[ACCI-CAVIE] The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the weakness of the e-learning process in Africa. To ensure that children on the continent still get access to quality education in the pandemic, Unicef has partnered with Airtel Africa to provide internet to schools in Africa.
The African branch of Indian Bharti Airtel -Airtel Africa- and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) announced today November 1 the signing of a 5-year partnership agreement to accelerate the e-learning process in Africa. The deal will see Airtel provide internet to schools in 13 African countries namely Chad, Congo, DR Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
Airtel Africa agreed to invest $57 million in the initiative. “Hundreds of millions of children in Africa have seen their education disrupted or put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. By championing digital education for children in Africa, this partnership with Airtel Africa will help put children’s learning back on track,” said Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
According to Olusegun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Africa, 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.” The partnership “coincides with the launch of our new sustainability strategy, which lays out our commitment to education. 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 said.
The new plan also aligns with Unicef’s “Reimagine Education” program, which was launched in 2020 to raise both public and private investments in digital learning around the world. The program aims to give children “a chance to catch up on their learning needs amid the ongoing global pandemic.”
According to the UN agency, by providing equal access to quality digital learning, especially for the most vulnerable children, the partnership will help “ensure that every child achieves their full potential.”
By Muriel Edjo