Cloud computing in Africa

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 | Computer Usage, ICT in Africa

Is cloud computing viable for schools in Africa?

A previous posting explained the concept of cloud computing.  The term refers to the ability to use a very simple computing device – it could be a computer at an internet café, a low specification PC, a cell phone, or similar instrument – to draw required application programmes from the internet, and then store all data back on the internet.

In cloud computing everything, except for the device in your hands, lives in the clouds.

Could this be a solution for schools in Africa?  Simple devices; no complicated networks required; use of free programmes (even educational software); and free data storage – a real bargain for cash-strapped Africa!   In addition, you can compute whatever you like, whenever you like and wherever you are.  This sounds like heaven beyond the clouds.


But before you get excited, just pause for a moment and consider realities:

  • Internet connectivity is still not available in large parts of the continent.
  • Even cheap computing devices would be outside of the grasp of many.
  • Cloud computing is a step up from conventional computing in the paradigm hierarchy – most people on the continent can not even perform the most basic functions.  It will require considerable training efforts to get them to the point where they can come to grips with the concept of cloud computing.

These comments should not be seen as being negative – they are intended as a reality check for those who may be misguided into thinking that the lack of resources is the foremost technology problem on the continent.  Education and training are the greatest challenges.

By all means, reach for the clouds, but keep your feet firmly on the ground.

For updated information on cloud computing, click here.

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7 Comments to Cloud computing in Africa

Clix
Monday, 22 December, 2008

I dunno – I think it might almost be easier to explain cloud computing to someone who hasn’t gotten used to working with programs that are installed on the particular workstation they’re using.

Most of us use two tools almost exclusively: the keyboard and the mouse. I would think that with guided practice and some effective metaphors, even those completely unfamiliar with computers would be able to begin to use them effectively.

Mark C
Monday, 27 April, 2009

I got a Linux OS that specifically uses cloud computing called gOS. It works with Google and has a number of online gadgets that can be used to do quite a number of tasks. My EeePC that runs Xandros also has cloud computing capabilities. The problem in Africa is the availability, cost and amount of bandwidth.

Personally I like having my programs and documents with me and not in cyberspace somewhere. The security of my documents is also an issue as anybody can snoop around on a server somewhere in Iceland or wherever it is. What about those that provide us this service?

I like the idea of cloud computing and have experienced it, but am cautious. The April 2009 edition of Linux User magazine (I speak under correction) has devoted this issue to Cloud computing.

Cloud Pro
Wednesday, 26 May, 2010

Is there a working cloud demo for schools for you to copy and to make big money?

[...] Cloud computing in Africa [...]

Afram Gabriel
Friday, 15 October, 2010

From my little research in Ghana, I realised that many of the companies depend on oukward modes of backups which is potentially desastrous. Many of this companies are ignorant about services like Cloud computing.
I want a potential partner to help me conduct a thorough research into the CLOUD COMPUTING POTENTIALS FOR COMPANIES IN GHANA.

Laptops in karachi
Thursday, 28 October, 2010

Hey man this is really a nice post i like it very much….

The Cloud Computing Africa Convention brings together all of the top organisations, innovators and thought-leaders in the African cloud computing industry, to exhibit and network over the course of two captivating days from the 04 – 06 of April 2012.

Cloud Computing has become a truly mainstream form of IT delivery in the last few years, but with the evolution of the industry moving at lightning-fast pace, it’s important for businesses and organisations of all sizes to be given a clear picture of how this form of technology can improve and develop their use of IT – both in the workplace and on the move.

With a multitude of people in attendance from across the continent, around 50 top exhibitors and expert speakers giving focused talks, the 2012 Cloud Computing Africa Convention is expected to be a one of the most anticipated events on the IT calendar.

http://www.cloud-computing.co.za

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