SWAY4Edu - Satellite Way for Education

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SWAY4Edu aims at developing a satellite ICT (Information Communication Technology) solution to support three main activities:

  1. Rural Radios: assisted radio services for secure and sustainable agricultural development in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
  2. Electoral eTraining: effective Electoral eTraining services to electoral management bodies of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to support their electoral cycles,
  3. Space4Education: effective eLearning services to support education in rural schools in South Africa (SA).

SWAY4Edu is conceived to be easily scalable and adaptable to other (non) African countries.

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The effective management of the above three activities requires the active involvement of the key-stakeholders mentioned above, who are familiar with the specific local needs and environment.


Through the Openet Training Platform (OTM), Openet aims at aggregating different typologies of eTraining activities and becoming the main service provider addressing demand in the African continent.


The SWAY4Edu services are managed by Openet (I) and are based on the ASTRA2Connect/Sat3Play platform (Ku-Band transponder on Telstar 11N) and the Openet Traning Platform (OTM).

1. Rural Radios activities
In collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Rural Radios activities have been conceived to support farmers, workers and the population located in rural areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to access guidelines in favour of food security and rural subsistence. Ten radio stations will participate in the pilot activities, which will embrace the following main aspects:

  • eTraining modules to support radio operators to produce more effective radio-programmes,
  • Radio broadcast of specific “thematic programmes” in favour of food security and rural subsistence,
  • Access to a “Cloud service” where operators of different radios can share radio-programmes/info produced locally.

The Rural Radios architecture is shown in the next two figures

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2.  Electoral eTraining activities
In collaboration with ECES (European Centre for Electoral Support) and EFEAC (Ecole de Formation Electorale en Afrique Centrale), the Electoral eTraining activities aim at creating a core group of local accredited trainers and experts (named “Facilitators”) in the Electoral Management Bodies (EMB) of the Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to support the electoral cycles. Ten pilot sites will be used in the EMB Head Quarters.

For simplicity, the Electoral eTraining architecture is not reported, as similar to the Rural Radio scenario.

3. Space4education activities
In collaboration with “Rally to Read”/”Read Educational Trust” NGO they aim at providing:

  • Interactive training courses for local teachers, to obtain teaching certifications,
  • Sessions for intra-school collaboration,
  • Light cyber café outside educational time.

The Space4edu architecture is shown in the next figure.

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The start of pilot activities in expected in May 2012, while the Final Review is planned for Dec 2012.

Current status

The Final Review has been achieved on 18 February 2014, pending the completion of a few minor actions. 
Although targeting different local stakeholders, different communities and needs spread over several African countries, the three activity elements of Sway4edu have something in common: they all address capacity building activities in Africa in order to prepare for the launch of commercial services. 
In these respects, there is no doubt that the Sway4edu project activities have been very successful. The following main achievements can be already highlighted. 

  • In December 2012, SES Broadband signed a contract with the Electoral Management Body (EMB) of Burkina Faso for the installation of 40 VSATs to support their electoral cycle 
  • In September 2013 Openet signed a contract for the provision of Internet connectivity for 3 years to 10 Rural Radios in DRC with the Federation de Radio de Proximité in RDC, which manages 400 rural radios. Expected extension to 100 radios is planned within 2014. 
  • In October 2013 Openet signed a contract for the provision of 1 year Internet connectivity and multicast connectivity for 26 rural radios in Mali was signed with Fondation Hirondelle in Luasanne CH, which manages a group of 62 radios. All remaining radios are expected to subscribe to the service by end of 2014 
  • The provision of Internet services is currently being discussed with several schools who participated to the Space4edu pilot 

The consortium has submitted CCN#5 proposal in order to: 

i) Expand the network of interactive eLearning courses with a cluster of 12 satcom-enabled schools in the rural area of Mpumalanga in South Africa and 1 school in a rural area of the Basilicata Region (Italy) for the development of competences in IT and in the preservation of the natural environment 
ii) Expand the network of assisted radio service with a cluster of 20 pilot radios in the rural area of the DRD to further promote the “Openet cloud service”, enabling collaborative post-production of the content before final FM broadcasting to their respective local communities 
iii) to develop an "Outcomes Assessment System" to efficiently monitor the utilisation figures of the different applications and services by the users (e.g. completed courses, volume of traffic over Internet) and the relevant correlation with the technical operational status of the key subsystems at each pilot site 

The CCN#5 activities (named as Sway4edu2) are expected to be kicked-off in March 2014.

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