Wananchi Group, the leading organization in terms of providing connectivity for the middle class in East Africa, is helping to install high-speed Internet at schools in Kenya.

Partnering with the Kenya Education Network, or KENET, and the County Government of Nairobi, the group is helping to give over 2,700 schools in Nairobi County unlimited access to the outside world at no cost.

The 15-month pilot program began in April 2014, with 245 schools receiving access to the network. Wananchi Group used the first three months to install the high-speed Internet at schools in Kenya, with the next 12 months being used to evaluate the progress of the program.

The group invested $2 million to provide Internet to the schools, most of which are private. The expectation is that students will be able to use the network to retrieve information from different parts of the world.

Wananchi Group will also provide a digital set top box to each school, which can be connected to a television that can deliver audio content to students. Pre-primary kindergartens will also be provided with a television to go with the digital set top box.

The initiative came after the Kenyan Government launched the National Broadband Strategy with the hope of making a “digital Kenya.” The strategy is helping to create a knowledge-based economy in the East African nation.

Matt Wotus

Sources: IT News Africa, Wananchi Group
Photo: OPIC

schools_in_nairobiThe internet has been a major agent in combating global poverty. Connectivity gives access to a new world of information and has revolutionized sectors ranging from finance to health in the global community. However, the internet has had perhaps its greatest impact in education, in which it gives students and teachers access to previously unknown quantities of information.

That’s why it’s great news that over 2,000 schools in Nairobi will be getting free internet.

This innovative solution comes from a project called WazED, through a partnership of telecommunications company Wananchi Group, the Kenya Education Network and the County Government of Nairobi.

WazED will put a total of 2,715 schools across Nairobi county online.

The program is a natural step for the nation Wananchi Group non-executive chairman Richard Bell calls, “the fastest growing ICT hub in the region.” Kenya has continued to be one of the most innovative nations in terms of helping people with technology, with services ranging from mobile finance platform mPesa to mobile education projects such as Eneza Education.

WazED is connected to Kenya’s “Vision 2030” goals, which seek to build a more politically just, economically thriving, and socially equitable Kenya by 2030. The Vision 2030 goals recognize the importance of all sectors of life in their achievement and particularly embraces technology as an important means of social change. And because of the educational potential that improving internet access in schools brings, this makes sense.

Connecting people to the internet is one of the most effective ways of empowering them. Online, not only can one find the most extensive collection of data and news imaginable, but an incredibly wide spectrum of ideas are also present. Connecting Kenyan schools to the internet is an incredibly important step in empowering the next generation and fighting against digital resource inequality.

Andrew Michaels

Sources: CIO, IT Web Africa, allAfrica, IT News Africa, Kenya Vision 2030
Photo: CIO

Schools-in-Nairobi-Free-InternetBecause of an amazing contribution from the Wananchi Group, over 2,000 public and private schools in Nairobi County will be receiving free, unlimited, high-speed fixed Internet. The Wananchi Group has invested two million dollars to provide this access.

Continuing a partnership with the Kenya Education Network (KENET) and the County Government of Nairobi, over 150 schools have been connected to fixed high-speed internet since the initial piloting trial in April 2014.

As this project supplements a recent government initiative to provide free laptops to schools across the country of Kenya, students will now be able to perform research with a broader collection of knowledge and information from different parts of the world. This will not only open up a previous barrier, but also increase the students’ awareness of global society.

The Wananchi Group is a part of the Zuku Fibre project, a private-public partnership that uses the Wananchi Group’s fiber infrastructure to provide these services. The partnership was created for the betterment of the country of Kenya as a whole.

In fact, this achievement is along the lines of the Vision 2030 initiative. Vision 2030 is Kenya’s development blueprint to transform Kenya into a “newly industrializing, middle income country providing a high quality life to all its citizens” by 2030. By making progress toward this step, Kenya can now continue to focus its efforts on other areas.

Perhaps they will focus next on the health sector to improve community health centers, or the environmental sector to improve waste disposal and sanitation measures, or the manufacturing sector to help revitalize industry. Regardless, within the Vision 2030 initiative, Kenyans will continue to make strides within economic, social and political spheres to improve Kenya as a country for its current and future generations. Providing free internet to schools is a monumental milestone toward these efforts.

– Alysha Biemolt

Sources: IT News Africa, Vision 2030
Photo: Computer Aid International