Huawei, in its Tech4ALL initiative, has announced a partnership with Belgium’s Nonprofit Organization “Close the Gap” aimed at providing digital skills and training to remote rural areas in Kenya. The Chinese tech company announced the new partnership during ITU Telecom World 2019 conference held in Budapest, Hungary on 11th September. According to Huawei ‘DigiTruck’ “is a mobile digital classroom enabling remote areas to benefit from digital technology.”
Word Bank Report estimates that Internet users in Kenya account for less than 50% of the total population. The report says most people in the country live in rural areas and are faced with lack of stable power supply plus the ignorance on the real value of digital skills with no previous exposure to smartphones or the internet in general.
DigiTruck aims to tackle this problem by providing digital skills to remote homes to increase awareness and also the accessibility of digital skills. Because remote areas have issues with power supply, DigiTruck relies on solar panels and batteries.
For teaching purposes, the mobile digital classroom is equipped with wireless broadband allowed by Fixed Wireless Access, laptops, and smartphones. With these digital skills can then be taught right from the truck, and the lessons will also be integrated with VR content. The devices used will reportedly be refurbished to extend their lifespan.
Learners will also be equipped with skills on how to stay safe online plus responsible e-waste management as well.
Huawei says DigiTrucks will be moving around rural communities “on planned dates.” The whole initiative aims to train a total of 7,000 people (teachers and some community members) on digital literacy, entrepreneurship, and online job opportunities in the first year of inception. The first batch will then help in teaching tens of thousands of students.
“With the different DigiTrucks, we have been able to reach even the most isolated communities that have little or no access to ICT, also bring quality training and education to these areas.”
“With the support of Huawei, Close the Gap is honored to coordinate a new DigiTruck-project in Kenya and make a positive impact on the lives of Kenyans,” said Olivier Vanden Eynde, Founder, and CEO of Close the Gap.