The potential of photovoltaic powered ICT centers for delivery of ODeL programs to rural areas
The majority of Tanzanians as in most African countries live in the rural areas. Most higher education institutions however, are concentrated in urban areas, and this is one reason for the low participation rates in higher education in Tanzania. While open and distance learning offers a viable solution to the imbalance between where the higher education institutions are located and where the population resides. The rural areas are mostly not connected to the national electricity grid and this makes it difficult to deploy information and communication technologies (ICTs) in open and distance learning. While there are several possible power sources, for example petrol or diesel generators to power ICT facilities, these need regular maintenance and are expensive to run. The alternative proposed is to explore the use of photovoltaic or solar energy. This issue was presented by Paul and Ubwa at the 2013 1st International Conference of the African Virtual University.