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ZubaBox: a high-tech container to bridge the rural digital divide

Isabella Rodriguez y Baena's picture
Submitted by Isabella Rodrig... on Fri, 28/03/2014 - 11:24
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We often state that ICTs are a valuable tool to empower farmers: via their mobile phone or through a computer, they are able to connect to the market, check weather forecast, of consult experts, etc. Though, the severe lack of infrastructures among many rural communities hinder the use of any electronic device.

As a matter of fact, rural communities are often quite isolated from the rest of the world: limited electricity, no landlines, poor mobile network; in addition, the services available have often sky-high costs, usually not affordable by people.

"Demo at the Zubabox Opening Ceremony" - Photo by Computer Aid International www.computeraid.orgTo overcome this problem, Computer Aid International developed ZubaBox, a simple container converted into as autonomous IT center. Basically, thanks to solar panels installed on the top of the container that provide the electricity necessary to power the center, ZubaBox is a ready-to-use internet point which can operate anywhere thanks to its satellite connection.

Cargill, along with Maersk Line, supported the provision of one ZubaBox to the “Asarekwaa Al Furqn Islamic School” in Ghana: “ICT is an important part of the school’s curriculum, which until now has largely been taught as theory. This computer room will allow our students to put theory into practice, and enable our teachers to research new and exciting lessons”, Mr Alfred Fuah, ICT Teacher in the school, stated during the opening ceremony.

As pointed out in the article “Bridging the digital divide in Ghana’s cocoa growing communities” by Cargill, initially the ZubaBox will only be used by the school, but “there are already plans to open this up to the broader cocoa community, particularly farmers.

 Read Cargill’s “Bridging the digital divide in Ghana’s cocoa growing communities” now

Additional resources:

 To learn more on ZubaBox, visit Computer Aid International website and read their ZubaBox fact sheet [pdf]

 Wach "BBC Click pay a visit to a Computer Aid ZubaBox in Zambiaand "How to Build a Solar Internet Centre"

Installation of the Cargill-Maersk sponsored ZubaBox - Source: Cargill - www.cargill.com