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The world as we know it has changed with the COVID-19 pandemic having profoundly impacted our lives, our countries, and the digital landscape.

As a business we have responded to this crisis to keep citizens and businesses connected - but nearly a billion people in Africa are still being left behind. Remedying this, is the seminal challenge of our time.

The time has come to harnesses the power and potential of technology to build stronger, digital, connected, inclusive and green societies. There is an urgent need for global stakeholders to come together to address the unique challenges we collectively face. 

It’s for this reason that Vodacom, Vodafone and Safaricom are launching the Africa.connected campaign across eight markets with the goal of accelerating economic recovery by driving digital inclusion, making devices more affordable, empowering small businesses and improving digital literacy. 

But we know that this will not happen overnight. It is a long-term commitment, only possible through sustained, robust, and authentic collaboration that ensures the opportunities and promise of a better digital future is accessible to all. Join us as we work together to build a more resilient future for Africa. A future that ensures no one is left behind.

Find out more from our Vodafone and Vodacom CEOs

Africa’s Leading Technology Provider

Building on our strong, nearly 30-year presence in and commitment to Africa, today we operate locally-rooted businesses in eight African countries – the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Egypt.

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. 

Our digital solutions are promoting education, improving healthcare, and preparing the youth for a digital society. 

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

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Africa’s digital future

This first policy paper, Meeting in the middle Harnessing the post COVID-19 rise of digital public health engagement in sub-Saharan Africa explores many of the challenges and opportunities associated with digital health solutions. It also highlights the necessity of partnerships between the public and private sectors in driving critical outcomes. The opportunity to harness the rise in digital engagement is now if we work together to ensure high quality, trusted online medical services are available to all.

This second policy paper, A lifeline, not a luxury: Accelerating 4G access in sub-Saharan Africa explores the divide between those who are connected to rudimentary services through 2G to those who have access to the breadth of the internet offered by 4G. The report suggests a multi-stakeholder approach with four key steps to enhancing digital inclusion across African nations, where the mobile usage gap is the largest in the world:

  1. Make 4G enabled devices more accessible
  2. Invest in the demand for 4G services
  3. Provide targeted financing to lower connectivity costs for vulnerable groups
  4. Boost 4G adoption by reframing 2G spectrum

Our third policy paper Towards a Connected Climate - Leveraging digital technologies to break the cycle of food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa, published together with UNCDF unpacks three of the major stumbling blocks preventing African countries from improving agri-food systems and shows that only if we address issues around access to information and financial resources, improve overall farm efficiency and market access, and ensure equitable digital resources we can unlock the potential of Africa’s agriculture.

The goal of feeding Africa’s growing population, conserving its natural resources, and building resilience against market and climate changes requires renewed focus on increasing productivity across existing farmlands. This is where digital technologies, especially mobile-based solutions, can help. While these solutions do not serve as a silver bullet to solve Africa’s complex and multi-faceted food security concerns, this tech can provide farmers with accurate information and real-time data so that they can farm more effectively and, in doing so, increase the yield on their existing land for the benefit of all.

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