Online, Off The Grid: The Promising New Tech Tool About To Hit African Markets

Jacey Fortin | International Business Times | June 12, 2013

An African tech company is gearing up to unleash a brand new tool that will help people across the continent get connected to the Internet, even in the most remote places.

It doesn’t look like much at first -- just a silvery, tough-looking device the size and shape of a brick. But inside this hunk of metal is some amazing stuff; its intelligent software, durable hardware and portable power source can keep users connected to the Internet wherever they go.

It’s called BRCK, and it will hit the mass market in November at a sale price of $199. The company behind it is Ushahidi, a Kenyan enterprise headed by Julianna Rotich.

“While Africa may have joined the digital revolution and mobile is becoming ubiquitous, Internet connectivity is not always reliable and the price of connecting is high,” Rotich told the BBC. Importing technology from other continents hasn’t managed to close that gap, which is why Ushahidi designed its hardware to cater specifically to African users.