Samsung Africa launches solar powered internet schools
COMPUTING| Oct. 26, 2011, 4:32 p.m.
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.
MORE COMPUTING NEWS
Botswana women missing from ICTThere has been a rallying call for women in Botswana to consider a lifetime participation in the Information and Communication Technology if the sector is to realise any meaningful growth as well as a fair gender representation. Read More
Globecomm, Tanzania Support Foundation take computers to rural schoolGlobecomm announced today that it has donated desktop computers to a school in the Tanzanian village of Selela to aid the mission of the Tanzanian Support Foundation to help small communities become more self-sufficient in education, healthcare, hygiene and clean water. Read More
The Network is dead. Long live the network!Your network is vastly bigger than the Internet itself, says Infoblox. Read More
Schneider Electric’s off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger now in southern AfricaSchneider Electric Solar Business, a global leader in solutions for the solar power conversion chain, has released its off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger, the Conext SW, in the southern African region. Read More
Phase3 seeks digitally enhanced life for special needs kidsWest Africa’s largest independent fibre optic infrastructure and telecommunications services provider, Phase3 Telecom, has urged stakeholders in the ICT industry to offer children living with disabilities a good quality of life through the deployment of assistive technology. Read More
Kenya, China partner to grow ICT skillsGlobal technology company Huawei, in partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Technology, has dispatched to China the first beneficiaries of the “Huawei Seeds for the Future” Internship programme. Read More
Big trends for 2015Industry experts share their thoughts on the innovations that will impact business next year. Read More
ASUS appoints Andre Goosen as Country Service ManagerASUS, the Taiwanese technology innovation brand, has appointed Andre Goosen to the position of Country Service Manager, a new role created in line with ASUS’ increased focus on after sales service. Read More
iWayAfrica managed service solution launched in KenyaPan African telecoms operator, Gondwana International Networks (GIN) has announced that its iWayAfrica business has launched a managed infrastructure and services solution in Kenya. Read More
Kenya Ports Authority first to deploy Pamoja’s RUBiQ cloud platformThe Kenya Ports Authority is the first institution in East Africa to adopt the RUBiQ Cloud-based governance, risk and compliance platform. Read More
FEATURED STORYPWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some
PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.