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Designing Technology to Combat Poverty in sub-Saharan Africa

by Kate Kuehl | 1:00 – 1:45 in Texas | View Schedule

Cell phone usage, notably smartphone usage, is rapidly increasing throughout sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). These devices can be tools to combat poverty, if designed with users in mind.

We will discuss many topics including: - How to do user-focused design, and how to communicate with cultural considerations in mind while keeping in mind symbols across cultures have different meanings. - How to address various levels of familiarity with technology. - How to deal with unreliable internet. - How to redesign for an African context.

We will go in depth into these topics and more. There will be plenty of time for questions, discussion, and brainstorming about how we can use technology to combat poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. I invite those who are from who have visited or are from SSA to reach out or show up to lend their experiences. It's also a great intro session if you're not familiar with the topic at all and want to learn more.

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Kate Kuehl

Hey all! I'm a software developer with a love of good design. I'll be leading a session on technology in sub-Saharan Africa. I've lived in Kenya for 6 months with travels to Burundi and Tanzania with hopes to travel more throughout the continent. I work on two different projects in Kenya, one for helping fish farmers pick better feed and another for helping land surveyors record land rights.

My presentation is available at: https://z.umn.edu/africatech

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