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Connecting Africa proves a big success

13 April 2018 

We’ve given 180,000 people in 13 countries across sub-Saharan Africa access to the internet and improved healthcare.

It’s thanks to the successful completion of our award-winning Connecting Africa programme.

We launched the programme in 2013 in partnership with SOS Children’s Villages, an international charity that focuses on children at risk, initially to connect 20 villages. Later, we extended our reach to 30 villages in some of the remotest parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

It’s been a huge collaborative effort across Technology, Service & Operations, Global Services, Wholesale & Ventures and group.

Many people in Africa pay ten times as much of their salary for broadband as those in the rest of the world. But Connecting Africa uses satellite services from our Madley operations centre to bring free broadband to villages, helping protect children from social isolation

We’ve also fulfilled our ambitious aim to design and implement an electronic medical records system in village medical centres.

Little girl in Africa

The World Economic Forum (WEF) presented us with its New Vision for Development Award in recognition of the transformation this has brought to healthcare in parts of Africa. It showcased our achievements at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

To connect these African communities to the internet, we designed and built network infrastructure in each country. And our engineers trained SOS Children’s Villages’ local IT support teams to maintain and operate it.

Anna Easton, Director Sustainable Business says: “Connecting Africa is a powerful example of our purpose in action. Our technology has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, giving them access to education and improved healthcare.

“Thanks to the dedication of our engineers, who shared their skills with SOS’s own ICT team, the satellites are locally maintained and will continue to provide a critical service for years to come.”

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