Children in Remote Communities Must Have Access to Education—Ogunsanya

March 7, 2023
Segun Ogunsanya children in remote communities

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The chief executive of Airtel Africa Plc, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, has made a case for vulnerable children in remote communities on the continent, saying they should have access to education and be given an opportunity to learn.

He said this was why the leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services pledged to invest $57 million into educational programmes during a five-year partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Last week, executives of Airtel Africa and UNICEF were in Nairobi, Kenya, for a two-day conference to discuss the implementation of the landmark partnership across 13 out of Airtel’s 14 markets.

Mr Ogunsanya acknowledged the challenges faced in implementing the partnership in some of the 13 African countries and urged the governments of the affected countries to support this important initiative.

He reflected on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on education in Africa, leading to school closures, and charged the 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.

As a leading telecommunications company in the region, Airtel Africa uses its unique insights to stand up for the children of Africa’s right to education and equality of opportunity.

The Airtel Africa chief reiterated Airtel Africa’s corporate purpose of transforming lives and pledged that the organisation would continue to champion the quest to bridge the digital divide and promote financial inclusion.

On her part, the deputy regional director of UNICEF, Ms Lieke van de Wiel, described the Airtel Africa/UNICEF 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.

She commended Airtel Africa for coming on board and encouraged the participants to seize the moment by sharing experiences and exchanging ideas and learnings on implementing the initiative.

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.

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.

Aduragbemi Omiyale

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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