01-09-20 by Spotlight Zimbabwe

Free WiFi zones for Zimbabwe’s higher learning institutions

Nixon Kanali 

Leading pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom has completed the roll out of free Wi-Fi zones across 48 higher and tertiary learning institutions in Zimbabwe as part of its long-term initiatives to equip citizens across Africa with digital skills.

To mark the milestone, Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe, part of Liquid Telecom Group, recently celebrated the success of Edu-Zones, its CSR initiative aimed to help students bridge the digital divide with free Wi-Fi delivered across the company’s high-speed fibre network.

Edu-Zones forms part of a long-term CSR initiative by Liquid Telecom launched in July 2018 by Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Prof Amon Murwira, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.

From polytechnics to universities, Liquid Telecom’s Edu-Zones empower and equip learning institutions with free internet in the form of Wi-Fi zones – typically in cafeterias, halls of residence and sports fields where students congregate. Since its launch 18 months ago, thousands of tertiary level students are enjoying free internet access through Edu-Zones located at 48 higher and tertiary learning institutions across Zimbabwe.

The Edu-Zones free Wi-Fi initiative is an example of how Liquid Telecom is helping to build Africa’s digital future by supporting the development of tech skills and improved digital literacy. This includes equipping students with 21CSkills – an online learning platform offering state-of-the-art skills training and development programmes on the latest technologies for African students, start-ups, and developers, who are set to play a starring role in Africa’s Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“We believe every individual on the African continent has the right to be connected. This is the vision that has been driving Liquid Telecom’s network expansion across Africa over the last ten years and, in Zimbabwe, why we launched Edu-Zones. Almost 18 months later students and teachers from 48 learning institutions across the country are benefitting from high speed, reliable internet connectivity that is critical for both curriculum and studies. This has resulted in vastly improved exam pass rates and career opportunities across the student population. Edu-Zones is a long-term initiative which is already helping the connected universities and polytechnic’s to save money on internet data costs,” said Wellington Makamure, Regional CEO of Liquid Telecom’s Southern Africa Region.

Edu-Zones by Liquid Telecom are unprecedented in terms of the number and geographical spread of institutions connected to free Wi-Fi. The initiative is also backed by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.

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