Tech geek honoured for connecting local schools

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Professor Alfredo Terzoli, head of the Telkom Centre for Excellence at Rhodes was

awarded the vice chancellor’s distinguished community engagement award on Monday 26 March. The purpose of the award is to acknowledge academic staff who make an effort to stimulate community engagement activities between Rhodes and the community through teaching and research. Terzoli, who was born in Italy, studied physics and discovered his fascination with computers in the early 1980s.


After immigrating to South Africa joined the academic staff of Rhodes in 1989.

He has always been passionate about the development of the Grahamstown

community, hosting street children in his home before it became the Eluxolweni Shelter in 1995. As an academic, Terzoli began to extend his research into the townships, and later into other rural areas in the Eastern Cape.


“My aim is to find ways to institute a dialogue between the privileged sectors of society, and the marginalised communities,” he said. “Universities should be at the forefront of establishing this dialogue”. Terzoli’s research focuses on finding proactive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions to connect

marginalised communities. His research resulted in the project, ICT for development

(ICT4D). Through ICT4D Terzoli believes that the number of people with ideas and aspirations could be increased, and employment created for them.


Terzoli’s efforts with the support from Rhodes and Telkom have benefited many

schools in and around the Eastern Cape, providing them with access to computers and to the internet. “In order for teaching and research to be meaningful, it is important for academics to address real problems in society,”

said Terzoli.


Nandipha Pantsi – Grocotts Mail


Picture by Lauren Rawlins