Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Africa

The new Digital Drum 2.0 from UNICEF and partners

For the past couple of years, UNICEF Uganda and partners have been designing, developing, prototyping and rolling out youth-focused community computers that can operate on mains power where available, or solar-power in remote rural areas. Work has just finished on the design of the second generation Digital Kiosk, and the UK's fanless computer specialist Aleutia is now working on a new open source, low power computer system to squeeze into the table-topped repurposed oil drum that will become the Digital Drum.  Read More

AHRLAC is being touted as Africa’s first home-grown military aircraft

Claimed to be Africa’s first home-grown military aircraft, the Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC), is designed to integrate a range of military and civilian support technologies in one multi-role package. Aimed at performing duties similar to both attack helicopters and reconnaissance planes, the AHRLAC is designed to carry surveillance equipment, weapons, radar and electronic warfare systems.  Read More

ROSI is a new water filtration system that is both mobile and can be solar- or wind-powere...

Water-borne bacteria and viruses can cause serious health problems, but many places in Africa do not have access to clean drinking water. Mdori, in Tanzania, is one of those places. In addition, its natural spring water is too high in salt and fluoride. The new ROSI water filtration system could change this.  Read More

The super bananas are yellow on the outside (like the regular bananas seen here), but thei...

According to the Queensland University of Technology's Prof. James Dale, 650,000 to 700,000 children die worldwide every year due to pro-vitamin A deficiency. Many of those children live in East African nations such as Uganda. Dale's proposed solution? Take something that's already grown and eaten there, and genetically modify it to produce the needed vitamin. That's what he's done with the Highland cooking banana. The resulting "super bananas" are about to be the subject of human nutritional trials in the US.  Read More

Mobile network operators across Africa and the Middle East have teamed up to accelerate mo...

Nine mobile network operators across 48 countries in Africa and the Middle East have joined forces on the GSM Association’s Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) program. The program aims to develop standards and implement convenient and affordable financial services across the regions, where many citizens have limited access to traditional banking services.  Read More

Keepod is a portable OS

Mathare is 500,000-resident slum in Nairobi Kenya, where basic sanitation is non-existent, there’s no adequate water supply and no school system, except for so-called street schools that try to fill that gap. Only 10 percent of local youth will reach college education. Most of the locals are part of the five billion people in the world who are digitally excluded. Now, a new UK-based initiative called Keepod Unite aims to reduce the digital gap in Mathare by providing an OS that can be loaded onto a USB drive and plugged into just about any shared PC.  Read More

A team of experts from various fields were able to develop a prosthetic arm that could be ...

While 3D printing technology has emerged to serve a wide variety of purposes, few appear more worthwhile than that of US-based company Not Impossible Labs. Through its Daniel Project, the company has not only provided 3D-printed prosthetic arms for amputees in war-torn Sudan, but empowered the local community to continue the initiative in its absence.  Read More

The current wing is an inflateable wing specially built by a kitesurfing manufacturer for ...

The University of Delft has a program devoted to kite-based generation systems, with 20 years of research and development under their belt since Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch astronaut established it. Now, members of the team are exploring practical niches where the compromises of kite-based power might pay off. One has just completed a trip through Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal discussing opportunities for rural African kite generation with governmental agencies, universities and companies in the renewables space.  Read More

The Makoko school frame was completed in December 2012 (Image: NLÉ)

Design and urbanism practice NLÉ, led by Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi, is building a new multilevel school in Makoko – a region of Nigeria's most populous city, Lagos. While that doesn't sound too unusual, the difference here is that in an effort to address the issues of land scarcity and poor waste management that affect the flood-prone area, this school is being built on floating platforms.  Read More

Konza Technology City is planned for completion around 2030

The Kenyan government intends to spend a reported US$14.5 billion on the creation of Konza Technology City or "Silicon Savanna," which Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki hopes will become Africa's answer to Silicon Valley. Recently underway, the ambitious venture will see the construction of a brand new city on 20 sq km (7.7 sq miles) of what is currently natural savanna, 70 km (43 miles) southeast of Nairobi.  Read More

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