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Digital education: Airtel, UNICEF to connect 100,000 children in Nigeria - ITREALMS

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Leading telecommunications provider and mobile money services with a presence in 14 countries in Africa, Airtel, is set to roll out a digital learning initiative in Nigeria, in partnership with UNICEF that will connect 100,000 children to the Learning Passport, an online resource, over the next five years. With over 50 million subscribers, Nigeria is Airtel Africa’s biggest market.
Airtel Africa’s Group CEO, Segun Ogunsanya said that 100 schools will be connected annually in the country as part of the five-year, US$57 million partnership with UNICEF signed in October 2021.

The partnership, he said, aims at providing access to education to at least one million disadvantaged children, mostly in rural and hard-to-reach communities across 13 of its 14 country operations in Africa.


Announcing the rollout during the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum hosted by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assemble in New York, Dr Ogunsanya explained that Airtel Africa’s support for the initiative was informed by a sense of responsibility for, and commitment to, the future of the continent.


“This partnership is designed to provide zero-rated access for both students and teachers to educational websites and other resources. This, on the one hand, will bridge the digital divide between the rich and poor and, on the other hand, enable African children catch up with the rest of the world, after the disruptions caused by Covid-19. We firmly believe that children are the future and education is the best guarantee for ensuring that this future is in safe and knowledgeable hands,” he said.



According to Dr Ogunsanya, in addition to the UNICEF partnership, Airtel Africa is also working on modalities for adopting primary schools in Nigeria and other African countries. This will entail rehabilitating their infrastructure, and providing furniture, school uniforms, books and other teaching and learning materials and also train the teachers besides connecting the schools to its 4G network.


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