Innovation Fund for Rural Connectivity seeks to increase access to ICTs in Ghana and Uganda

Picture by DEMOSH. Available on Flickr.com

Picture by DEMOSH. Available on Flickr.com

GSMA launched the Innovation Fund for Rural Connectivity to expand digital inclusion in Africa, leveraging new technology to address the gap in underserved and rural communities. The fund, which is backed by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) will provide grants up to GBP 300,000 for organizations in Uganda and Ghana that have the capacity to implement solutions within the region.

Selected organizations are expected to collaborate with MTN Uganda and Vodaphone Ghana in deploying sustainable mobile broadband rural networks that can be replicated in other areas. The fund provides an alternative for addressing the lack of access to ICTs as a limitation for economic development and availability of essential services.

According to John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer at GSMA, “Deploying infrastructure in remote areas can be twice as expensive as in urban areas, with smaller revenue opportunities. The challenge is not only to bring mobile internet coverage to rural areas, but to do so in a way that ensures long-term commercial sustainability. Innovation and partnership will be essential to addressing this challenge, and the Innovation Fund can play a key role in identifying new ways of using mobile technology to connect the unconnected.”

Source: Tullah Oman News