Partner Sites

Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice
mobile search icon

Manchester MBA Bringing Information To Uganda

Khalid Arbab’s eco-friendly computers are a new educational lifeline for remote Ugandan villagers

By  Harriet Murdoch

Thu Dec 15 2011


UNICEF’s Digital Drum has been chosen as one of the Best Inventions of 2011 by Time Magazine. The Digital Drum was designed by Manchester Business School MBA Khalid Arbab who is Manager of UNICEF Uganda’s Information Communications Technology Unit.

The Digital Drum is designed to help rural communities in Uganda access information about health, education and other issues. The solar-powered computers are made from metal oil drums making them durable against the harsh elements. They come preloaded with multimedia content which is changing the lives of Uganda’s most isolated people.

UNICEF plan to deliver 200 Digital Drums to all parts of Uganda over the next two years and eventually throughout the whole of Africa.
With only 10% of Uganda currently online the majority of the population live with very limited access to information about health, education, job training and protection from violence.

UNICEF’s Representative in Uganda, Sherad Safra, said that the Digital Drum “helps create a digital bridge between those who have access to the Internet and those who don’t, in a low-cost sturdy fashion.”

Khalid Arbab had “noticed that rugged computing solutions were very expensive, and required a very specialised workforce with specialised tools. I realised that we had to come up with a solution for rugged computing for Uganda and other countries like Uganda, and that meant reducing the price of the shell.” After contacting metal workers he came up with the idea of the cost-effective oil drum design.

The Senior Engineer and Project Co-Ordinator for the project, Set Herr, says that UNICEF plan to place the Digital Drums “in places that are as rural as possible. Areas where people don’t have access to really any information. A lot of these villages and towns don’t have full time teachers, so they have schools but the students don’t really have access to any thing in the way of information.”

Khalid will commence the final stages of the Manchester MBA, entering his final taught semester in January. After that he will start the Live Company Project, where 4-6 Global MBAs from different industries and countries work as consultants for one of the students companies on a specific project.


More stories about students, alumni and programmes at Manchester Business School here

Student Reviews

Alliance Manchester Business School




On Campus

The course structure

The course is well structured and organised effectively. Every subject in the field of international business is covered in the course module. The lectures are of excellent quality and are simple to comprehend.   ·      The lecturers are also very knowledgeable about their subjects, quite thorough, and very helpful when it comes to answering questions and giving additional information on their subject.   ·      Students can easily access the assignment, lectures, and seminar content thanks to the blackboard technology. Students also benefit greatly from the reading materials that are posted on the blackboard.




On Campus

Practical Business Experience

3 live consulting projects, Non-for-Profit consulting, Commercial Business Consulting and International Business Consulting projects within the programme, provide us with a great opportunity to exposure to the real business world.




Quality education and student support system

What I love about The University of Manchester is the fact that, alongside with the excellent education it provides, it also takes care of the well being of the students and supports them throughout the year.




Endless networking opportunities!

I would 100% recommend this university! Throughout my 4 years there I received endless guidance and support from the amazing staff; both professors and student support teams. A particular highlight was the insightful guest lectures, networking employability events and career meetings, these significantly helped in preparing me for my future career.




Fantastic University!

AMBS provides excellent teaching and outstanding facilities, both of which combine to make a great learning experience. The teaching staff make sure we have plenty of resources to aid our learning, and always make sure we are making the most of our studies. The business building itself is the most impressive on campus, and provides plenty of places in which we can work.




Great facilities and support

It is a great university that provides extra support for its students. The teachers are very helpful and willing to support you and the environment is just great. It offers good facilities, study spaces and workshops that can help in your experience as a student.




New building, innovative teaching methods

The staff is very well prepared and pays a lot of attention to the student. The building is new and full of updated facilities. Teachers propose intriguing learning methods and there are plenty of international students to learn from.




It's an amazing University!

I think that AMBS is among the most well rounded universities in the UK. The cultural diversity among the students as well as the faculty is what catches my attention the most. The campus is very new and beautiful and has all kinds of facilities.




Quality and QS World Ranking

AMBS has the diverse set of batch where the students get the opportunity to mingle with the students coming from different parts of the world. The group of faculty is also very diverse having different skill set. I'd always recommend it for studying masters in business analytics.