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Let’s get Africa connected

Vodafone and Vodacom’s pan-African connectivity, digital services and digital platforms are supporting Africa’s digital transformation.

Our ambition to expand coverage and modernise networks to bridge the digital divide aims to support rural communities and SMEs and enhance digital and financial skills. In doing so, we can ensure no one is left behind.

We recognise that network and platform capabilities are at the heart of the economic recovery, enabling businesses to innovate and transform public services so as to create a more resilient, competitive, inclusive and sustainable future for Africa​.

Our policy priorities in Africa

Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa, we have been working hard to keep citizens and businesses connected. But nearly a billion people in Africa are still being left behind. Remedying this situation is a seminal challenge of our time.

The main areas of focus are supporting broadband network coverage, IoT, supporting digital financial ecosystems, fostering digital skills and literacy and contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

We are working towards delivering the following objectives:

Healthy, sustainable market structure
Fair spectrum assignment policies
Operator-managed vendor transition
Simplified and rapid deployment
Reduced barriers to network sharing
Pro-customer and pro-innovation regulatory approach​
Inclusive smartphones adoption
Reduced regulatory barriers to cashless transactions

Africa’s Leading Technology Provider

Building on our strong, nearly 30-year presence in and commitment to Africa, today we operate locally-rooted businesses across sub-Saharan Africa. We have worked hard to connect over 170 million Africans to a range of mobile and lifestyle services through our networks while closing the mobile gender gap for an estimated 46.2 million active female customers across the continent. In addition, our digital solutions promote education, improve healthcare, and prepare youth for a digital society.

And we are increasing access to financial services through mobile handsets, including M-Pesa, Africa’s most popular payment platform.

Policy in action: Africa’s digital future

Digital Finance Platforms to Empower All: Accelerating financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa

Our latest Africa.Connected paper examined the social impact of mobile money platforms globally, and found that the average annual growth rate in per capita GDP is 1 percentage point higher in countries with successful mobile money services, and could reduce poverty by around 2.6% in those locations.

Published in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), this policy paper opens dialogue around the transformative power of financial inclusion, including as a vehicle to progress on many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Despite rapid growth in financial inclusion over the last decade, 45% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa remain financially excluded. The paper shares five policy recommendations to accelerate the positive impact of mobile financial services.

Download paper
Digital Finance

Thought leadership

Mobile technology is the primary, and often only, platform to access the internet in developing countries, accounting for 87% of broadband connections in these regions. The impact of mobile technology is likely to be even more profound in the future, with 5G expected to have an even greater societal levelling effect than its predecessors.

How 5G technology could shape Africa’s future

Financial inclusion is a right, not a privilege. Despite great progress made to broaden financial inclusion in South Africa, the promise and potential of financial inclusion to reduce poverty and boost prosperity in South Africa remains unfulfilled. That is why Vodacom Financial Services is developing solutions that foster financial inclusion and economic growth while creating meaningful opportunities for all.

How telcoms can deliver digital services to SA’s unbanked and under banked

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for online learning, with UNESCO reporting that one and a half billon students around the world were engaged in remote learning due to school closures in March 2020.

Unfortunately, in South Africa, not everyone has access to a laptop or PC to use as a remote learning device, but 78% of young people under 25 have the use of a mobile phone. As an enabling, empowering and engaging educational tool, mobile telephony has a key transformative role to play in online learning.

Five ways mobile technology is transforming online learning

The digital gender divide in Sub-Saharan Africa means only around 25% of women have access to connectivity, according to the World Economic Forum. Connecting these women to the digital economy is critical to drive further economic growth and innovation on the continent.

Why women are key to Africa’s digital transformation

Related pages


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Learn more about our contribution to SDGs

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