Overcoming poverty starts with the basics: education, opportunity, and connections to the global economy. Yet, more than 2 billion people live in remote communities or isolated neighborhoods without access to phones, computers, or the Internet—the tools of the global economy. Community Knowledge Centers (CKCs) connect the unconnected.
In 2007, Cisco made a 5-year, US$10 million commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to support information and communications technology (ICT) development in five countries—Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda. The Cisco CKC program developed and tested a model for locally owned, sustainable ICT centers that truly serve community needs and improve quality of life.
The Cisco CKC program pairs access to ICT with training to develop local leadership and capacity to sustain the CKC. Cisco directly sponsored 18 CKCs and the creation of the CKC “Cookbook,” a how-to guide for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and communities to develop their own CKCs.
Through social entrepreneurs, government agencies and NGOs, the CKC model has spread to more than 107 sites, serving more than 190,000 people. CKCs help increase economic opportunity, improve job prospects, and alleviate poverty as they become hubs of economic development and social gathering places.