The DigiTruck Project: Bridging the Digital Divide in Africa
Access to technology is critical According to UNESCO, more than 182 million adults in sub-Saharan Africa are unable to read or write, and 48 million young people are illiterate.
Access to information and communication technology is critical to improving a country’s educational and economic prospects. However, high equipment costs, poor infrastructure and limited proficiency all prevent this much-needed technology from reaching many parts of Africa.
Arrow Electronics helped nonprofit partner Close the Gap launch a new program to convert used cargo containers into fully equipped classrooms and health clinics.
Enter the DigiTruck. A 40-foot steel cargo container converted into a mobile computing unit. It is equipped with solar panels capable of fully powering it for several days at a time so it can reach remote rural villages with no electricity. The DigiTruck is also triple-insulated to protect against heat. Donated IT equipment refurbished by Arrow’s Value Recovery business inside the DigiTruck includes laptops, tablets, printers, routers and a LED TV flat-screen monitor.
Working together, Arrow and Close the Gap plan to build and deploy a number of additional DigiTrucks throughout Africa. In fact, following Arrow’s sponsorship of Close the Gap’s first DigiTruck, four other companies pledged to sponsor similar units.
More about Arrow in Smart Cities:
The Colorado Smart Cities Alliance will partner with Arrow Electronics Inc. to create the new Colorado Open Lab – a large-scale showcase and innovation lab dedicated to fast-track development of Smart Cities and Smart Regions throughout the state of Colorado.
Building smart cities and communities requires interdisciplinary, interagency and multi-jurisdictional coordination. It also requires smart public-private-partnerships, new business and procurement models and collaborative co-creation through applied research and innovation.
New to the conference this year are Shark Tank-style pitches featuring regional teams of public and private partners competing in the 2018 Smart Infrastructure Challenge.
Mark your calendar for October 25th and 26th and join leaders from across the continent in Columbus, OH for the largest Smart Regions event in North America.
The Colorado Smart Cities Alliance serves as a co-development laboratory for design, testing, deployment and scaling of cross-jurisdictional infrastructure solutions to problems not currently addressed by market offerings.
Speakers, panels, and presentations will explore smart city solutions beyond municipal boundaries, where stakeholders are required to focus on multi-jurisdictional coordination and collaboration while prioritizing cyber-physical security and privacy in planning.
Arrow Electronics and the nonprofit organization Close the Gap are collaborating to turn used cargo containers into fully equipped digital classrooms and health clinics that can be deployed to remote areas of Africa. The first "DigiTruck" classroom was deployed to the Tuleeni Orphanage in Tanzania where it's currently providing some 80 orphans with access to a classroom full of refurbished laptops, tablets and other IT equipment.
At the Smart Regions Congress in Washington DC, Co-founder of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, Jake Rishavy, talked about addressing some of society's most pressing problems by co-creating the next generation of technologies using a test bed at multi-city scale.
Smart Cities Dive sat down with Jake Rishavy at the Smart Regions Congress in Washington, DC last week to discuss the alliance, how its work is relevant regardless of a city’s size and his advice for those in other states looking to set up similar bodies.