UNICEF Kenya and Nokia partnership to drive technical literacy
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Kenya has partnered with Finnish technology company Nokia to increase access to digital literacy in Kenya. This shared-value affiliation seeks to educate technical knowledge to disadvantaged children in Kenya.
“UNICEF is working in partnership with the Government of Kenya and the private sector through innovative partnerships to empower the most disadvantaged children to get quality education with the most powerful tool of the century - the internet,” said UNICEF Representative to Kenya Mr Maniza Zaman during the Nairobi Innovation Week.
This partnership continues upon the foundations of the Government of Kenya's investment in the Digital Literacy Project. The project provided 1mn tablets to primary schools to increase accessibility to technology.
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Nokia's head of Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa, Mr Joachim Wuilmet has emphasised that the plan is robust and will drive to inspire the next generation of leaders.
"With technical and financial support provided by UNICEF and active participation of children with disabilities, KICD has successfully produced the first accessible digital textbook for children in Grade 1, contributing to equitable access to digital literacy,” said KICD chief executive Dr Julius Jwan.
The Accessible Digital Textbook has already had a successful pilot in the first quatre of 2019, and will be officially launched by the government this month.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.