Having awarded a grant to ActivSpaces last year, Dr Loren Treisman then visited the Hub in Cameroon in early 2012. You can see further details of that trip here. She was extremely impressed with what she saw and as a result Indigo have awarded a further £20,150 to enable ActivSpaces to develop their Tech Innovation Spaces in Buea and support sustainability initiatives both in this space and at a new space currently being opened in Douala. This grant will go towards non-technical and technical infrastructure, salary costs, a seed fund, outreach and mentorship.
There are many innovative projects incubated at this hub and it is particularly pleasing to announce that Indigo have also been able to award grants to two of these projects, namely, AgroHub and Datazone.
Agrohub – a platform that links farmers to buyers and to each other and enables them to access crucial agricultural extension services – has been awarded £5,700 for infrastructure, salaries, branding, outreach and communications. Agrohub facilitates farmers’ access to information and larger markets through the use of the web, mobile technologies (SMS) and community participation. The platform utilises SMS Tweet technology which has been available in Cameroon since 2009 but is seldom utilised. This ingenious technology enables organisations to reach as many farmers as have subscribed to their services for the cost of a single SMS. Essentially the team are simply providing agricultural agencies and farmers with the knowledge and tools they need to stay in touch with each other in a way that is affordable, timely and fun by leveraging Twitter SMS and/or SMS.
Data Zone – is a virtual library of educational material (digital books, audio & video files etc ) that can be accessed by University students in Africa on campus, via their intranet, saving them the effort and expenditure of having to obtain this material from internet cafes. The software has already been developed, but the team required funding to pilot the software in Buea University, Cameroon. Indigo have awarded a grant of £1,119 towards hardware, salary and marketing costs. It also includes an element to enable someone to work on the project for an additional 3 months.
We very much look forwarding to watching progress on all of this exciting work.