Ericsson has been recognised with a 2015 Africa Award for “Social Contribution” for its Connect To Learn initiative. The Africa Awards, organised by Total Telecom, recognise outstanding performance and innovation from the leading organisations in telecoms and the Internet of Things markets.

Ericsson is lead technology partner in Connect To Learn, an initiative created in collaboration with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Millennium Promise, with a specific focus on increasing access to quality education for girls.
Since 2010, Connect To Learn has supported UNESCO’s “Education for All” goals by deploying mobile broadband and cloud solutions, combined with hands-on training in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), to schools in 12 African countries. Following the initial rollout of the program, more than 36,400 students in Africa, from Ghana and Uganda to Tanzania and Djibouti have been able to access quality education resources via Ericsson’s cloud-based solutions. Globally, the program is impacting some 50 000 students in 21 countries.

The solution is provided as a service and designed for users with little or no IT experience. Improved access, and reduced costs are made possible because users do not have to worry about virus protection, software updates, application installation or maintenance as the solution is open source and tasks are all managed in the cloud. The solution also promotes the role of the network operator as a provider of both bandwidth and applications for educational purposes.

“The technology available today breaks down the information divide, making it possible for young people everywhere to learn and receive a 21st century education,” says Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, vice-president, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson. “Connect To Learn is helping to overcome education challenges demonstrate the positive impact mobility, broadband and cloud technology can have on access to quality education. We are extremely proud of this project and what it has accomplished, and will continue to achieve moving forward.”