Liquid Telecom: bridging the digital divide with free WiFi

By Leah Netabai

Business Chief takes a look at how leading African telecommunications company - Liquid Telecom - is helping to bridge the digital divide in education.

What is the Edu-Zones initiative?

Edu-Zones is a long term, CSR initiative established by Liquid Telecom in July 2018, by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Professor dr. Amon Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.

The aim of the initiative is to help bridge the digital divide for students with free WiFi access, which is delivered across its high-speed fibre network.

What impact has the initiative had?

To date, Liquid Telecom has successfully rolled out this initiative in 48 higher and tertiary learning institutions in Zimbabwe, as part of its broader agenda to equip citizens with access and skills in this digital age. The free internet comes in the form of Wi-Fi zones, which are typically found in cafeterias, halls of residence and sports fields. 

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The telecommunications company is also equipping students with its 21CSkills online learning platform. The platform provides training and development programmes on the latest technologies for African students, start-ups, and developers, to drive Africa’s fourth industrial revolution.

“We believe every individual on the African continent has the right to be connected. This is the vision that has been driving Liquid Telecom’s network expansion across Africa over the last ten years and, in Zimbabwe, why we launched Edu-Zones. Almost 18 months later students and teachers from 48 learning institutions across the country are benefitting from high speed, reliable internet connectivity that is critical for both curriculum and studies. This has resulted in vastly improved exam pass rates and career opportunities across the student population. Edu-Zones is a long-term initiative which is already helping the connected universities and polytechnics to save money on internet data costs,” said Wellington Makamure, Regional CEO of Liquid Telecom’s Southern Africa Region.

For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.

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