The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted traditional working and schooling, leaving thousands of people practising self-isolation and social distancing in order to curb the spread across Africa.
To make spending all this extra time at home a little more bearable and financially viable, some of the continents biggest mobile telecoms providers have introduced a whole host of digital solutions.
Here’s a quick look at how Africa’s biggest Telco’s are fighting the good fight:
1. Supporting Online Educational Programmes
MTN Ghana has introduced an educational ‘care package’ that gives subscribers access to online learning channels. This programme aims to support education from home whilst also keeping the youth entertained.
Likewise, in South Africa, Vodacom has significantly increased server capacity to ensure that its e-School is available for all of its subscribers. The online platform covers learning material in all 11 official languages from Grade R to 12. Content includes assignments, quizzes and learning videos that are fully aligned with the CAPS curriculum.
2. Zero-rating Mobile Transaction Fees
The exchange of banknotes is one way that COVID-19 is spread, says the World Health Organisation (WHO). With this in mind, CEO of MTN Zambia, Bart Hofker says “[there’s an] urgent need to go cashless to slow down the spread of the virus”.
It’s for this reason that both MTN Zambia and Kenya’s own Safaricom have zero-rated mobile money transfers. Both network providers are said to be working closely with their counties respective banks to ensure that the move to cashless transactions is as seamless and widely accepted as possible.
3. Pledging Donations to Healthcare Efforts
Telkom South Africa has pledged nearly $850 thousand to bolster the country’s primary healthcare efforts in the battle against Covid-19. Making the announcement, Telkom Group Chief Executive, Sipho Maseko said the funds will be used to support healthcare workers who are at the frontline in SA’s most vulnerable communities.
Telkom is inviting other South African corporations and members of the public to contribute to strengthening the public health system.