Wireless for Inclusion in Africa

The project has been launched on October 10, 2011, with an official ceremony at the presence of the Rector of Poitecnico di Torino, prof. Francesco Profumo, the Foreign Ministers' Assistant for Follow Up Affairs in Qatar, HE Mohammed Bin Abdullah Bin Mutib Al Rumaihi, the President of Qatar University, Prof. Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad.

The first implementation has been realized in the Comoros Islands, the African archipelago in the Indian Ocean famous for an extraordinary landscape and the gentleness of the residents. The archipelago has been chosen since it is one of the poorest states of the African continent, where access to basic services is even complicated by the geographical separation between the islands of the archipelago. The population is around 650000 units, the GDP per capita of about 500 USD a year. Deforestation, population growth, infant mortality affect the place with percentages above the African average. Health facilities are inadequate compared to Western standards and lack of specialist services. The political situation is always unstable and improvements were recorded only from December 2010.

In this context, the iXem Labs and Qatar University have designed, together with local engineers, a low cost wireless network, which will be entirely created and managed by students at the University of the Comoros Islands. Using the infrastructure created by themselves, the students will take distance learning courses and maintain permanent contacts with Italian and Qatari students and professors. The two partners have implemented a permanent technology transfer, according to the institutional mission of both organizations.

The methodological approach is the same used in the Province of Orellana, Eastern Ecuador, for the realization of a telecommunication network infrastructure between the city of Puerto Francisco de Orellana (also known as El Coca) - the capital of the Province - and peripheral communities located in the surrounding of the tropical moist forest.