In recognition of the TECH4ALL DigiTruck project, Safaricom, Close the Gap, and Huawei received the Global Mobile (GLOMO) Award at MWC22 Barcelona for Outstanding Mobile Contribution to the UN SDGs.
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 comes under the education domain – Tech4Education – 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.
The DigiTruck project was launched in 2019 to promote digital inclusion in remote and rural communities in Kenya. 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.
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.
“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. This win is a remarkable recognition of our efforts together with Huawei and other partners in connecting our customers digitally,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom.
The program contributes significantly to SDG4: to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Initiatives such as DigiTruck can help work towards achieving other SDGs, including ending poverty and gender equality. Improved digital skills are essential to improving employment prospects for job seekers and empowering low-income communities with online business models – skills that can in turn help lift people out of poverty. While the majority of programs aim for an equal ratio of male and female trainees, courses are also available for specifically for girls and women, for whom a lack of digital skills tends to be more acute. In 2021 and in partnership with Women in Technology Huawei, DigiTruck provided training for 55 women in the remote sub county of Garbatulla.
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.
“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.”Olivier Vanden, Founder and CEO, Close the Gap
In addition to Kenya, DigiTruck is being implemented in more countries around the world to help improve digital skills and bridge the digital divide.
This is the second year in a row that Huawei has won the GLOMO award for Outstanding Contribution to UN SDGs – in 2021, Rainforest Connection and Huawei won the award for the TECH4ALL Nature Guardian project, which uses networked acoustics technology to protect endangered species and ecosystems from threats such as illegal logging and poaching.
Hosted by GSMA, the GLOMO awards recognize the innovative and outstanding contributions of organizations that change how people, communities, and businesses interact and evolve in a digital-first world. Each year, GLOMOs are awarded at MWC22 Barcelona.
Safaricom also won a prestigious Global Mobile Award (GLOMO) for the M-PESA Super App at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Super App won under the category for “Best Mobile Innovation for Connected Living” edging out other nominations from across the globe.
The M-PESA Super App was recognised for its innovative transformation of customers’ experience when using M-PESA and for the Mini-Apps feature which empower any business to provide services through a digital shop on the app.
“We have made the commitment to be a digital-first company by providing our customers with innovative solutions that empower them in a digital world. We are thrilled to have won 2 awards at the prestigious Global Mobile Awards for the M-PESA Super App and the BLAZE DigiTruck. This win is a remarkable recognition of our efforts in connecting our customers digitally.”Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom