Asian region is currently home to thousands of telecentres, which provide many rural and disadvantaged communities with their first chance to go online, learn computer basics and away online services. In order to foster the development of the Asian telecentre movement, ‘Telecentre Forum has always been an integral part of eAsia, which is an international ICT for development event with the objective of reinforcing technology and knowledge-centric growth and needs of Asia. This year, in December 2009, Information Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) was privileged to host eAsia 2009 in Colombo, Sri Lanka in partnership with Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS). The eAsia conference and exhibition, which was inaugurated by the President of Sri Lanka, was a fitting ending to an event filled year named as the ‘Year of IT and English’. Spanning over three days from 2nd to 4th December 2009, the event comprised of six unique thematic conferences, plenary sessions with an attendance of over 1000 foreign and local delegates and one of the largest ICT Exhibitions ever held at BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The Telecentre Forum
eAsia Telecentre Forum was focused on knowledge sharing among the new and emerging telecentre networks in the region. The forum also provided a platform for presentations and discussions on the key issues facing the Asian telecentre movement and the way ahead. It brought together over 30 speakers, 20 technical paper presentations and 150 delegates representing 16 countries including India, the Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh, Uganda, Male, the USA, Canada, the U.K, Cambodia, Malaysia, Egypt, Spain, Brazil and Sri Lanka. There was active participation of representatives from government institutions, private sector, non-governmental organisations, academia, telecentre networks, grassroots level telecentre managers and operators, covering over thousands of telecentres in the Asian region along with a large audience from the Nenasala Telecentre Network. As a result, it created wonderful opportunities to support research and exchange of information among people working in the telecentre field.