The youth of Africa have many qualities and abilities that can be developed, that can lead to enormous economic opportunities. Unfortunately, in Africa opportunities for development are not endless.Despite our increasingly interconnected world, many people are still unable to access the benefits provided by technology. For example,
only 2% of Kenyans have access to broadband services today (Communications Commissions of Kenya). In many countries in Africa, even fewer are connected. Having worked with students, teachers, and partner communities in Africa for over 7 years, Asante Africa Foundation is working to deliver low-cost, high-quality broadband access to rural African communities through its Technology in the Classroom Initiative.
When we launched the Technology in the Classroom Initiative we set out to accelerate Africa’s education and economic competitiveness. Key to this is our mission of enabling young people to create a future where they can live to their potential.
While other projects in Africa have focused on the technical feasibility of the technology, our Technology in the Classroom Initiative is the first program designed to increase economic opportunity in communities without access to broadband or electricity by focusing on education. Why is this important? For the youth of Africa education opens up enormous opportunities. Tech-savvy students create many more producers, consumers, and change agents versus having little or no knowledge of, or experience with technology. African youth are quick to embrace new tools. With this new initiative, we will enable them to build these skills and their sense of possibilities, in the formative years of their schooling – the most challenging and vulnerable time for most young people.
Asante Africa Foundation seeks to ensure that schools are equipped with the technology and knowledge needed to take full advantage of the new access to broadband. Creating opportunities for more young people to become educated and successful will result in increased job creation and economic development. In doing this, we’re not only investing in local communities, but we’re also supporting the respective African governments’ national priorities of creating jobs, growing skills and giving people meaningful work.
The Technology in the Classroom Initiative serves as strong proof that deployment of broadband technology not only makes good business sense, but also plays a key role in delivering on the promise of universal education access for Africa – significantly reducing barriers to education faced by the rural population. This initiative – which can be found at www.asanteafrica.org/tech – is a collaboration between Asante Africa Foundation and the business community to bring investment and a range of highly relevant products and services to educational facilities in Africa.
The challenges facing Africa
Budget, and in rural settings, infrastructure, are often listed as the main stumbling blocks to bringing more modern teaching tools and technology to African classrooms. Asante Africa Foundation is critical to advancing opportunity in partner communities, solving the problem of how best to support effective learning and teaching, as well as sourcing, prioritizing funding and allocating equipment. Asante Africa Foundation provides technology together with other critical success factors like teachers’ professional development and training.
Asante Africa Foundation has always had a strong heritage of supporting students, teachers, and partner communities across Africa. We recognize their crucial role in the global economy, and because we understand their challenges and needs, we’re in a good position to help them succeed and the African economies compete.
We understand that across Africa many students don’t have access to modern technology. They are using old and less efficient hardware and software, which negatively impacts their productivity and relevance in an increasingly digital world. Simply having a website can radically increase their chances of success.
Technology can help level the playing field for students in Africa, helping them compete in the global economy.