Category Archives: Africa


Local currency networks in rural communities in Africa: a feasibility study of block chain

Blockchain technologies have received much interest the past few years, as an innovative way of ICT-based commerce. Its decentralized nature, the lack of a “middleman”, or central bank are interesting features. But is this technoology also promising for low resource environment, e.g. rural Mali? Can blockchain for example provide a new payment channel as an […]

Living Lab Guabuliga

AOPP and W4RA’s project on Food Security and Seed Knowledge Systems

AOPP and the W4RA team will continue collaboration on the topic of Food Security in rural Mali, focusing on the information and knowledge sharing, which is necessary to improve value chains for seeds. Lack of information and means to communicate hamper the socio-economic condition of many small farmers in the Sahel. They do not have […]


Talking about “small data”: new student project about meteo data services for African farmers

Despite the fact that more than 70% of Africa’s population depends on agriculture for basic life needs, and in Africa’s drylands rain-fed agriculture is widespread,  reliable meteorological data about rainfall and weather forecasts — in Europe timely and accurate — is often not available for African farmers. Recent studies in rural areas of Burkina Faso and Ghana have […]

Meteo data services in Burkina Faso

Baobab tree

Tracking deforestation in West Africa: new student project

The tree loss is a severe problem affecting rural communities in West Africa’s drylands. Trees here have a positive influence on local soil conditions, biodiversity richness, water tables, food for fodder, and provide agricultural value to the people due to harvest of tree products. Unfortunately, trees are still being cut, often by people from outside […]


Yacouba Sawadogo receives The Right Livelihood Award for his innovative African Regreening Initiatives

Our friend and partner Yacouba Sawadogo, the Man who Stopped the Desert, has received the prestigeous international Right Livelihood Award for his great achievements in African Regreening Initiatives and farmer innovation. See a Yacouba Sawadogo is one of the innovative farmers of the Yatenga district, who participates in our “Meteo Data Services for Innovative Farmers […]

yacouba

A low-cost IoT sensor kit to measure surface water quality in rural Africa

Good drinking water is essential for all. However, in e.g. rural Africa the quality of water, for example from wells is not always reliable. Lab water testing and existing tools are expensive and time consuming. Allard Oelen developed a low-cost sensor kit, for the rural context of rural Africa. The IoT sensor measures a number […]


Keynote by Chris Reij, at the 5th International Symposium “Perspectives on ICT4D”, 27  May 2018, Amsterdam

“In Africa’s drylands food security is facing serious challenges. With the current population growth in, for example Niger, the population is estimated to have doubled in the last 20 years. Unsustainable land management practices, the effects of climate change and a growing population pressure are causing soil degradation at an unprecedented scale. National governments of African countries have set ambitious goals to restore degraded land. However, given current rates of demographic growth these targets are not ambitious enough. The pace of re-greening needs to be speeded up, as soon as possible. One very promising initiative is re-greening of Africa’s drylands. Since the mid 1980s a growing number of innovative farmers and local communities in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger have started to practice simple, low-cost farmer-managed natural regeneration on their field. Farmers in densely-populated parts of Niger have done so at scale (5 million ha), but much more needs to be done. A communication strategy is extremely important, to speed up the scale of re-greening successes and reverse the trends of soil degradation and desertification. “

Read more….


André Baart wins High Potential Award in Amsterdam Innovation Contest

Amsterdam, 19 June 2018  – The Kasadaka “talking box” platform, the winning concept, is a platform to develop voice-based technologies for  those who are not connected to the Internet, cannot not read and write, and speak underresourced languages. Kasadaka has been developed to allow development of specific, context-sensitive content, in a collaborative way, in the […]

AndréWinsHighPotentialAward

Look back at the Symposium “The Web and The Digital Divide”

The fifth International Symposium ” Perspectives on ICT4D”,  took place at VU on 27th May 2018. This year the Symposium was not a public event, as the past few years, as it was collocated with the ACM Web Science Conference 2018, as one of the 7 pre-conference workshops. This year’s theme was “The Web and […]