New Ensoft and Computer Aid partnership delivers solar powered ICT to schools and community organisations in Africa
LONDON, UK: 7th February 2012 - Computer Aid International, the world's largest ICT for development charity, today announces that Ensoft, a UK company that develops software used within the internet and large corporate networks, has donated funds for three ZubaBoxes to educational and rural development projects in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.
Computer Aid’s ZubaBox is a solar powered ICT hub fitted into a shipping container, designed to provide low power computing solutions to communities that do not have access to mains electricity or ICT. As a self-contained unit that is powered by solar, the ZubaBox can be deployed to the most rural and isolated communities anywhere in the world.
The ZubaBoxes will be sent to three not-for-profit organisations that work to improve education, health and economic opportunities in Africa. The projects are as follows:
• Economic growth in Nigeria: The Murtala Muhammed Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the quality of life of Africans. The ZubaBox will be used by two schools in Taraba State. As well as being accessed by children and teachers in these schools, the ZubaBox will be available for use by the local community. Children and adults will receive training in computer literacy and benefit from the increased educational and economic benefits which the computers and online connectivity will bring.
• Rural development in Zambia: Macha Works is a locally-led cooperative in rural Zambia that has built the largest rural wireless mesh network in Sub-Saharan Africa. In an area where internet access is only affordable to 1% of the population, the project has already enabled an entire community to benefit from low-cost internet access. The ZubaBox will help extend the benefits of ICT to neighbouring communities and will be used by health professionals, farmers, entrepreneurs and schools.
• Improving education in Zimbabwe: UNESCO’s Madziwa Secondary School is located 26km outside of Chipange, Zimbabwe. Schools in the area do not have access to mains electricity but, with the ZubaBox, teachers from Madziwa and the surrounding schools will be able to access computers and e-learning materials while children will have the opportunity to learn the IT skills necessary for them to gain higher paid employment in the future.
John Cooper, Chairman at Ensoft, says “Ensoft works hard to drive the IT industry forward, benefitting users in the UK and across the world. However, our employees strongly feel that we should do more to help the many millions of people that do not have access to IT and the internet at all. Computer Aid’s experience in reducing poverty through technology makes them an ideal charity partner for us.
“As a company that develops software that is used to connect the world, we think the ZubaBox is a wonderful initiative, helping people in remote areas to gain the computing skills and access to the internet which they need to develop their communities. Our thanks to Computer Aid who had the vision to realise the potential of the ZubaBox and the expertise required to ensure that the ZubaBoxes are delivered to communities that can really benefit from them. We hope to continue our partnership with Computer Aid and plan to continue working with the charity’s ZubaBox project in the future.”
Anja ffrench, Director of Communications at Computer Aid, says “We are excited to be working with Ensoft as the first corporate partner for our ZubaBox project and their support has helped us to provide not just one, but three ZubaBoxes to not-for-profit organisations across Africa. ICT is an essential tool for empowering communities and reducing poverty and Ensoft’s donation will bring the benefits of ICT to remote communities in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.
“These ZubaBoxes will enable children to gain the IT skills they need for higher paid employment in the future, entrepreneurs and farmers can share knowledge and access new markets, while doctors and nurses can access the information and e-training needed for improved healthcare provision.
“Few rural communities in Africa currently have the infrastructure or resources required for ICT use. With Ensoft’s support, the ZubaBoxes will enable three communities to overcome these barriers.”
There are many more organisations and communities in need of ICT. For further information about donating a Zubabox to a community in need of ICT please contact Rachel Astall on 0208 361 5540 or Rachel@computeraid.org
About Ensoft (www.ensoft.co.uk)
Ensoft is a privately held organization that has grown since 1997 into a leading supplier of networking software, specializing in the highly complex software that runs some of the most cutting-edge communications devices in the world. Ensoft supplies US product vendors with software that is in the machines that run both the internet and also large corporate networks. The company’s growth and success is based on recruiting top graduates from UK Universities and developing those graduates into all of the senior management and technical roles within the company.