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
Telecom Namibia implements information display system at Ondangua airportA team of Telecom Namibia engineers and technicians successfully implemented for the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) a Flight Information Display System (FIDS) over the Telecom Namibia network at Ondangua airport recently. Read More
Associated Discount House migrates to Finacle 10Computer Warehouse Group (CWG Plc) has powered the successful migration of Associated Discount House banking services to the Finacle 10 core banking application in a bid to improve their efficiency and improve their customer experience. Read More
Cisco Systems joins GITS in Ghana to improve customer experienceCisco Systems has joined Global Information Technology Solutions (GITS) an elite technology partner of Cisco Systems in Ghana, to engage key stakeholders in the Ghanaian IT industry. Read More
Lagos says HP’s Technology Tour will boost ICT developmentNigeria’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs. Nike Animashaun, has said technology forums such the HP Technology Tour will help fast-track the growth of ICT industry and the economy, stressing that it provides stakeholders opportunity to brainstorm. Read More
As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets. Read More
Huawei to train 1,000 African students over five yearsHuawei has announced that over the next five years, 1,000 students across Africa will join its technical training program, Seeds for the Future. Read More
Worldwide sales of cellular-embedded devices to pass 112m units this yearMore than 112 million non-smartphone connected devices will be sold worldwide in 2015, as demand for ubiquitous internet access for mobile, social and information drives greater adoption, says Gartner. Read More
Benin collection drive nets over 20 tons of e-wasteAn e-waste collection drive coordinated by MTN and Ericsson in Benin has collected over 20 tons of e-waste. Read More
ASUS steps up Southern African serviceASUS has appointed Ensure Services as its authorised service partner, building on the company’s strategy to enhance after-sales service levels in Southern Africa. Read More
Huawei: data centre investment will boost Nigerian connectivityAn increase in data centre investment would enhance connectivity in Nigeria and other developing countries, Huawei Technologies Company Limited has said. Read More
FEATURED STORYIHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacity
Mohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAs curtain falls on MDGs, what next?
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.