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Education and Technology in AfricaAccess to education and literacy are two of the most important tools for positive growth in developing nations. Each new educated, literate and technologically-savvy generation can bring with it a host of innovative solutions and boundless potential for future development. However, in rural or impoverished parts of Africa, access to education – and especially technology – can be limited, making it difficult for the millions of people living there to receive these key resources.

Connecting Rural Africa

Intuitive, driven thinkers are determined to change this; the introduction of the XO Laptop and the Inye computer tablet has changed the face of education in Africa with technology, while the WorldReader program is making literacy more accessible than ever with e-readers. Advancements like this help fuel the growth of developing countries from the inside out by starting grassroots dedication to education that can completely alter the future of impoverished nations.

One of the essential first steps for transforming education in Africa with technology is connecting rural villages to the internet, a vital resource when it comes to both teaching and learning. Internet access isn’t guaranteed in villages without the luxury of cables and Wi-Fi, which meant other solutions had to be explored.

The XO Laptop

Two pieces of technology emerged, providing limitless potential to impoverished children throughout Africa. The first is known as the XO Laptop, a compact, inexpensive personal computer with both built-in internet connectivity as well as a host of other features that make it ideal for use in rural areas. The product has surged in popularity in Kenya.

The Inye Tablet

For adolescent users with more advanced technological understanding, the Inye Computer Tablet is the solution helping to bridge the tech gap between first and third-world countries, such as its origin country of Nigeria. At a price just over 250 dollars, it provides competitive features to mainstream wireless devices for a fraction of the cost. The Inye tablet uses dongles to connect to the internet rather than a wireless connection, making World Wide Web access affordable and easy. The Inye tablet has also opened the market for local programmers to develop apps for needs specific to their communities, often featuring education modules focuses on HIV, clean water, and youth education.

The WorldReader Project

Finally, literacy has gone from dream to reality for millions in impoverished countries worldwide with technological advances and the initiative of NGOs like the WorldReader Project, which provides e-readers stocked with curated libraries to schools in developing nations. WorldReader programs are tailored based on age group and reading experience, and the long-lasting e-readers they rely on can be used in direct sunlight. WorldReader has taken action in nearly 50 countries and expanded its base to include nearly 10 million readers since 2010.

The revolution to improve and expand education in Africa with technology is already underway, and growing every day. With new innovations like the Inye Computer Tablet and WorldReader e-readers becoming available to millions worldwide, lives are changing for the better, and the future is bright for Africa.

– Emmitt Kussrow
Photo: Flickr

President of Kenya Promises Change
The new president of Kenya, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, was sworn in earlier this week, marking the beginning of the fourth presidency for the country. Although the election process was mired in tensions and left the country severely divided, Kenyatta made promises in his acceptance speech regarding the future of the country.

Kenyatta praised the people of Kenya for dealing with rough times following the introduction of a brand new constitution just three years ago and asserted that he will lead the country to better economic, social, and political times, promising to set aside differences even with those who did not vote for him.

He promised that all mothers would receive free maternal health care within 100 days of taking office, and also promised free laptop computers to every school-aged child starting next year.

Kenyatta went on praise the citizens of Kenya and said that he recognized their continued support during tumultuous and unstable times. He will be the first president under the new constitution that aims at reducing the president’s powers under the law.

Christina Kindlon

Source: The Guardian