First Solar Powered Rural Internet Kiosk installed in the South Coast of Kenya

Ukunda, Kenya, February 27, 2010 – For the first time, a Rural Internet Kiosk (RIK) has been installed for rural youth empowerment in Africa. Voices of Africa for Sustainable Development (VOA4SD) is building the capacity of local youth to empower themselves through the Internet and social enterprise. The community based organization, Voices of Diani will own and operate the Rural Internet Kiosk with training, support, and volunteers from VOA4SD. The Rural Internet Kiosk is a product of Intersat Africa, Ltd. who has generously provided the first year of bandwidth at no cost. The funding for this project has been provided by the Internet Society through their Community Grants initiative.

The Rural Internet Kiosk Launch held today was an occasion organized by the youth of Ukunda to share their excitement over being the first RIK location and to usher in a new age of information and communications in rural Sub Saharan Africa. The RIK will allow the Voices of Diani to train the local youth in ICT skills and Web 2.0 including local content generation at the rate of 1 Shilling per minute. The “duka” portion of the kiosk will sell products previously unavailable in the local market such as small solar powered lanterns and nutritional porridge. The project seeks to create local employment for youth and to provide solutions for community issues utilizing social enterprise models. Profits from the RIK will be continually reinvested into developing new social enterprises leading to local economic development. Previously many youth in the area were unable to use ICTs due to the high prices and rigid schedules of the few training centers in the area.

The opening event was attended by members of the local community and distinguished guests including Mr. Umuro Wario, CEO, Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Mr. Richard Atuti, Director, Kenyan National Library Service, and Louis Otieno, Associate Director for ICT and Small Business, US Peace Corps. Speakers included the distinguished guests as well as Gideon Mulandi of Voices of Diani, Crystal Kigoni of VOA4SD, and Jonathan McLean of the National Youth Service.

More Images from the RIK Launch are available at …#

For additional information about the Rural Internet Kiosk or groups associated with this project, please contact Crystal Kigoni or visit

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About Voices of Africa for Sustainable Development:

Voices of Africa for Sustainable Development (VOA4SD) is registered as a non-governmental organization in Kenya.

Mission Statement
Our mission is to empower impoverished women and youth to improve their communities sustainably through the use of innovative and cutting edge information and communications technology and social enterprise.

• Empowering communities to take control of their own development through in-formation and education
• To use the internet as a voice for the people
• To foster international relationships and bridge the digital divide
• To provide sustainable solutions to the Millennium Development Goals
• To give communities the educational tools for development in four critical areas:

oEnvironmentally Sustainable Development
oHealth including HIV and AIDS
oSocial Enterprise and Income generation
oWeb 2.0

Via First Solar Powered Rural Internet Kiosk installed in the South Coast of Kenya.