Last year, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, Unicef launched a new global initiative to ensure that millions of children have access to quality education through the Internet. The project has just recorded one of its first financial contributions directed towards Africa.
Airtel Africa, the African branch of the Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) announced Monday, November 1, the signing of a five-year partnership agreement. It concerns the connection to the Internet of schools as well as their free access to learning platforms in thirteen markets of the telecoms operator, namely Chad, Congo, DR Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda. , Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Airtel Africa has agreed to invest the sum of $ 57 million in this initiative which aims to give schoolchildren better learning conditions. “ Hundreds of millions of children in Africa have seen their education interrupted or suspended due to 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 Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of Unicef.
Olusegun Ogunsanya, Chairman and CEO of Airtel Africa, said “ as a company we have focused on education as a key area of our corporate social responsibility ”.
The partnership signed by Airtel Africa and Unicef is a framework for the telecoms operator, with its new sustainable development strategy unveiled on October 28, made up of four pillars. The third pillar, called “Our community” gives pride of place to improving access to education. For the UN agency, on the other hand, this agreement is part of its “Reimagine Education” project.
It is a global initiative launched in 2020 by Unicef and calling for public and private sector investment in digital learning as an essential service for every child and young person across the world. It aims to give children ” a chance to catch up with their learning needs in the midst of the ongoing global pandemic “.
Unicef stresses that by providing equal access to quality digital learning, especially for the most vulnerable children, the partnership will help “ to ensure that every child achieves their full potential. “