Expanding access to information technology in Africa


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Gladys Muhunyo, Director of Africa Programme, Computer Aid International speaking at Open Access Africa 2010

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Expanding access to information technology in Africa

  1. 1. www.computeraid.org 1 Computer Aid International Enhancing Access to Information Technology in Africa Gladys Muhunyo Director of Africa Programmes
  2. 2. www.computeraid.org 2  Founded in 1998; Mission to Bridge the Digital DivideFounded in 1998; Mission to Bridge the Digital Divide  Registered UK charity (no. 1069256) and companyRegistered UK charity (no. 1069256) and company limited by guarantee (no.3442679limited by guarantee (no.3442679 ).).  Most experienced and world largest not for profitMost experienced and world largest not for profit distributor of refurbished PCs to Educationaldistributor of refurbished PCs to Educational Institutions, CBOs and NGOs in developing countriesInstitutions, CBOs and NGOs in developing countries  Over 170,000 Professional refurbished PCs to moreOver 170,000 Professional refurbished PCs to more than 100 different countries 70% to Africa.than 100 different countries 70% to Africa.  We have knowledge, expertise and professionalism inWe have knowledge, expertise and professionalism in the ICT development field, Africa regional office -the ICT development field, Africa regional office - Kenya serving West, Central, East and SouthernKenya serving West, Central, East and Southern Africa.Africa. Computer AidComputer Aid InternationalInternational
  3. 3. www.computeraid.org Enhancing Access ➲ Hardware : Affordability, Local Distribution points, Partnerships ➲ Software – Development of Software with UK developers for a free and open source solution. ➲ Awareness : Local, Regional and International Conference Presentations of need for e-Health, eLearning, eWaste, e-Inclusion. ➲ Future Support : Research and Development Reducing Poverty through Practical ICT Solutions
  4. 4. www.computeraid.org 4 36 African Countries – Providing Refurbished PCs; Laptops, Wireless equipment, Networking Solutions
  5. 5. www.computeraid.org 5 Alternative Technologies including Mesh Networks in Rural Settings through Research and Development Support MACHA – Zambia Largest Mesh Network in Africa Covering www.machaw orks.org
  6. 6. www.computeraid.org 6  Chief Chicanta 700KMs of Lusaka has access to Malaria Research Institute, Hospital, 4 Schools, Community Radio station for Information  No Electricity, Plenty of Sunshine  100% Funding  Local Sustainability on Pay per use
  7. 7. www.computeraid.org 7 Collaborative Skills in Technical Support and Maintenance with Local Partners
  8. 8. www.computeraid.org 8 Low power PCs in standalone or solar container providing access for all
  9. 9. www.computeraid.org 9 Education and Employment for the blind & visually impaired Computer Aid is working with the Kenya Union of the Blind to provide blind and visually impaired users with PCs and assistive technology software. The assistive technology produces synthesised speech output of the screen’s contents for blind users or magnifies the screen for visually impaired users.
  10. 10. www.computeraid.org 10 Computers improve Food Security  Computer Aid has provided weather stations in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia with PCs, which are used to analyse weather data.  Previously data was only available in paper form and took months to analyse. Now, stations can immediately analyse locally and provide accurate information to those who urgently need it.  The data has been used to improve crop and livestock productivity by determining the best strain for the climatic conditions.  Many scientific researcher require climatic data for various analysis.
  11. 11. www.computeraid.org 11 Telemedicine provides a breakthrough in rural healthcare  Many rural hospitals in Africa do not have the expertise to treat complicated cases due to staff shortages and limited staff experience.  Computer Aid is providing PCs, digital cameras, scanners and printers to rural hospitals in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania through AMREF Outreach program.  The technology enables doctors and nurses in these hospitals to get expert advice from medical specialists in Nairobi.  Staff in the rural hospital take photos of the injury or illness and them email them, along with the case notes, to the medical staff in Nairobi.  "Telemedicine is a very major step for us and a breakthrough in helping us deliver better health care," says Dr Johnson Musomi, Outreach Manager at AMREF, which is working with Computer Aid on the project.
  12. 12. www.computeraid.org 12 Enables the most experienced and highly-trained clinicians to provide (potentially life- saving) instant diagnostic expertise to inexperienced rural health practitioners
  13. 13. www.computeraid.org 13 e-Learning Computer Aid has provided PCs for a national e-learning project that is retraining all of Kenya’s 26,000 state enrolled nurses in a project with AMREF, with funding from Accenture
  14. 14. www.computeraid.org 14 Tackling marginalisation through e-learning  Computer Aid has so-far provided PCs to Kenyatta University for its e-learning centres across Kenya. By enabling women head of households, adult learners and rural students to access university education remotely no one is doing more to foster social inclusion.  E-learning enables disadvantaged students to access further education. “Most e-learning students are marginalised – they could not afford to leave their jobs and stay in Nairobi for three years,” says Professor Frederick Gravenir.  “It is difficult to send course materials to rural areas. With e-learning students can access materials immediately from anywhere," says Professor Olive Mugenda, Vice Chancellor of Kenyatta University.
  15. 15. www.computeraid.org The Challenge  Selection of Appropriate ICT in Developmental projects – Including Research programs  Access to Local support ICT programs  Technical Maintenance of Internal ICT systems  Awareness of Social Media solutions for development Sectors  Cost of connectivity  Management of Ewaste
  16. 16. www.computeraid.org 16 Conclusion Serving to accelerate and achieve sustainable development of quality ICT Solutions  Research and Development  Information Dissemination through Social Media and Open Access  Past experiences, lessons learned and best practices  Immediacy in Access – USE NOW  Affordability and Sustainability
  17. 17. www.computeraid.org 17 Thank You! Website: www.computeraid.org Email: gladys@computeraid.org +254(0) 20 2230827/8 +254(0)722 707140