Safaricom brings schools online in rural and disadvantaged areas

Safaricom brings schools online in rural and disadvantaged areas

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Kenyan operator Safaricom has teamed up with Nokia, UNICEF, and the country’s ministries of education and ICT to connect close to 90 primary schools serving 33,000 pupils to the internet in rural and informal urban settlements.

Schools are using Nokia’s FastMile 4G Fixed Wireless Access broadband offering via Safaricom’s 4G network, while the vendor’s meshed WiFi Beacon technology is being used to enhance the signal in certain classrooms and computer labs. Those receiving the service will be able to better harness video communication, digital curricula and online content, with the companies involved in the rollout emphasising how Covid-19 highlighted the need for better digital connection.

The rollout forms part of a government initiative to ‘connect the unconnected’ and provide equitable access to digital learning, with the ultimate aim of scaling up to all schools in Kenya by 2030.

“As part of our Transforming Lives vision to become a purpose-led technology company, we are always looking for partnerships that allow us to use our services to deliver social impact in areas aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom. “Our partnership with UNICEF and Nokia allows us to connect schools in underprivileged areas and increase access to digital literacy.”

Amr El Leithy, SVP for the Middle East and Africa at Nokia, added: “An important belief that we hold at Nokia is the need to provide ‘broadband for all’. With remote learning becoming a prevailing issue during the COVID-19 pandemic, the topic of digital equity takes centre stage again.

“This collaboration will facilitate access to many students currently unconnected.”

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