GiaKonda IT Limited (Giakonda), a Wales based Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company, has recently provided nine schools in Siavonga town on the north shore of Lake Kariba in Zambia’s Southern Province with off-grid power and ICT equipment, aiming at supporting access to internet and ICT development in the country.
The provision of ICT equipment is part of the Swansea-Siavonga Partnership project, which is under the British Council Remit between UK and Africa and that since its inception in January, 2015 has delivered solar power and ICT equipment worth over the ZMW 160,000.
The equipment delivered consists on 80W, 100W and 135W solar panels feeding 200 amperes per hour (Ah) deep cycle lorry batteries to deliver 12 V of power, and Raspberry Pi computers that are being widely used in UK to teach the basics of computer science and programming.
Another equipment delivered includes routers, internet, CAT and 7 amperes cabling, wireless USB, laptops, keyboards, mouse, 8Gb and 64Gb SD cards, 12v, 19” and HD monitors, 12V to 5V and HDMI to VGA converters and control interfaces for the solar panels.
The project, which so far has benefited an average of 4,000 students from the schools within the British Council framework and surrounding areas, aims at improving the school’s ICT curriculums to secure a better Zambia’s ICT sector in the near future.
The computers delivered to the schools are a great piece of kit specially designed to set the foundation of ICT development, explained Giakonda’s Technical Director Howard Kirkman.
With the knowledge acquired with the new equipment and training, teachers have developed new technical skills that will help to deliver a better ICT curriculum and improve the Zambia’s ICT sector, added Mr. Chali Mangilazi, one of the Head Teachers of ICT in the schools benefited.
Even though the ICT sector in Zambia has steadily grown from an internet penetration of 4.2% in 2006 to 17.3% in 2014, it is still below the Sub Saharan region’s average that has grown from 3.1% to 19.2% in the same period according to the World Bank (WB).
This very low access to services is a result of current high delivery costs according to ICT for Least Developed Countries (LDC), a website involved with ICT innovation and research for LDCs.
With the Raspberry Pi computers, the projects expects to widen the delivery of ICT equipment in the country since their cost for the last version the Raspberry Pi Zero is merely GBP 4 or ZMW 64.