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Computer Aid launches its first solar powered cyber cafe | 29/03/2010

We have just completed our first solar powered cyber cafe capable of providing Internet access to the most isolated communities in the world. The cyber cafe, built inside a shipping container, is being sent to Macha in Zambia to provide the community with internet access through Africa's largest rural Wi-Fi network.

The cyber cafe container houses a fully functional computer set up, comprising a thin client network of eleven monitors running off a standard Pentium 4 PC.  Solar panels have been fitted to power the container, which will be located over 70km from the closest tarmac road.

We are providing the cyber cafe initiative to LinkNet, a cooperative organisation that operates the wireless mesh network in Macha and specialises in the design, implementation and maintenance of telecoms infrastructures in rural areas.

To date, we have sent over 200 Wi-Fi routers and 500 PCs, donated by UK companies, to the Macha community. Which are providing hospitals and schools with access to ICT equipment so they can develop opportunities for education, personal and economic development.

We are now looking to establish corporate partnerships with UK companies to help expand the cyber cafe initiative, so that more communities across Africa can benefit from low-cost, low-energy internet and IT access.

Computer Aid is committed to removing the barriers to ICT access in developing countries. The solar powered cyber cafe is just one of a number of projects we are working on to provide low power, environmentally-friendly ICT solutions for rural communities and we hope to build 12 more in 2010. We are keen for corporate sponsors to get involved and help us expand our initiative, which offers a green and sustainable way to illustrate commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Read press coverage in Eweek Europe and in Computing

For information on how you or the company that you work for can get involved in projects such as these click here

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Computer Aid

Solar powered cyber cafe in front of Computer Aid's London headquarters, before it gets shipped to rural Zambia