By Staff Writer
African Renewable Energy Distributor (ARED) has launched a crowdfunding campaign for its solar kiosk that charges over 30 phones at once and brings free Wi-Fi.
The Rwandan-based start-up wants to support life-changing access to electricity and the internet in Africa to about 600 million people, who must make the long journey into the next town with electricity to just charge their phones and access the internet.
The firm founded by entrepreneur, Henri Nyakarundi, wants to bring digital access to all of Africa, Him and his team want to produce many more solar kiosks to be able to launch into other African countries.
Our mobile device is our permanent companion. Thanks to technological progress, exchanging news, arranging meetings with friends or getting any information (no matter if it is for our work, university, or school) are a lightness for us!
In many regions of Africa, people trust in their mobile devices.
According to the national institute of statistics of Rwanda, 60% of Rwanda’s households have mobile phones, but less than 16% have access to electricity! Natives live over one hour away from the next city with electricity.
90,7% of the rest of the world are Internet users, while in Africa just 9,3% have access to the Internet.
Nyakarundi saw the problem and invented Shiriki hub or mobile, solar-powered kiosk.
Shiriki is Swahili word that means to “participate”.
Together with his partners from Catapult Design, SEIF foundation, Microsoft, Autodesk Foundation, Village Capital, GreenTec Capital, ASME and Siemens Foundation, ARED has developed the newest model of Shiriki hub, which they have launched two weeks ago.
Shiriki hub’s new technology can accelerate economic growth in Africa
The new kiosk uses state of the art technology. It can charge over 30 phone at once, and because of its advanced mobile design, it can be towed using a bicycle or a motorbike.
The solar panels can be folded to offer better security for the kiosk operator.
The Shikiri hub is also powered by a lithium battery bank that allows the operator to work even at night. It has tubeless tires as an additional feature to minimise maintenance costs.
It also boasts speaker system that enables operators to distribute audio content for customers who do not have smartphones.
The game changer for the solar kiosk is ARED’s router system that allows anyone with a smartphone or tablet access to digital content stored on the kiosk without the need to store data on their phone or incur network usage costs.
“We have proven that free Wi-Fi is possible on the African streets. We started our activities in Rwanda. With your support, we want to expand this project within Rwanda and bring it also to other African countries,” said Nyakarundi.
Nyakarundi said the start-up will use the funds from crowdfunding project to create new jobs in the continent.
If you would like to see Internet access spread across Africa, feel free to share the fundraising campaign with your family and friends Here is the link: www.bit.ly/shirikihub