Cameroon college gets affordable, quality Keepod devices

By Issa Sikiti da Silva

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.

Keepods, described as ‘the $7 personal desktop’ are USB hard drives that contain the operating system and user data, so allowing many people to share a single PC.

The project was run through an NGO, Manengouba Foundation, and funded through the Omniplex Group’s corporate social responsibility programme.

Keepod spokesperson Ilana Stemmer told Biztechafrica this week that the project’s aim was to invest in the well-being of the youth in Cameroon by increasing technology awareness and computer literacy, while implementing academic programmes.

Early last year, the Israeli company headquartered in London, UK, also partnered with Italy’s LiveInSlums to supply the underpriviledged community of Mathare with Keepod IT equipment.

Mathare is a slum located in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

“Since opening up our Beta program of Keepod Points, we've had lots of interest from businesses in Africa wanting to provide computer access to the people in their communities, while also bringing in a new source of income for their business,” Stemmer explained.

In the case of Cameroon, the company said it would continue working with new partners and organisations that approach it, as well as with the existing project, providing them with more Keepods and computers as their budget and needs develop.

The Keepod Unite Project eliminates the need for a physical computer for each individual, by applying its technology so that one machine (even an old, outdated PC) can serve as a personal computer for many users.

Nissan Bahar, CEO and founder of Keepod, says the system was designed because he deplores the current huge digital divide that continues to be a barrier to access to personal computing.

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