Here at Web Africa, we love feel-good stories about technology, especially when they’re about projects and developments in Africa. Here are some uplifting stories we’d like to share with you.
In Kenya, drones are being used to help save endangered wildlife. Rangers operate the drones, which capture videos and thermal imaging of animals and poachers – when poachers are detected, the drones can signal for a security team to be sent to the area. Drones will also help rangers to conduct wildlife censuses, to provide more reliable data for managing animal populations. Let’s hope that the drones are successful in Kenya, and that they can be used to help protect South African wildlife – particularly our rhinos.
A US-based company, Not Impossible Labs, has come up with an innovative way to use 3D printing – to make arms for amputees in Sudan. The 3D arms are cheaper than traditional prosthetics, which weren’t available to the Sudanese amputee victims. The Not Impossible Labs team set up a workshop at a local hospital in Sudan and trained clinicians to print and build the 3D arms themselves, which they are continuing to do now that the Not Impossible team has left the country. Not Impossible says that the technology behind the 3D-printed arms will remain open-source – they hope to inspire similar projects around the world.
Last year the Rwandan government announced plans to roll out free Wi-Fi across the country in an attempt to attract investors and accelerate growth in the Internet industry. Free Wi-Fi roll-out is just the first step though – the government plans to deploy 4G/LTE-based broadband throughout the country.
Refugees United aims to reconnect thousands of refugee families around the world, many of whom are African. The NGO has created a free database for refugees to register their personal details, and allows friends and family members to search for people they’ve lost contact with. Users can upload only the information they are comfortable with sharing (such as nicknames) – information that their loved ones would be able to identify them with – to ensure their safety.
If you know of any other technology or online projects for a good cause, let us know in the comments below!