DigiTruck Bridging the Digital Divide

Half of Africa doesn't have electricity.

Our mission was to close the digital divide, delivering access to today’s leading technology. Providing power in more ways than one.

Access to technology is critical

According to UNESCO, more than 182 million adults in sub-Saharan Africa are unable to read or write, and 48 million young people are illiterate. Access to information and communication technology is critical to improving a country’s educational and economic prospects. However, high equipment costs, poor infrastructure and limited proficiency all prevent this much-needed technology from reaching many parts of Africa.

Arrow Electronics helped nonprofit partner Close the Gap launch a new program to convert used cargo containers into fully equipped classrooms and health clinics. Enter the DigiTruck. A 40-foot steel cargo container converted into a mobile computing unit. It is equipped with solar panels capable of fully powering it for several days at a time so it can reach remote rural villages with no electricity. The DigiTruck is also triple-insulated to protect against heat. Donated IT equipment refurbished by Arrow’s Value Recovery business inside the DigiTruck includes laptops, tablets, printers, routers and a LED TV flat-screen monitor.

The DigiTruck is now providing some 80 orphans at Tuleeni with a classroom full of high-quality, refurbished laptops, tablets and other IT equipment. Working together, Arrow and Close the Gap plan to build and deploy a number of additional DigiTrucks throughout Africa. In fact, following Arrow’s sponsorship of Close the Gap’s first DigiTruck, four other companies pledged to sponsor similar units. Additionally, in August 2015, Intersport in production with Arrow Electronics arrived on ground in Tanzania to do a story on Neema International and the Tuleeni Orphanage as part of their CBS Courage In Sports annual broadcast. Courage in Sports is an hour special featuring different organizations/heroes in sports and how they have made a difference or inspired the world.

Arrow’s Value Recovery business, which donated the refurbished electronic devices inside the DigiTruck, works with its customers to securely refurbish computers, tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices for additional use, or re-purpose their still-valuable component parts for other uses. Whenever possible, Arrow emphasizes extending the life of these devices by selling them, redeploying them within organizations or donating them.

Educating for the future

For a decade, Arrow has worked with Brussels-based Close the Gap to facilitate the donation of approximately 500,000 refurbished computers to schools and clinics in Africa where they’re used by 1.5 million people.

We believe education is the foundation for a bright future. Together, Arrow and Close the Gap are changing lives through creative and sustainable solutions.

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