituals whose aim is to protect them against any danger that may occur during fishing. This practice is common in Africa, so fish and other aquatic animals are revered because they believe in their protection on rivers (ird, nd). Rituals are organized for newborn within populations living near the sea. Accustomed to these rituals at their young age, others engage in devil rituals which often destroy their lives later on.
Fishermen in the Togolese society
Fishermen often feel abandoned by the government and the society in general despite their contribution to the economy of the country. They often turn to delinquent activities to make a living from them. Thus, evil evolves in the fishing community such as theft, prostitution, drug consumption, violence that have become social problems for the country. “There are many elements that delinquents share in their home lives. Their parents are frequently heavy drinkers who are involved in themselves and are unable to give emotional or financial support to their children. is inconsistent and often relies on physical force. Most attempts to detect future delinquents have failed.” Encyclopaedia Britanica (nd)
The fishing activity, though it is not industrial and facing problems, it helps feed a certain number of people. There are many families who live only on fishing activities.
General fishing problems
The structuring of the sector will make it possible to increase the share of fish spawning from the seas to the detriment of imported fish which represents nearly 60% of current consumption. “Despite the importance of fisheries for West African economies, the sector still faces many challenges ranging from poor exploitation of resources to marketing problems, including lack of appropriate funding and infrastructure, inadequate technology resulting in high losses, tariffs and non-tariff barriers, as well as lack of roads and adequate vehicles to cover long distances.” N’diaye P ( 2013 )
Imported fishes require processing conditions that are often not respected. The problems arising from the consumption of these fishes fall within the field of public health. So, it is common to buy imported fish and notice the product is not of good quality after cooking it. These poor quality fishes are consumed by the population due to lack of money, because the imported fishes are very cheap.
One of the problems of fishing in Togo is that hygiene conditions are not respected in the fishing process. This problem is highlighted during the fish processing process. It is common to see fish destined to be eaten by the roadside without protection against flies. Therefore hygiene is very important for the success of the inner fishing promotion N’diaye P ( 2013 ).
The identification of underwater life is essential to fight against the scarcity of fishes in our fishing waters. Species statistics dealing with this aspect are rare.
The population’s health problems are common. Traders, to increase their profit use products of low quality that are source of disease. The fish sold are cooked with expired oils and unconventional products.
Government should also properly organize the sector by helping fishermen, controlling the quality and help promote national fishing products against the imported one.
Furthermore Fishermen should also be educated and be introduced to modern fishing techniques, policies and marketing. This could be well developed virtually through Information and Communication Technology platform in order to stress on participation and information exchange from several experts and other fishermen.
It is important to note that fishing is one of those social and economic activities in Africa; especially it West Africa where people use traditional methods to catch fish and transform them into smoked products ready for consumption. However, without a proper government support, the fishermen fail to live from this activity. Moreover this local activity is challenged by international fishing company competitors who usually bring on this market cheap imported fishes and seafood. Hence, the sector needs to be merely reorganized economically and socially with a proper integration of education, training and Information technology in order to empower the fishermen communities and the fishing sector throughout the use a of an available robust ICT-based knowledge data bank infrastructure.
The People.net Infrastructure
The various analyses carried out highlight psycho-social, biological, psychological and sociological aspects of the three formal lives studied in Togo presented above: The Elderly People, the Artist Painters and the Fishermen. In the lines that follow we will present an ICT solution that will help those people mentioned above to improve their activities and also escape their state of poverty.
“In light of current experiences in rural India and elsewhere in the developing world, it is apparent that ICT-defined as the set of activities that facilitates the capturing, storage, processing, transmission and display of information by electronic means [ 32 ]-can be utilized to support poverty reduction strategies. The use of ICT applications can enhance poor people opportunities by improving their access to markets, health, and education. Furthermore, ICT empower the poor by expanding the use of government services and reduce risks by widening access to microfinance.” Ceccini S (2003) et al
The analysis of the different data shows that the actors, despite the importance of their activities, they feel abandoned by the government and the population in general.
The solution we have proposed will be to help those communities by highlighting their difficulties to the whole world, giving them the opportunity to reflect on how to improve the daily life and exchange throughout better access to information that transforms.
The majority is illiterate, after analyzing the information we have collected. This factor will be taken into account in the development of the People.net platform.
