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How we're helping Africa get online

27 May 2016 

Our satellite technology has connected 30 villages in 13 countries across Africa – reaching 145,000 people.

“Approximately 160 million people across East and Central Africa, don’t have access to the internet,” said Anna Easton, Director of Sustainable Business at BT in a recent blog for the World Economic Forum “and the effects of this dearth of connectivity can be felt across all areas of society, encompassing not just business but also health and education.“

Anna continues “I’m proud of the work we as a company do in enabling and effecting connectivity in Africa. Since 2013 we’ve been working with SOS Children’s Villages, a pan-African charity which provides homes to orphaned and vulnerable young people in some of Africa’s poorest countries.

“This Connecting Africa programme has seen us provide free broadband services via satellite to SOS villages across 13 countries from Malawi to Mali. BT’s technology has already reached nearly 145,000 people and with this connectivity in place, many more lives are being transformed in classrooms, clinics and communities.”

Connecting Africa

Through Connecting Africa we’ve learnt how important the numbers are:

  • People in Africa pay ten times as much of their salary for broadband as people in the rest of the world.
  • BT’s free satellite connections with SOS Children’s Villages have already reached nearly 145,000 people providing access to better healthcare, education and other services.
  • Our evaluation of 20 villages showed that the social impact amounts to more than £500,000 a year.
  • Education is the most common reason to go online, with 88% of people in the Connecting Africa evaluation using the internet for study.
  • In Kenya, we’ve reached nearly 34,000 children, giving them opportunities to access education and improve their literacy.
  • We’ve helped SOS Children’s Villages add a healthcare management system for seven of the villages.
  • The organisation’s medical centres now operate more effectively, benefiting around 100,000 people in the surrounding communities  

See more in our infographic

As Anna concludes “We wholeheartedly believe in role of connectivity in improving lives, and Connecting Africa has given us the opportunity to show how this can be done.”

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