As the article explains, the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KEMFRI) has introduced a new program to prevent middlemen from offering fishermen below-market prices on fish, thereby protecting the fishermen’s livelihoods. Thanks to the Electronic Fish Market Information System (EFMIS) program, fishermen can text a fish species and location to an automated number and receive the market prices for that day. KEMFRI admirably uses its plentiful resources/funding to combat the fishing community’s problems with the simple granting of information. Although it is not mentioned in this particular article, KEMFRI also provides data on water conditions to make for more efficient fishing trips for Kenyans. These programs represent the epitome of a capabilities approach because the individuals are provided the resources (in the form of information) to enable more efficient work and fair wages. In this distinctly bottom-up approach, fishermen and traders can quickly procure valuable information at little to no cost to them.
In rural Africa, it is worth noting that a significant barrier to ICT development appears in the lack of infrastructure to support extensive internet connections. However, a relatively large proportion of Kenyans currently own mobile phones, and phone charging stations are abundant around the country, so this text-oriented program should prove to be successful. By utilizing mobile phone technology, EFMIS represents a prominent ICT4D 2.0 approach because KEMFRI has embraced a technology that is already used extensively to relay newly available information. For this reason, I would expect EFMIS to be more successful than an alternative program that might incorporate smart phones or altogether new devices. Staying true to the ICT4D 2.0 essence of the project, KEMFRI tested the idea in the Lake Victoria area first with a year of monitoring before expanding it to the entirety of Turkana County. EFMIS offers a resource that is proven and sensitive to Kenyans’ needs/preferences, and ultimately should be available for years to come.