Our platform will be a dynamic website, which will be like the spokesperson and also a place of exchange to help each category of users: including here elderly people, Painters and fishermen acquire the unlocking information. “Knowledge is key for personal and societal growth. Sharing knowledge has helped mankind survive and evolve into the intelligent and productive species he is today. It has helped mankind learn the tactics of survival and elude extinction.” Ibrahim A ( 2017 ) The website we are going to set up is not going just to give news but it will do more. It will be a platform where all the actors of each activity in Togo and even the international community will come to acquire the useful information that will allow the improvement of the working conditions or others issues concerned. Hence this platform will include:
Talking about the daily life of communities
Promoting activities related to each area
Setting up chat rooms to allow the launching of an individual or collaborative social projects and the exchange about operational technologies and sharing of knowledge
Providing technical information to enable the state or partners to make decisions
Create wikies to stress on the participation of expert and other community members into the knowledge bank building
Providing advice for the improvement of each sector of activities
Through our platform, the partners who want to help the communities or each sector will easily have the important information they need to initiate and strengthen different projects in variety of sectors.
Ergonomics of the platform
The platform will meet w3c standards of web applications. It will have as dominance the blue color (sea) with the gray color to bring more contrast as it was suggested by the project participants. The association of the colors red and green will be studied very carefully so as not to disturb the sensitivity of the color blinds. Its presentation will look like that of a French public service site as most of the future users, members of the communities suggested. Hence it is important that the interaction with the machine is carefully considered.
“HCI (human-computer interaction) is the study of how people interact with computers and to what extent computers are or are not developed for successful interaction with human beings. A significant number of major corporations and academic institutions now study HCI. Historically and with some exceptions, computer system developers have not paid much attention to computer ease-of-use. Many computer users today would argue that computer makers are still not paying enough attention to making their products "user-friendly."” (searchsoftwarequality.techtarget, nd)
The menus at the top of the page on the site will represent the zone of the activities sectors because we think to extend over time other sectors of activities on the platform. In this menu which will be right next to the icon of presentation of the site in our case, the user will be able to choose the sector of which he wants to have the information. The chosen sector will present itself to the user.
The majority of the participant of the people.net project is rural and/or illiterate. We will present the information using mostly videos and audios to make this information accessible to them. “The purpose of GAAD is to get people who work with digital technologies—web, mobile, software, etc.—to think and learn about the importance of accessible technologies and different disabilities.”” Gross A ( 2017 )
On the homepage a section will be devoted to their daily life. We will present reports on typical days to show their difficulties.
The news will be presented on the homepage related to a dedicated African country. It should also put the statistics and figures about each activity, things that are most of the time hard to find in African countries.
A Membership Menu
This allows the companies, expert and member of the people.net all users involved to register on the platform. A follow-up features like the social network like Twitter, Facebook must be added to the strategy. Anyone who follows a company, an expert and a member will receive in real time the new products or ideas available published by the participants on the People.net in the form of photo or video. This will also be a free advertising for tackling poverty stigmas in Africa by value creation through knowledge sharing.
This page will allow the users to share their daily activities by highlighting the difficulties in order to find out eventual responses. This forum is elaborated by the place where various rooms will be opened for different question to be discussed. This forum should be based on written literature and will have vocal text reader, as “Speech recognition system” that is the ability of a machine or to identify words and phrases in spoken language and convert them into a machine-readable format. Rudimentary speech recognition software has a limited vocabulary of words and phrases, and it may only identify these if they are spoken very clearly. More sophisticated has the ability to accept natural speech.” (searchcrm.techtarget, nd) Thus, it will provide better access of the whole communities considered by the People.net to the digital information and know how they are looking for.
The suggestion box will help the communities send suggestions to different sector authorities and participants. This suggestion box is just a text box for writing petitions. It also has a voice-mail option that is an alternative to text. The question is how are these suggestions received? Indeed, to this functionality is associated an API ( Application Programming, Interface ) allowing any external system to recover information. Thus, a mini application intended for Smart phones will finally be developed to allow the authorities to receive in real time these suggestions written without being obliged to access the platform. It is clear that this easiness of access to information requires authentication to the API. Also it should be noted that this application on Smartphone can be configured willingly in order to control the flow of reception of the suggestions to avoid any issues which could contribute to the failure of the project.
Online shopping menu
Under the authority of the regularization and harmonization services of each products proposed in different sectors, it should be possible to display on the platform references linked to the prices of products according to their characteristics. This constitutes a safety reference and has the advantage of helping different sellers not to continue to suffer from price instability that could lead to their loss.
Poverty is the main qualification of Africa, even though things are changing, the continent is improving in terms economy growth; and is it is welcoming more and more international investment. People, communities and business sectors are experiencing difficulties in their activities. Those difficulties are stigma of poverty and miserable live conditions. However, nowadays the Information Technology is inducing positive changes with interesting approach of solutions like our proposal: People.net that will be providing skills and knowledge to the poor in order to transform them and improve significantly their living conditions. This technology will start thinking about the elderly People, the Artist Painters and the Fishermen of Katanga before the extension to other communities and activities.