Tag: rural Africa

TV’s White Spaces Connecting Rural Africa

Using a computer by firelightWide open spaces: Projects like the one in Nanyuki could let people in the more remote areas connect to the internet

Beatrice Nderango is the headmistress of Gakawa Secondary School, which lies about 10km from Nanyuki, a market town in Kenya’s rift valley, not far from the Mount Kenya national park.  The school is situated in a village that has no phone line and no electricity. The people that live here are mostly subsistence farmers.

Going online: The schools are being supplied with computers as part of the project

“We don’t really have a cash crop, but the farmers do a bit of farming,” says Mrs Nderango.  “They grow potatoes, a little bit of maize, but we don’t do well in maize because of the wild animals. They invade the farms.” 

Although Kenya has fibre optic broadband thanks to the Seacom cable, most of rural Kenya is not connected and until now getting online would mean traveling to town.

But all of this is changing, thanks to technology that uses the unused parts of the wireless spectrum that is set aside for television broadcasters – the white spaces.

The project is part of the 4Afrika Initiative, an investment program being announced by technology giant Microsoft, that also includes a new Windows Phone 8 smartphone for the region and investment in help for small businesses on the continent, and in education and internships. Continue reading “TV’s White Spaces Connecting Rural Africa”