As many of you know, November is the official technology education month in many countries across Africa. To celebrate this month, many schools offer programs designed to increase technological education and empower youth to succeed by leveraging the reach of the internet.
While many individuals in developing nations continue to lack access to computers and basic technology, for millions of other students this is an opportunity to learn how they can use the materials they do have access to in order to better their lives and those of their families, communities, and societies.
The focus of many of this month’s programs wasn’t just on computing, but how to use technology to combat pressing social issues.
Computers and Health
For example, students in Western Africa discussed how creating a network among communities could help stop future outbreaks of Ebola. Last year, the world saw the widest and fastest spreading Ebola outbreak in history, and many poor West-African nations were the hardest hit.
Students were encouraged to think about how a simple and inexpensive system that leveraged technology could act as an early warning prevention system, as well as a health education system about how best to treat and deal with those infected. Some countries, including Sierra Leon, are still suffering from small outbreaks.
These workshops were based off of the September micro-technology and health summit in South Africa.
Technology and the Environment
In other areas, students talked about how simple technological improvements, such as water preservation technology and even simple well systems, could help their countries combat increasing worries about sustained droughts.
Many countries across Africa, including Kenya, one of the continent’s most prosperous regions, have seen their seasons change dramatically over the last decade. In some areas, traditional patterns of 2-dry and 2-wet seasons have seen the second wet season dry up, having a huge impact on agricultural production and access to clean drinking water.
For more information, you might want to read this article on the state of education in Africa.