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MWC: Kenya’s DigiTruck takes honours

Rural education project wins GLOMO Award for Outstanding Mobile Contribution at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

The DigiTruck project, launched in 2019 to promote digital inclusion in remote and rural communities in Kenya, has received the Global Mobile (GLOMO) Award at Mobile World Congress 2022 in Barcelona for Outstanding Mobile Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Converted from a used shipping container, the DigiTruck is a mobile classroom that provides training in digital skills for individuals and communities that need them most. It accommodates 20 workstations and comes equipped with computers, tablets, smartphones, and an Internet connection via Huawei’s Fixed Wireless Access solution – all fully solar-powered, so that communities that lack a power supply can also benefit.

Launched in partnership with Kenyan operator Safaricom, Kenya’s Ministry for ICT, Computer for Schools Kenya, GSMA, and the international NGO Close the Gap, the DigiTruck project calls under the education domain of Huawei’s digital inclusion initiative TECH4ALL. Aligned with the SDGs, TECH4ALL “aims to ensure that no one is left behind in the digital world by developing skills, applications, and technologies in the domains of education, environment, health, and development”.

Since rollout, more than 2,300 students have received over 80,000 hours of training across 19 counties in Kenya. Each 40-hour course covers basic digital literacy skills, including how to use smartphones, the Internet, email, and office software. As well as providing guidance on e-waste management, the training also covers a range of essential soft skills such as drafting business documents, searching for jobs online, and starting an online business.

The GLOMO award for the project went jintly to  Safaricom, Close the Gap, and TECH4ALL.

“We are committed to contributing to the UN SDGs; we provide connectivity, innovative solutions, and the digital skills that empower our customers in a digital world,” says Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom. “This win is a remarkable recognition of our efforts together with Huawei and other partners in connecting our customers digitally.”

For many trainees, the training represents their first experience of digital technology, providing a key to unlock opportunities that they may have previously been unaware of or that seemed out of reach.

Says Olivier Vanden, founder and CEO of Close the Gap, “The DigiTruck program that Close the Gap developed with Huawei is going above and beyond to turn a challenge into an opportunity. Remote and off-grid locations can be fully turned digital to generate more inclusiveness and self-reliance for young people and empower communities.”

DigiTruck is being implemented in more countries around the world to help improve digital skills and bridge the digital divide.

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