Electronics technician establishes digital library in the Congo

Nzolantima Swasisa

Nzolantima Swasisa’s invention helped open a digital library in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Peter Mallett 
Staff Writer

An electronics technician and inventor from Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt has accomplished his dream of establishing a digital library in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton employee Nzolantima Swasisa launched a GoFundMe campaign on Feb. 6 to establish the Bibliothèque Lokole Numérique Zero Mega (Zero Data Digital Lokole Library) in his former homeland. On May 15, Swasisa reported he had reached his fundraising goal of $12,000.

“My reaction is happiness to the few people who believed in me and trusted me with their money,” he says. “This enabled me to accomplish the vision of connecting the unconnected to the digital world in a sustainable and affordable way.”

Of the raised money, $9,420 came from the Cardano Catylist Network initiative. The remaining sum Swasisa received through GoFundMe. The not-for-profit blockchain platform uses cryptocurrency to fund new technology and cultural projects to make positive global change.

The digital library employs Swasisa’s high-tech invention called Lokole – a tiny black box of computer components that harnesses free satellite internet signals available in Africa. It can provide web and email access within a 25-metre radius for 100 users. Swasisa notes only 18 per cent of Congo’s 90 million citizens have internet access.

“I have contributed my passion and knowledge to implement this digital library,” Swasisa says. “Knowledge is the key for personal and community development, and today the internet holds tons of learning materials, which millions of people in the world cannot access because of poverty.”

He thinks other digital libraries like Bibliothèque Lokole Numérique Zero Mega could help many other people. He hopes his success story will inspire others to consider donating to or launching their sustainable development projects for Africa.

The next big hurdle for the library to clear, says Swasisa, is establishing at least 300 registered users. Members will pay a small yearly registration fee and make the library financially self-sustainable.

Digital Library Features:

  • Located in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city Kinshasa;
  • The digital library recently opened its doors to registered users;
  • Inside the facility are desks, Android tablets and books;
  • A solar power system has been installed in the facility to contend with regular rolling blackouts in Kinshasa;
  • The building was renovated on the inside;
  • A large fan was added to cool the room from the stifling heat.

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.