Samsung Africa launches solar powered internet schools

COMPUTING

|
Image: By Samsung
Samsung Africa launches solar powered internet schools

By Carole Kimutai, Nairobi, Kenya

Samsung Africa has unveiled a continental project to boost computer literacy and expand internet access at the basic education level, with a Solar Powered Internet School model.

The model, unveiled in a pilot project in South Africa, features a fully-equipped containerised computer school kitted with Samsung PCs and remote access internet connectivity.

The pioneering project at the Samsung Engineering Academy in Boksburg, South Africa, is also set to be replicated in other parts of Africa, including Kenya.

Speaking in Nairobi, Samsung Electronics East Africa Business Leader Robert Ngeru confirmed that plans for a similar Kenyan launch are in high gear as Samsung races to support initiatives geared at raising computer literacy in East Africa.

Describing the project, Ngeru explained that the new model features an exclusively solar-powered, mobile and completely independent classroom designed for use in remote rural areas with limited or no access to electricity.

The school’s model addresses one of Africa’s largest economic challenges – electrification.  On average, less than 25% of rural areas on the continent benefit from electricity, resulting in isolated communities with limited access to education and connectivity – both of which are key to fast-tracking a nation’s development.

“We have set an ambitious goal for ourselves in Africa: to positively impact five million lives by 2015,” confirmed Ngeru.

“We believe that this can most effectively be achieved if we connect our CSR initiatives with our history and core business. With the goal to grow our business on the continent, we also know that we have to sustain our level of innovation."

This can only be achieved if we invest in education to facilitate African thought leadership and to ensure we have access to a large workforce of skilled engineers in the future. The Solar Powered Internet School is a great example of this strategy at play,” added Ngeru.

The launch follows the rollout of Samsung Africa’s ‘Built for Africa’ product range and the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy earlier this year. Each Solar Powered Internet School is built in a 40 foot (12 metre) long shipping container, making them easily transportable via truck to remote areas.

The schools are built for energy scarce environments, harsh weather conditions, and for transportation over long distances. Fold-away solar panels provide enough energy to power the unit for up to nine hours a day, and for one and a half days without any sunlight at all. The solar-panels themselves are made from rubber instead of glass to ensure they are hardy and durable enough to survive long journeys across the continent.

“The amount of power generated by the schools each day means they can be used beyond the traditional school day as an adult education centre in the afternoons or a community centre over weekends,” adds Tessa Calleb, Samsung’s East Africa CSR Manager.

“Our goal was to create an environment that would facilitate learning for whole communities in remote areas that otherwise don’t have access to education tools or internet connectivity.”

The Solar Powered Internet School prototype is currently being piloted at the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy in Boksburg. It will then be sent to Qunu in the Eastern Cape to undergo further testing as a functioning learning and teaching environment, with the aim to e Schools thereafter.

 



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE COMPUTING NEWS

Continual service improvement: key to tackling top ITSM challenges

A lack of understanding of ITSM and its impact on business hindered its effectiveness in 2014, says Marval Africa.  Read More

Advanced analytics and telecoms – a power combination

Telecommunications and advanced analytics are a symbiotic duo that can help fast track African development and revolutionise business, says LGR Telecommunications. Read More

Cameroon college gets affordable, quality Keepod devices

Teaching and learning have since dramatically changed and improved at the College Socka Bongue in Cameroon thanks to the supply by Keepod of 650 computing devices and 26 laptops, with each device costing as little as US$7. Read More

Elephant census not ready for drone technology

Dr Chase and Minister Khama Elephants Without Borders, a Botswana conservation project which is bankrolled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has shelved the use of drone technology during future elephant census expeditions. Read More

Indigenous technical skills critical to growth, says Skysat chief

Skysat Technologies Limited CEO Izzat Debs says the conscious development of indigenous technical skills in Nigeria remains one of the ways of developing the ICT sector of the country to make it grow the nation’s GDP. Read More

Products and services to go on show at WATSE 2015

Telecoms operators, smartphone companies, ICT service companies and other allied companies will showcase their products and services at this year’s  West Africa Telecom Summit and Expo (WATSE 2015), to be held on 21 – 22 May at Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra. Read More

Silicon Congo project to boost ICT entrepreneurship

ICT entrepreneurs in Congo Brazzaville have been given a platform to take off, grow and prosper by Silicon Congo, a new project launched early this week in the capital Brazzaville by the BantuHub Foundation. Read More

Cisco opens 5th academy in Botswana

Cisco Systems has opened its 5th Cisco Academy in Botswana, with online curricula, virtual learning tools, instruction support as well as teacher training and professional development opportunities.  Read More

According to VMware the future of the SAN is virtual

Customers looking to deploy SAN based environments that can scale quickly, support software-defined computing and deliver on increased performance need look no further than VMware’s new Virtual SAN 6. Read More

Nigeria’s computer body urges revisit of e-voting

The Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) has once again advised Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission and the government to heed its call to adopt electronic voting for the coming general elections. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

Malawi Govt denies clinging to ‘Cashgate’ softwareMalawi Govt denies clinging to ‘Cashgate’ software

The Malawi Government will not exclude the software brand that has been in use for the country’s Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS), but it has rejected reports implying that it is ‘clinging’ to the old system.

IN DEPTH

Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up

Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.