The DigiTruck is a solar-powered repurposed cargo container that serves as mobile health clinic and digital classrooms for communities that currently lack these resources. Through a partnership between Arrow Electronics, a Fortune 500 company, and non-profit organizations Close the Gap and Hoops of Hope, the DigiTruck is being deployed in Tanzania to provide communities with the 21st century learning tools and advanced healthcare equipment that they need to thrive.
The DigiTruck is designed to meet the needs of rural areas that lack electricity. The rooftop solar panels and connected battery are capable of providing enough power for several days of use. The space is designed for security and is triple insulated to protect users from heat. Within the DigiTruck, laptops, tablets, printers, LED screens and more are available for use. The current DigiTruck model was constructed by local workers in Arusha, Tanzania. Each DigiTruck costs over $100,000 to manufacture, though cost of construction is dependent on site specific conditions.
If appropriately scaled and distributed, the DigiTruck could help address the deficit of functional infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa. “More than 75 percent of the population in Africa live in rural communities where infrastructure presents a huge barrier,” says Olivier Vanden Eynde, founder and managing director of Close the Gap. “Modern information and communication technologies coupled with solar-powered solutions like the DigiTruck are able to help bridge this digital divide and to bring quality training and education to remote communities.”
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After spending several months at the Tuleeni Orphanage in the village of Rau, Tanzania, the DigiTruck will move to a new location in 2016. The laptops and equipment from the DigiTruck will remain at Tuleeni and the new host community will have access to updated technology. Arrow and Close the Gap intend to construct and distribute more DigiTruck units to communities throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
Images via Neema International and Joe Verrengia (Global Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Arrow Electronics)