First funding for Zanzicode!

Our project Zanzicode is a course on web application programming for the urban youth of Stone Town, Zanzibar. Our aim is to strengthen the local IT capacities and provide young people who might not be able to afford it otherwise with additional education.

It is the successor of our Zanzibits Support project, which four motivated young finished successfully at the end of last year.

One of these alumni – Salum – already had some additional experience and showed so much talent in teaching himself that we decided that we would hand over the teaching to him and concentrate on organizational issues and applications for funding. Furthermore we searched for organizations in the area to improve the project and better adapt it to local conditions, and have found a promising partner with Aidnet Zanzibar.

Now we have started the course with twelve new students and are happy to announce the first funding we received – the Austria Development Agency (ADA) is taking over more than half of the project costs for the first year.

We are very happy and we’ll do our best to make this project a success.

For Zanzicode itself, we are always looking for partnerships and collaborations with NGOs and the private and public sector – so if you happen to reside in the area, our project description sounds interesting for you and you think you can contribute something, just contact us!

Also, if you too want to support the project financially, please donate here. Thank you!

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First funding for Zanzicode!
was published on 06.05.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under sub saharan africa
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The next step in the mobile revolution?

After Samsung launched their glamorous solar-powered mobile phone Blue Earth last week, which is targeted at the environmentally-aware costumer, Chinese manufacturer ZTE is the first company to introduce a low-cost solar phone for the emerging markets. The Coral-200-Solar phone uses an integrated solar charger and promises to give people living in areas without electricity access to mobile phones. Digicel will be rolling out the Coral-200-Solar in selected markets from June. It will be interesting to see the impact of this new amazing piece of technology on those markets and also on the product developments of other manufacturers.

(Image from engadget mobile)

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The next step in the mobile revolution?
was published on 20.02.2009 by Martin Tomitsch. It files under global
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Electricity prepaid

We where previously discussing prepay versus subscription in the cellular network business. Now we want to go into prepaid electricity supply. Niti Bhan is reporting about the benefits of prepaying by example of John Lumbe out of Blantyre, Malawi. I spent myself 3 month down in Blantyre, and a was not a friend of topping up my electricity counter. As i grew up in Austria, electricity was always there. You just plug a device in, and it is lighting up and working. Prepaying therefor is just overhead. Why should you prepay, when you have electricity at almost no cost and the supplying company is just charging your account?

In lesser developed countries the situation is different. Companies don’t trust their customers. They want the money in advance. The consumption behavior is different. People want to spend small amounts of money to services and want to get a short experience. E.g. people spent this affordable small amount of money to plug in their TV an watch the news 5 minutes a day. On the other hand business owners can benefit from the prepaid system:

– No writing off of bad debts
– Cost decrease
– Simplifying management information
– Help companies to cope with uncertainty

    [bullets taken from here]

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    Electricity prepaid
    was published on 21.09.2008 by Martin Konzett. It files under global
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    Solar powered GSM towers Remote / Rural Areas

    Ethan Zuckerman posted about an interesting investment of the Indian telecom vendor VNL, which is related to a former idea of his and Russel Southwood’s – Chief Editor of Balancing act, a portal which :

    …seeks to be the primary source for information on the telecoms, Internet and audio-visual media industries in Africa. [Snippet taken from here]

    It is about solar powered GSM towers – the link:

    an announcement by Indian telecoms vendor VNL that they’ve developed a solar-powered, battery back up low power GSM tower. [Snippet taken from here]

    The towers are specifically designed to run solely on the power the sun provides. A comment from VNL themselves:

    VNL said that, with solar power, WorldGSM both reduces the operating expenses for mobile operators and contributes to a much lower environmental impact. [Snippet taken from here]

    This is, of course, a great solution for areas with no connection to the electricity network.

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    Solar powered GSM towers Remote / Rural Areas
    was published on 28.07.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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