Silicon Savanna

Arrow & nonprofit Close the Gap bridge Africa’s digital divide 

Africa is on the verge of a technology boom.  Half of its population – 600 million people – lack reliable electricity, limiting access to education and health care. Yet in Kenya and other emerging digital societies, nearly everyone uses mobile phones to buy goods and services. 

Since 2015, Arrow Electronics helped social enterprise Close the Gap launch and operate a fleet of mobile, solar-powered, tech classrooms known as DigiTrucks on the continent.  The ninth – and latest - DigiTruck serves the Kenyan capital of Nairobi and four surrounding counties. The truck delivers IT training to students aged 16 to 65; more than half are women. In 2019, more than 1,000 DigiTruck students were certified in digital literacy, e-commerce skills and responsible electronic waste handling. 

The latest DigiTruck is featured in a CSR initiative called Silicon Savanna with supplier Analog Devices Inc.  Together we explored Kenya’s emerging technology hub. We also joined Close the Gap’s LEAP-2 social enterprise competition in which a dozen Kenyan innovators developed technology solutions to community problems. 

Arrow’s collaboration with Close the Gap began 15 years ago. Together we have facilitated the distribution of nearly 1 million refurbished computers to schools, clinics, and nonprofit organizations.

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