Africa net access limited by power problems

Solar power may provide reliable power that will allow schools and universities to finally make Internet access a regular part of education.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

Computer technology and Internet access are all moot if a community doesn't have one essential ingredient—-energy.

A lack of electricity has made ISPs and mobile phone service providers reluctant to build in rural areas. As a result, most rural African areas lack Internet facilities.

Rural societies in developing countries are beginning to remedy this problem by installing solar panels to keep energy flowing, reports InfoWorld.

"Underutilization of solar energy is depriving rural areas of an opportunity to access information through ICT," said Paul Zambezi, Ministry of Science and Technology permanent secretary, in a recent Zambian workshop on solar-energy technology.

Examples of some development projects are the e-school project in Africa which is using solar energy to power computers in remote areas where schools are not connected to the national grid.

The e-Africa Commission, in Johannesburg, wants more than 500,000 schools throughout Africa to have Internet connections by 2015.

The head of the physics department at the University of Zambia, Geoffrey Munyeme, said social and economic development is inseparable from scientific and technological advances.

"Africa has lagged behind in technology and harvesting solar energy to use for developmental programs," said Geoffrey Munyeme who The heads the physics department at the University of Zambia.
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