Africa’s leading universities are committed to being at the forefront of research, innovation and advocacy for technologies, products, services and operating models that reduce CO2 emissions and contribute to achieving net zero emissions. We need to bridge the gap between words and actions if we are to have any chance of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C to fully comply with the Paris Agreement.
Africa produces just 4% of global emissions, but is disproportionately vulnerable to climate change. To illustrate this, some countries in the Horn of Africa, Somalia, parts of Kenya and part of Sudan are experiencing their fifth consecutive year without rain. On the other side of the continent, in West Africa, several countries have suffered the worst floods in recent decades.
Making African societies more resilient requires improving infrastructure, strengthening social security, introducing green energy and using more drought-resistant crops, among other investments. It is clear that Africa does not receive enough climate finance, given the scale of the problem.
Given the urgency of combating climate change, the continent is forced to find a path to industrialization and growth with low carbon emissions.
Fortunately, because Africa does not have to carry the burden of a fossil fuel-based industry as is the case in many more developed economies, it has the opportunity to play a leading role in developing low-carbon products, services and operating models. for the whole world. This is a fantastic opportunity for everyone.
Start North is an association that works as a network of accelerators to promote the learning and application of new technologies to face the global challenges of sustainable development.
Since its inception in 2017, Start North’s vision has been that, through technology and networking, we can make education a true catalyst for sustainable innovation, business and job creation.
As part of this vision, increasingly recognized by African universities, governments and companies, 5G Technology Spaces are part of the solution that allows Africa to take a leap forward in clean innovation.
The growing list of African universities supporting the adoption of 5G technology spaces includes, in alphabetical order:
Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
African School of Economics, Benin, Ivory Coast, Nigeria
Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia
Kenyatta University, Kenya
Obafemi Awolowo University (Ile-Ife), Nigeria
Kenya Technical University
University of Cape Town, South Africa
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
University of Lagos, Nigeria
University of Lusaka, Zambia
University of Nairobi, Kenya
University of Namibia
“These universities will present 5G Technology Spaces in the area of digital climate actions that aim to achieve net zero emissions,” says Dickson Kanungwe Chembe, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Namibia.
Without a reliable and widespread internet connection and a stable electricity supply, Africa will not be able to do its part in achieving the sustainable development goals set out in the Paris Climate Agreement and the African Summit Declaration on Climate Change. Climate Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya, in September 2023.
If basic digital infrastructure needs are met and appropriate services are implemented to leverage this infrastructure, Africa truly has the opportunity to become a leader in the fight against climate change.
Modular education and high-tech innovation
5G Tech Spaces deliver cost-effective modular learning, telecommuting innovation and service environments for college campuses, while also improving internet connectivity, continuous power supply and business connections.
The concept of 5G Tech Spaces not only addresses hardware needs, but also represents digital services, educational content, business networks and access to international markets.
The 5G Tech Space is a high-tech modular unit intended for the development of software applications, including applications that rely on artificial intelligence and those that require ultra-fast internet speeds to make learning environments immersive, three-dimensional and optimized by virtual and augmented resources . reality, as well as the provision of innovation and teleworking services from any region in the world.
Universities are centers of learning, innovation, entrepreneurship and employability. The deployment of 5G Technology Spaces in all universities in Africa will create high-performance educational and business environments, thus connecting campuses in Africa and with other continents.
In cooperation with the telecommunications operator, the modular Tech Space allows you to quickly deploy service points with performance similar to satellite connectivity, even in smaller cities and remote areas with limited services, in order to serve residents and businesses on site. level.
Connecting Africa to the world
The 5G Tech Space is a catalyst for the development of fixed and 5G networks across Africa, including in underserved areas. Investments in fixed networks, the latest mobile technologies and green energy, combined with the deployment of Technology Spaces to accelerate educational, professional and related services, are among the fastest and safest methods of developing regions.
These technological installations can at the same time provide the necessary technical infrastructure to promote teleworking. For example, through virtual and augmented reality applications, knowledge workers in Africa could work remotely for European companies, while benefiting from aligned time zones.
The EU’s Digital Decade Strategy aims to reach at least 20 million ICT specialists employed in Europe by 2030, a demand that cannot be met by Europe’s declining youth population.
The European Union’s Global Gateway program implements regional and national initiatives, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, to connect these regions through investments and partnerships. The Africa-Europe investment package focuses on sustainable investments in infrastructure (digital, energy, transport), health, education and skills, as well as climate change and the environment.
Compared to previous technological standards, fifth-generation wireless communication will enable data connections that are a hundred times faster on mobile devices and tens of times faster than currently available fixed broadband services.
The true potential of 5G/6G modular infrastructure lies in enabling entirely new application categories. We’re talking about remote control of drones, autonomous cars and complex industrial processes. Remote surgery, teleworking and meetings in virtual and augmented reality. Distance learning. The watchword is obviously “from a distance”.