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5G tech space for Abuja

The African School of Economics has launched mobile technology spaces for distributed learning and remote work.

The African School of Economics (ASE) has launch of Africa’s first 5G Mokki Tech Space, a network of immersive digital learning and remote work environments, in Abuja, Nigeria. 

In addition to its campuses in Benin and Ivory Coast, the modular tech spaces will take the ASE’s presence to remote areas, helping local communities leapfrog access to high-technology education, remote job creation and digital entrepreneurship.

Disadvantages in access to technology are seen as a major cause of economic inequality in the world.

ASE says the satellite model of its tech spaces can help prevent various African regions and remote areas from falling behind in, for example, the innovation and acceleration of products and services powered by artificial intelligence.

The 5G Mokki is a modular high-tech unit for developing software applications that require ultra-fast internet connections, to render immersive, three-dimensional (3D), virtual-reality (VR) and augmented-reality (AR) learning environments, as well as to deliver innovation services and remote work from and to any location in the world.

The name ‘Mokki’ is derived from the Finnish word ‘mökki’, meaning ‘cottage’. The concept of the 5G cottage was pioneered in a collaboration between leading American and Finnish universities.

In partnership with Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, the University of Lusaka in Zambia, and Aalto University and LUT University in Finland, the ASE announced its 5G Mokki Tech Space during a 5G Seasonal School held simultaneously in Nigeria, Ethiopia and Zambia recently.

In a panel hosted by the Start North learning network, participants suggested that if renowned institutions like Stanford University would allocate 1% of their curricula to applied technology studies in collaboration with top universities in Africa, it would have a significant positive impact on entrepreneurship and job creation, as well as on economic, social and ecological sustainability.

Professor Leonard Wantchekon, founder of the ASE and a visiting professor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, said that Africa needed innovation in education to create talent and jobs.

5G Mokki is a trademark of Start North, an association that serves as an accelerator network to promote the learning and application of new technologies in order to meet the challenges of global sustainable development. The accelerator network consists of world-leading universities, companies, and not-for-profit organisations, including Ambitious Africa, an initiative bringing African and Nordic youth together.

At the launch of a 5G Mökki network at Häme University in Finland in 2021, Dr Mark Nelson, founder and director of innovation at the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab, drew parallels between the high-tech cottage and the invention of the microscope in biology and the telescope in space research, allowing the exploration of social interaction and society without people having to travel from one place to another.

Without innovative approaches to training and job creation, traditional degree-based education falls short of creating sufficient employment opportunities. To illustrate this point, approximately half a million students graduate from Cameroon’s universities every year, but only about 3.000 of these graduates tend to find employment. Cameroon is no exception in Africa.

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