Telemedia Group hasÂ launched Telemigrants Mali, an innovative pilot program designed to provide a continuous high speed Internet between two remote villages Kersiniane and Yelimane and native migrants based in Montreuil, in the outskirts of Paris.
This program is innovative because it is a real mutualist digital infrastructure for a sustainable solidarity development. Money from the diaspora is in effect paying for the implementation of connectivity in their village of origin.
Migrants will have access to a modern and high performance communication services at low cost. More importantly, they will have the capacity to prepay services in Europe to be delivered to their families at home and thus be able to directly contribute to increasing their access to health, food and education. Health centers, food cooperatives and internet coffees, among others, will be connected.
Telemigrants will help associations of migrants here and there run the digital centers, create jobs, increase their revenues and develop local activities. It would also benefit Villages from a mutual digital infrastructure, help in opening the markets of Telecommunication operators of the North to migrants. Those of the South increase their subscribers and their incomes without any additional investment, and benefit from new skills development.
The business model is specially designed to enhance the involvement of diaspora in the social and economic development of their countries. In doing so, Telemigrants plays a key role in helping reach the Millennium Development Goals.
Revenues from communication of migrants through Voice Over IP contribute to financing the bandwith in the village where they are from.Telemedia Group then offers a distant platform for diaspora to pre-pay value added services for their relatives at home.
The revenues generated by pre-payment of proposed services are allocated to cover the operational costs, in particular the high speed Internet, salaries, maintenance and technical transfers. Therefore, Governments and donors should welcome Telemigrants as a new sustainable financing mechanism to support any local project and a new tool to optimize migrantsâ€™ financial flows into the local economy.
As for local populations, Telemigrants will meet their needs and expectations. Through involvement in the program, they take ownership and are empowered in setting the priorities for their country development projects. Additional new services such as distance teaching, training and telemedicine provided by the digital infrastructure will create the enabling environment and an exceptional bridge between Southern and Northern countries.
The two villages, Kersiniane and Yelimane, located at over 600 Kms from the capital city, Bamako, will show the way. Lessons will be learned from this pilot program to support its extension to ten countries, under the leadership of migrantsâ€™associations and in collaboration with all development partners.
Telemedia Group is a French telecommunications group listed on the Paris Stock Exchange Euronext. Telemedia Group is now looking for a technical and financial partnership to develop and extend Telemigrants.
Partners of Telemigrants include the French Ministry de lâ€™Immigration, IntÃ©gration, de lâ€™IdentitÃ© nationale et du DÃ©veloppement solidaire and the CNES (National Center of Space studies). The Ministry provides a financial support to implement the initial phase in Mali up to 57% of the budget. The CNES is acting as a designer and a facilitator to develop new and well coordinated partnerships to meet local socio- economical needs. Other partners are the RAFT (Network of telemedicine in the French speaking areas of Africa) the Global Digital University (UNFM), the World Digital Solidarity Agency, and the AFTAM.