Access to electricity and Internet changes Lives.
Support life changing access to electricity and the internet in Africa - Click on the button „Support this Project“ and donate!
What has long been part of our everydays life is still unbelievable for other people in this world: The internet access!
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. For a single mobile charge they have to make the long journey into the next town.
90,7% of the rest of the world are Internet users, while in Africa just 9,3% have access to the Internet.
Henri Nyakarundi (CEO of ARED) saw the problem and invented SHIRIKI HUB!SHIRIKI is Swahili and means „participate.“
SHIRIKI HUB is a mobile solar kiosk offering the possibility to charge any mobile phones. Inhabitants get access to free Wifi!
The first prototype of the kiosk was built in 2013. Up to now we have been able to implement 25 solar kiosks so far and we have already seen the impact they created.
In the further technical development of the kiosk we received a lot of support from different organizations such as Catapult Design, SEIF foundation, Microsoft, Autodesk Foundation, Village Capital, GreenTec Capital, ASME and Siemens Foundation.
We have developed an intranet platform within the kiosk, that allows anyone access to content and data storagewithout having a data plan or incurring network charges on their phones. This is a revolutionary concept!
Besides this technical progress, our product SHIRIKI HUB creates new, urgently needed jobs! Around 20% unemployment is harsh reality in many african countries! In some countries even up to 90%!
With a franchise approach to run the kiosks, we are fighting local unemployment and promoting entrepreneurship in the areas that need it most!
In the future SHIRIKI HUB will be partially produced by african manufacturing and delivered to african franchisees.
Our vision is to bring digital access to all Africa and to contribute to reduce unemployment!
We have proven that free Wifi 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!
Help us spreading the word and making some noise about our campaign! Let us bring together technological innovation to african villages! Learn more about us: http://www.a-r-e-d.com
Please click on the button „Support this Project“ and donate!
Impact of our approach at a glance:
Environmental impact: Our technology uses solar energy and we have developed a recycling program to dispose of each kiosk after its life cycle.
Social impact: We provide business and technological training to ensure the success of our franchisees. Our franchise program promotes especially entrepreneurship for women and people with disabilities. Moreover, we provide electricity and free access to the Internet to the people.
Technological impact: We developed an intranet platform within the kiosk that will allow anyone to access digital contents from our build in server within the kiosk without having any data plan on their phone. It is a revolutionary concept.
Economic impact: Our franchisees average between $100 to $150 net revenue per month, which is twice the per capita income in Rwanda. The micro-franchisees benefit from having minimal overhead since the kiosks are 100% powered by solar panels and their mobility minimizes any need for infrastructure to be built
Impact in Refugee camps
In 2015, we had the opportunity to be partnered with the Red Cross International. We implemented solar kiosks in one of the refugee camps in Rwanda.
Since then, we have taken the direct initiative to have kiosks in all the camps and hire refugees to run and operate them!
One of the chronic challenges in those camps is finding sustainable income generating solutions for refugees. We have seen that most NGOs develop immediate aid solutions but no longer term solutions. Our goal is to bring a long-term alternative to the 60 Million refugees that are spread worldwide!
We believe that our new model will have even a better impact especially with digital content distribution via intranet. We will be able to broadcast educational content and health information.
These offerings can bring tremendous value to the people inside those camps!
We are looking to bring some long term solutions on the ground!
Henri Nyakarundi (CEO of ARED):
As an entrepreneur, I always believed that entrepreneurship could be a great solution to solve some of the unemployment issues on the African continent. Entrepreneurship is nothing new to the continent: It is called the informal sector. However, it is fragmented, most people do not have a full understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur and the importance of coming out of the shadow of non taxation.
When I first came across the franchise business model I fell in love with it. The way that franchising is structured requires the franchisee (person buying into the business) to share a small portion of his/her revenue with the Franchisor (entity franchising the business) and the franchisor’s role is to use his/ her knowledge and expertise to assist the franchisee to succeed, otherwise the whole system will fail. That’s what I call a true win-win situation and statistically, franchise business models have a higher rate of success than traditional businesses.
So I thought, why not adopt this model on a micro level to empower people at the base of the pyramid?!
Our newest kiosk uses state of the art technology. We 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. Our lithium battery bank allows the operator to work even at night. Our tubeless tires are an additional feature to minimize maintenance costs. Our speaker system will allow operators to distribute audio content for our customers who do not have smart phones. The game changer is our router system that will allow anyone with a smart phone or tablet access to digital content stored on the kiosk without the need to store data on their phone or incur network usage costs.
Our software has been a key addition that will allow us to scale the business much faster than before. Can you imagine that now we can not only sell the services from our app, but we can collect data so we can improve on our training, services and more?!
The software will also tell us how many charges a kiosk does, will be able to issue free WIFI access, know where all the kiosks are at all times, and so much more...
Supporting our campaign
By supporting this campaign you have a number of amazing perks to choose from including: Some amazing products, pictures and videos of the micro franchisees, photo of the device you help purchase, and even a trip to visit us!
We are also very happy about our collaboration with Solar Aid. Therefore we can also provide a great Solar Lamp as a Reward. You can choose to donate that to a Refugee Camp where it is really needed.
Credit for the picture: Solar-Aid & Photographer Patrick Bentley
More information about the Impact
According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, the percentage of families in the country that owned at least one mobile phone jumped from 6.2% to 45.2% (an increase of 39%) in only five years (2006-2011). While the market of mobile users is rapidly expanding, the number of households with access to Rwanda's electrical grid is not. The country aims to expand electrical grid access from 16% to 50% of the population by 2017 but, for the time-being, around 40% of households in Rwanda have a mobile phone but no steady electricity to charge it. Current expansion rates suggest that mobile penetration will continue to outgrow electrical penetration and the number of mobile users without electricity in their homes will increase accordingly.