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AFRINIC participated at the 2017 Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2017) from 18 to 21 December 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. The theme ‘Shape your Digital Future’, welcomed around 2,000 Delegates from 142 economies to participate at a total of 260 sessions, in addition there were 32 remote hubs with some 1,600 online participants.

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The Maendeleo Foundation through its Mobile Solar Computer Classroom Project has secured a US$ 3,000 FIRE Africa Award. The Mobile Solar Computer Classroom consists of a modified all terrain vehicle equipped with a solar system, low-power laptops, an internet router, a tent, chairs and tables.

Kibiribiri Primary School is one out of the 10 rural schools in Uganda, which the Mobile Solar Computer Classroom Project is empowering with relevant computer skills. In a country where only 10% of the population has access to electricity, 23% have access to the Internet and the costs of access high; the quality of learning is highly affected. Most schools stick to rote learning where students repeat after a teacher and take notes from the blackboard. There is no research or supplementing the learning resources at all.

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The Ubongo Kids Project received a US$ 3,000 FIRE Africa Award in 2017 at the Internet Governance Forum. The Ubongo Kids TV and radio show is helping over 6 million kids in East Africa develop the skills they will need for success in our future. In new episodes of Ubongo Kids, produced with support from AFRINIC (the Africa Internet Registry) which broadcasts in Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda, English and French, young learners are introduced to future-ready skills from coding to methods of assessing the accuracy of information. They also learn financial literacy skills like budgeting, and are encouraged to have a growth mindset (the belief that they can grow their own intelligence) and to stick-to-it with grit. 

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The African Renewable Energy Distributor (ARED) project has secured a US$ 3,000 FIRE Africa Award. ARED is a turnkey solution for people in Africa to start up their own micro-business through a franchised model that uses a mobile solar kiosk platform for charging electronic devices amongst other services.

The idea came to Nyakarundi when he saw many people trying to charge their phones at places like airports. However, he soon realised that charging alone wouldn’t be a sustainable business model, so he improved it to include additional digital services. The Shiriki Hub is innovative hardtech technology on two fronts.

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EduAir has secured a US$ 3,000 FIRE Africa Award in 2017 in support of this project. 

Less than a quarter of the population in Cameroon has access to Internet. EduAir (formerly kwiizi) is developing a solution to distribute digital content for education. How does one make the more remote villages benefit from the digital world, the inhabitants of which, isolated, only get a little electrical power and a nonexistent Internet connection? In Cameroon, the penetration rate of Internet is still very low (21%) and the cost to access it mostly remains very high. Add to this a very poor reception capacity in training centers and you will get an inkling of the challenge that the startup Target is taking on. EduAir aims to propose to all a platform allowing you to remotely access, with or without an internet connection, quality educational and cultural content, originating from the best sources.

To make the solution affordable, one needs to rethink local, working from what is done in the world of makers. A Raspberry Pi, the off-line Wikipedia platform Kiwix and homemade software, all embedded in a Raspberry Pi 3 platform for the first version, then on an Intel Nuc when more processing power was needed. Regarding the tablet, a Raspberry Pi with a screen and a software layer dedicated to the Rasbian operating system permitting to offer a tactile solution, affordable and reproducible. And what’s more, a by-no-means-insignificant detail, you can get hold of all these elements in Cameroon.

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