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IMG 5166Africa is ushering into an era that most observers and pundits are predicting will determine its destiny as the continent of the future. But to fulfill this promised bright future, the continent has to come to terms with its education and training systems that are yet to fully shed the weight of its colonial legacy and its own tribulations as a relatively new political and economic entity and player in the world arena.


In the bid to create a new African citizen who will be an effective change agent for the continent’s sustainable development as envisioned by the AU and its 2063 Agenda, the African Union Commission has developed a comprehensive ten-year Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25). 


This strategy is driven by the desire to set up a “qualitative system of education and training to provide the African continent with efficient human resources adapted to African core values and therefore capable of achieving the vision and ambitions of the African Union. Read more: CESA 16-25


Title of Innovation: Sayans Computer


Year of implementation: 2017


Implemented by: Sayans Academy

Country/Countries where the Innovation is being implemented: Uganda

Problem being solved

There are fewer than 3 computers per 1,000 people; 1 person in 1,500 has access to internet (UN African Recovery Report). Uganda with about 45.71million people, only 1 million people access to computers with majority in urban areas.

This gap affects students the most and limits their learning outcomes.

Coupled with other factors, rural students perform poorly especially in STEM subjects because students only rely on notes given in class. Rural secondary schools constituting 57.6% in Uganda are challenged with educational books and resources with no or ill equipped science laboratories and yet have no access to computers and internet.

Description of innovation

Picture a time when every home, person or school in Africa no matter where they are located has access to and/or owns a computer. When computers are not only for the rich. This is our focus.

Sayans computer is a Raspberry Pi based computer locally designed and assembled in Uganda.

Our computers are light, portable and designed for use in resource limited areas. They are installed with educational software containing a plethora of illustrative videos from Khan Academy and other sources and reading material especially for science related subjects. The software is made in a way that the installed educational material is accessed using a web browser which gives the experience and knowledge of using internet even without it. The computers also have games on typing, learning words, mathematics, physics and other areas and are great for computer programming.

The computers are installed with battery power that can last up to 8 hours of use and needs a recharge power of just 10W making them fit for areas without electricity and recharged with just a small solar power system. At the price of $200, one can get a computer, accessories and a solar charging system.

We make the casings for the computers from recycled wood or are 3D printed locally. The components we use can be sourced locally making in country productions and repairs easy and possible meaning that the computers can easily be made from any other African country and reach any rural student anywhere in Africa.

Outcomes and Impact

Sayans computers come with educational software containing a collection of resources to enhance research even without internet. This means improved access to information and better learning outcomes. Secondly, our computers have a low power consumption and are installed with a long lasting battery bank. They are cheaper at both purchasing and the continuous use as they use very little power so anyone now can get a computer.

The computers are great for ICT programming and are installed already with programming software and tutorials and so better ICT development STEM learning outcomes.

Potential to be scaled and replicated

Raspberry Pi computers are open source technologies which means they are allowed to be used anywhere without restrictions. This means these computers can be designed anywhere in the world.

In addition, the components we use can be sourced locally within the different countries making in country productions and repairs easy and possible.

Revenues from the sale of the computers is used to produce more computers and donations from organizations are used to subsidize costs making more rural schools and families get access to computers.


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