Airtel Africa signs $57m digital learning partnership with UNICEF

03 November 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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Airtel Africa and UNICEF have signed a five-year "multi-million dollar" partnership to scale-up digital learning for children across 13 African countries.

It's part of the global Reimagine Education initiative launched by UNICEF last year to generate  public and private sector investment in digital learning and help children catch up amid the pandemic.

Airtel Africa is the first African private sector partner to make a multimillion-dollar commitment to the initiative. It will benefit children in Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

“As a business, we have focused on education as a key area of our corporate social responsibility, and we are delighted that this partnership with UNICEF will enable us to accelerate results. It also coincides with the launch of our new sustainability strategy, which lays out our commitment to education,” said Olusegun Ogunsanya (pictured), CEO of Airtel Africa.

“We are excited to be working with UNICEF to advance the education agenda on the continent through facilitating connectivity and online access to play a role in driving change,” he added.

Airtel's financial and in-kind contribution to the partnership is valued at $57 million over five years.  

The programme will call on technology and expertise, in addition to direct financial support to connect schools and communities to the internet, enable free access to online educational content for learners. It will also provide vital data insights to inform UNICEF’s work to scale-up digital learning and help ensure it is sustainable and meets students’ needs across Africa.

“Hundreds of millions of children in Africa have seen their education disrupted or put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “By championing digital education for children in Africa, this partnership with Airtel Africa will help put children’s learning back on track.”