Airtel Africa, UNICEF partner to scale-up digital learning across Africa

 Airtel Africa and UNICEF have announced a five-year pan-African partnership to accelerate digital learning through connecting schools to the internet and ensuring free access to learning platforms across 13 countries.

This is contained in a notice signed by the Company Secretary, Mr Simon O’Hara, sent to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Ltd on Monday in Lagos.

The Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, Mr Olusegun Ogunsanya, said that the partnership was targeted, particularly, for the most vulnerable children to ensure every child reaches full potential.

According to Ogunsanya, Airtel Africa is the first African private sector partner to make a multimillion-dollar commitment to ‘Reimagine Education’, a global initiative launched by UNICEF in 2020 calling for public and private sector investment in digital learning as an essential service for every child and young person across the globe.

He added that the initiative would give children a chance to catch up on their learning needs amid the ongoing global pandemic.

Ogunsanya said Airtel Africa’s financial and in-kind contribution for this partnership was 57 million dollars over five years to 2027.

He added that the programme would call on technology and expertise, to direct financial support to connect schools and communities to the internet, enable free access to online educational content for learners.

Ogunsanya said it would 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.

“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.

“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,” Ogunsanya added.

On her part, UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore said: “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.”

The Airtel Africa and UNICEF pan-African partnership will benefit learners in Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. (NAN)

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