US students take power to Tanzanian villages
INNOVATIONS| July 19, 2012, 8:42 a.m.
A group of US students will travel to Tanzania next month to install solar energy syatems at a number of village schools and hospitals.
The students, from Oregon Institute of Technology(Oregon Tech), will travel to Tanzania next month to join their professor, Dr. Slobodan Petrovic, where they will install solar energy systems for schools and hospitals. The trip is part of Oregon Tech's BS in Renewable Energy Engineering (BSREE) degree program.
After volunteering in Tanzania in 2009, Dr. Petrovic teamed up with students from Oregon Tech's Department of Electrical Engineering & Renewable Energy (EERE) in Portland to help build a sustainable new model for changing the energy outlook in Africa, and provide hands-on experience in the design and installation of renewable energy technology.
"What I always say is that we give these people the gift of light and the gift of communication," Dr. Petrovic says.
Each year since 2010, another batch of 10 students travels to Tanzania to continue Oregon Tech's work providing energy for schools, hospitals and orphanages. This year the students will also take eight laptops allowing villages access to the internet as connections allow.
For the first time this trip, the group will revisit past sites to install equipment invented by last year's seniors that allow monitoring of the solar systems online. The data will allow Dr. Petrovic to ensure the installations stay working.
The humanitarian work also is made possible by donations from Hillsboro-based SolarWorld. SolarWorld has donated 30 panels to the program, and is invested in continuing to help it grow.
"This is about more than simply installing solar panels; it's about facilitating access to education, communications, medical services and clean, safe drinking water," says Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America.
The initial inspiration for the program came about during Dr. Petrovic's 2009 trip to Tanzania, when a terrible accident changed his perspective forever. "There was a girl in the dormitory in one of the schools using a candle hidden under her blanket so she could read," Dr. Petrovic says. "She fell asleep, and her blanket caught fire. Thirteen girls died. I want to prevent these tragedies."
In addition to installing solar panels, this year Dr. Petrovic and his students will build a large solar water pumping project to provide drinking water for a village of 3,000 people on Lake Nyasa.
MORE INNOVATIONS NEWS
MTN joins forces with AMPION to develop entrepreneurial talent in AfricaMTN has joined three leading global technology companies as sponsors of this year’s AMPION Venture Bus, which seeks to enable entrepreneurial talent in Africa to develop innovative solutions on the continent by making best use of the power of mobile technology. Read More
Ministerial Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa underwayThe Second Ministerial Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Africa is underway at the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology in Rabat, Morocco, to discuss boosting science and technology in Africa. Read More
Rwandan incubator think selects startups from four African countriesTigo-owned Kigali-based technology incubator think has announced the first four companies selected for support, with the winners to be offered US$15,000 in funding, access to Tigo networks across Africa, mentoring and business development education. Read More
TA Telecom on mobile mission to map identity of AfricaIn what is described as the first Big Data project of its kind in Africa, TA Telecom's Nafsi anthropological survey is now underway in Egypt, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. Read More
Lenovo Innovation Centres to bridge university tech divideThe Durban University of Technology (DUT) and Lenovo, the world’s No.1 PC vendor, will launch South Africa’s first Lenovo Innovation Centre; a state of the art walk-in centre aimed at increasing the University’s interactivity with the latest technology. Read More
Philips, PET to commercialise Wind-Up Fetal Heart Rate MonitorRoyal Philips has announced a partnership with South Africa based not-for-profit organization, PET (PowerFree Education Technology), to further develop, test and commercialise a Wind-up Doppler Ultrasound Fetal Heart Rate Monitor. Read More
KPMG: ‘disruptive trio’ to have greater impact3-D printing, Internet of Things and biotech/healthcare IT are gaining momentum as top disruptive technologies, says KPMG. Read More
African startups fast-tracked by Microsoft’s second round of innovation grantsMicrosoft Corp. today announced seven new African startups to receive funding, technical support and mentorship to fast-track their growth and provide a roadmap to highlight Africa’s ‘future growth pole’. Read More
SAP Innovation Helps The Global Fund Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in AfricaExtending a longstanding partnership, SAP is a founding member of The Global Fund’s new Innovation Coalition to support disease prevention and treatment. Read More
Kenya to host a high level international discussion on ‘innovating in Africa’Senior participants from the Kenyan private sector, the international business community, the Kenyan government, media and international institutions are set to join a high-level breakfast meeting organised by The Economist Events on September 30th at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
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.
COMPANY NEWSCNN, MultiChoice name top African Journalist 2014
Kenyan journalist Joseph Mathenge has been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Awards Ceremony.