UNICEF,Airtel Africa Discuss Access to Quality Education

In Summary
  • Airtel Africa committed to invest $57m into educational programmes.
  • African governments urged to support the program 
Dr Segun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Africa

The executives of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Airtel Africa convened in Kenya to discuss implementation of the landmark partnership the two parties signed two years back.

In 2021, Airtel Africa and UNICEF signed a landmark partnership committing to provide access to quality education for more than one million children by connecting schools to the internet and providing access to zero-rated educational platforms in 13 African countries.

In the meeting, Airtel Africa has committed to invest $57m into educational programmes during the five-year partnership.

Dr. Segun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Africa plc, made this commitment at the opening of a two-day conference in Nairob, Kenya.

The two parties believes that provision of access to digital education would create a better future for African children.

Ogunsanya reflected on the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on education sector in Africa leading to school closures, and urged participants to continue to work closely with stakeholders, especially the governments and educational authorities, to ensure that children, especially vulnerable children in remote communities, are given the opportunity to learn.

He further urged the governments in African countries where this program is being implemented to support this important initiative.

Meanwhile, the deputy regional director of UNICEF, Lieke van de Wiel, described the partnership as an important collaboration of private and public sectors, aimed at putting children at the heart of their learning, and changing the narrative in education after years of loss during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Airtel Africa is the first private sector company on the continent to partner with UNICEF to support programmes focused on accelerating digital learning, with access to education as one of the key goals of Airtel Africa’s sustainability strategy.