Kyama, R. and Mwaura, N. (2010) Rural Internet Kiosks Herald Last Frontier in Bridging Africa’s Digital Divide e-Learning Africa News Service, No. 3, January 28
From the article:
Rural Internet Kiosks are currently mushrooming throughout rural areas in Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia, providing Africans who were previously cut-off from the digital world with Internet connections. These movable, cost-effective and recyclable kiosks, which operate with satellite connectivity provided by Intersat Africa and use solar energy, along with a highly energy efficient personal computer, allow rural communities to participate in the digital world.
Evidence provided by organisations at the frontline of implementing this project in rural Kenya indicates that internet kiosks have helped farmers to obtain regular updates on weather patterns, sound agronomy and better prices for their produce. As a result, their revenue has expanded dramatically. Business start-ups have also gained enormously. They have exploited potential in digital multi-media advertising to promote their goods and services, hence higher returns.
Rural Internet Kiosks are enabling government agencies charged with creating awareness concerning health and environment to reach out to local communities. Through use of multi-media information outlets, communities can access information about infectious diseases such as malaria, polio, HIV/Aids and tuberculosis. The kiosks create platforms for the promotion of tele-medicine, which is still in its infancy in most African countries.
I found this a fascinating article, well worth reading in full. Further nuggets from the article: The Rural Internet Kiosk Project is currently working closely with Userful, a multi-station computing company from Calgary, Canada, and the aim is to manufacture new computers locally in Kenya.
The authors will be presenting at the e-Learning Africa 2010 conference in Lusaka, Zambia, which runs from May 26-28. I’d rather have tickets for this than the Winter Olympics in Vancouver!