The Latest News

Expansion of the Siyakhula Living Lab : Deployment of Mobile WiMAX technology!

2011 will be a memorable year for the Siyakhula Living Lab. Through the support of Saab South Africa and its subsidiary Saab Grintek Technologies, the Siyakhula Living Lab is embarking on a major and exciting expansion of its telecommunications network infrastructure within the rural Mbashe Municipality of the Eastern Cape.This expansion includes the addition of a mobile WiMAX basestation and a redundant backhaul VSAT connection to the already existing fixed WiMAX/WiFi/VSAT network.

Living Labs at Rhodes

(article by Sarah-Jane Bradfield and extracted from Rhodes website)

The third annual Living Labs in Southern Africa (LLiSA) was hosted by the Siyakhula Living Lab at Rhodes last week. The workshop, which was sponsored by SAFIPA as part of its work to promote a knowledge society in Southern Africa, attracted delegates from around the country including North-West University, University of Zululand, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of Fort Hare, Meraka LimDev (Limpopo Living Lab), RLabs (Reconstructed Labs, Cape Town), East London Industrial Development Zone and SAP Research.

IST Africa 2011 Conference and Exhibition

The IST Africa 2011 Conference and Exhibition was held from the 11th to the 13th of May 2011 at the Gaborone International Conference Centre in Botswana. This year’s conference, which was the sixth of its Annual Conference series, focused on bridging the Digital Divide by providing a platform to share knowledge, experience, lessons learnt and good practice and discuss policy related issues.

Siyakhula Living Lab documentary to air on SABC2 on May 8th 2011 @ 9pm

Just more than a year and a half ago, a 24 minute documentary entitled ‘Pinky and the Computers’ was recorded for a tv series called ‘For the Edge’. This documentary captured our work in the Siyakhula Living Lab at the time and in particular, the impact the project had made to one young lady by the name Priscilla Neziswa ‘Pinky’ Mcinga. Of course at this point the details are a bit out of date, so the documentary is rather a reflection of a period in time ;-)

Siyakhula Living Lab featured in German weekly newspaper, Die Zeit

Article title : Crossing the digital frontier - Plugging rural South Africa into the internet

(extracted from The African Times, June/July 2011 issue)

Popular and prominent German weekly newspaper, featured the following article entitled ‘Der lange Weg ins Netz’ written by free lance journalist, Dietrich von Richthofen about the Siyakhula Living Lab and Reed House Systems. The English translation of the article was also featured in the June/July 2011 issue of The African Times.

The Siyakhula Living Lab: A Holistic Approach to Rural Development through ICT in Rural South Africa

Book Chapter Abstract

Rural development and poverty alleviation are a priority for development in South Africa. Information and knowledge are key strategic resources for social and economic development, as they empower rural communities with the ability to expand their choices through knowing what works best in their communities. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) act as tools which enable existing rural development activities. The Siyakhula living lab (SLL) aims to develop and field-test a distributed, multifunctional community communication platform, using localization through innovation, to deploy in marginalized communities in South Africa.

‘Keeping the COFISA Communities Alive’ conference

The SA Innovation Network (SAINe) hosted the ‘Keeping the COFISA Communities Alive’ conference on the 23rd of March 2011, at the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s Vulindlela Centre in Midrand. The event was a platform for the five communities that were initiated from the COFISA pilot programme to share their work and experiences. COFISA was launched in September 2006 and was officially closed on the 28th of February 2010.

Prof Terzoli presents ICT4D

(article by Zamuxolo Matiwana and extracted from Rhodes website)

Last week Professor Alfredo Terzoli presented his Inaugural Lecture, entitled ICT4D: the What, the Why and the How. His research focuses on connecting marginalised communities through proactive and innovative ICT solutions and the Siyakhula Living Lab, established at Dwesa on the Eastern Cape Coast, is a prime example of this goal.

Internet to aid everyday life in rural areas

(extracted and translated from KESKIPOHJANMAA, 22.12.2010)

Two South African universities have developed the Siyakhula Living Lab project that has brought computers and internet access to poor rural areas. In the undertaking it’s being studied if internet access in rural communities will help to create new sources of livelihood and better the standard of living – and so far the results have been positive.


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