BasicInternet:Collaboration Basic Internet Foundation-Mandela Institute of Development Studies Mar2020


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Collaboration Basic Internet Foundation-Mandela Institute of Development Studies Mar2020
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BasicInternet:Collaboration Basic Internet Foundation-Mandela Institute of Development Studies Mar2020

Title BasicInternet:Collaboration Basic Internet Foundation-Mandela Institute of Development Studies Mar2020
Date, Time 2020/03/30, 1200-1300
Contact Person Brenda Jimris-Rekve
Participants Josef Noll, Ian Mashingaidze, Carine Seke, Sanjay Maharaj, Tariro Bure, Brenda Jimris-Rekve
related to Project DigI, BasicInternet
this page was created by Special:FormEdit/Meeting, and can be edited by Special:FormEdit/Meeting/BasicInternet:Collaboration Basic Internet Foundation-Mandela Institute of Development Studies Mar2020


  • Introduction of Basic Internet Foundation and Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS)
  • Collaboration Basic Internet Foundation-Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS)
  • Introduction of the work of Basic Internet Foundation in Tanzania with the knowledge portal
  • National Knowledge Portal (NKP) for youths in electoral processes, educational scholarships and entrepreneurship

Notes and Agreements

BIF and MINDS came into an understanding that the main question and discussion is always providing the internet to the basic in the pyramid and to those who need it most. Therefore, the provision and solution of such is paramount and highly accommodated. BIF and MINDS agreed on the following:

  • MINDS and BIF will elaborate on the existing model of the Knowledge portal in Rwanda and Zimbabwe and how it can be replicated to other African countries for youth entrepreneurship and education
  • MINDS will capitalize on the knowledge portal established by BIF in Tanzania as an avenue to provide information on existing scholarships and opportunities at Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS)
  • The two partners will work on putting into place a funding plan
  • BIF and MINDS will put together a proposal which will also be used to sell out to the potential donors
  • Ian Mashingaidze will look for opportunities of collaboration with telecom providers in Zimbabwe

Introduction to MINDS work in South Africa

  • MINDS has a youth programme on elections and governance to equip young African leaders with knowledge and skills required to be strategic and active participants in the electoral processes
  • MINDS offer scholarships for master degree studies in selected universities across the continent
  • MINDS is an incubator for the African Youth Networks Movement (AYNM) aimed at creating a platform for the youths so as to create change for Africa according to their goals. They are currently consisting of 93 youth networks present in 36 African countries reaching a million young people.

Introduction to Basic Internet Foundation

The Basic Internet Foundation was established to solely focus on connecting the unconnected, and provide affordable access to the Internet. The solution, following the freemium for access, consists of the free access to information, and the premium access to broadband. The resulting low opex costs are key to this sustainable business model. The Solutions for connectivity is further outlined here.

Through the "Non-discriminating Access for Digital Inclusion" (DigI) project we connected more than 10 villages in Tanzania, see DigI:Villages for an overview over all activities in Tanzania, as well as the pilots in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Myanmar, and other countries. Focus in TZ has been on the knowledge uptake through digital health information - with tremendous success, see a.o. the 60% knowledge increase in Cysticercosis, see Free_access_to_digital_health_information-results_2019/10/25.

Another main outcome was the connectivity in areas which were far outside the reach of the mobile network and where easy solutions could be found.

School Connectivity and Empowering the Youths

The solutions discussed on connecting schools were implemented in Migoli, Iringa District - connecting the Julius Nyerere High School, and from there the Community Office and the Dispensary. Thus, from an initial school connectivity we reached out to other places in Migoli, providing information spots. Some aspects being discussed were

  • Can access costs be tailored to the needs? - Yes, we start often with a 10 GB/month package (average costs 35,000 TZS = around 15 USD), but it is up to the school to adjust
  • Can access costs be reduced? - Yes, by applying either a model where several schools share one access (one SIM card), or where a wholesale model is applied, e.g. providing 1 contract with 10 SIM cards, and a total of 100 GB/month. Through such a contract the costs per GB can be reduced, being able to come down to 20,000 TZS = around 8 USD/month.

The National Knowledge Portal

COVID-19 is giving an impetus in global activities and is a driver for digitalisation and the affordable access to the National Knowledge Portal. We need to ensure that the youths have free access to the National Knowledge Portal - regardless of their origin. Though, there is no "quick fix", we need to establish local points of presence at information spots. The National Knowledge Portal is currently adopted in Zimbabwe and Rwanda The advantages of a National Knowledge Portal include:

  • Ability to upload and download contents
  • Multilingual
  • Inclusive to variety of target groups
  • Online and offline courses
  • Revenue streams created
  • Digital literacy courses

The Benefits of the National Knowledge Portal to MINDS

  • Enabling the youths in the involvement and dissemination of information in the electoral processes and generally in governance
  • Helping in disseminating information affiliated to the numerous scholarship opportunities provided by MINDS
  • Providing MINDS with a starting point in replicating the beneficial model that is already in Rwanda and Zimbabwe to the other countries within Africa
  • The portal will be used in boosting the growth of young and especially female entrepreneurs across the globe by providing content pertaining to e.g. fostering empowerment