Namibia: a cordless phone, no SIM and no credit

Boubacar Diallo

African creative genius is liberated beyond technological copying. A 19-year-old Namibian student has just made a prototype telephone adapted to his Namibian reality.

For Afrophobes who have not studied the history of Humanity, the continent would be unable to develop any technology. Africa would just be good at making what others have designed, either by the condescending magic of offshoring or the shameful act of counterfeiting.

Algeria has not claimed the invention of combat helicopters; it is still preparing to produce, in a high-end version 100% “made in Algeria”, a version intended even, for the most part, for export. But what pride would there be in claiming copyright on devices of death?
More glamorous is the telecommunications sector. Long before fiber optics or satellite communications, Africa, in this area, could take pride in mastering the transmission of messages by the bender. And do we really need to send each other information remotely, when the ancestral tradition knows how to teleport you via lightning and some incantations? …

Africa is reinventing technology

In the 2.0 technology marathon, in a market that is already well connected, Africa hardly wins the front runners. More than 4 years ago, the very first touch pad designed on the continent, called “Way-C”, was launched in Congo-Brazzaville. Its inventor, Congolese entrepreneur Verona Mankou, planned to market it in ten countries in West Africa, Belgium, France and India.

Africa is reinventing modern technology, sometimes better, especially in the field of mobile telephony. The major western manufacturers do not primarily target countries with little electricity. Never mind. In Rwanda, where nearly 80% of the population does not have access to electricity, a young entrepreneur created the Ared structure (African Renewable Energy Distributor) which manages cell phone recharging units powered by solar energy.

Local crowdfunding

Always stronger, after the cordless telephone and the telephone without electrical network, here comes the telephone without SIM card. A 19-year-old Namibian student has just achieved this technological feat. Another detail that is important on a continent where insufficient electrification and low purchasing power combine: Simon Petrus’ cell phone does not need recharge credit. It can make calls through the use of radio frequencies. And since multimedia is trendy, it also offers the possibility of receiving a local television channel.

To make his phone, the ingenious student used only very harmless objects, recovered in a daily life little nourished by sophisticated technology: telephone spare parts, television components, bulbs and charger casings. For the whole process – brainstorming and development of the prototype included -, he spent only $ 146, a sum obtained by a kind of local crowdfunding. For the rest, some foreign partners have already expressed their interest in the innovative capacity of Simon Petrus. Did they contact him on his phone without a SIM?

Young Africa

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