BasicInternet:Dutch Embassy-Unafunda-BasicInternet-Sana Oct2020


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BasicInternet:Dutch Embassy-Unafunda-BasicInternet-Sana Oct2020

Title BasicInternet:Dutch_Embassy-Unafunda-BasicInternet-Sana_Oct2020
Place Teams@Microsoft
Date, Time 2020/10/27, 0800-0900
Contact Person Jan Huesken
Participants Wenzile Madonsela Msimanga, Khulekile Msimanga, Brenda Jimris-Rekve, Josef Noll, Sanjay Maharaj
related to Project BasicInternet
this page was created by Special:FormEdit/Meeting, and can be edited by Special:FormEdit/Meeting/BasicInternet:Dutch Embassy-Unafunda-BasicInternet-Sana Oct2020


The online meeting was held with partners from Unafundo, the Basic Internet Foundation and the Dutch Embassy in South Africa.

Takeaways and way ahead

We reached a common understanding of digital empowerment as the basis for entrepreneurship and job creation

  • Jan will invite the partners to the Dutch Embassy, to couple the NL-supported projects with the activities from Unafundo
  • We will need to device strategic communication to ensure an attractive profile for commercial companies, where the Dutch Embassy can help in establishing the contacts.
  • We will strengthen the coalition on a governmental level, as framework conditions are important to stimulate businesses

Next meeting will be at the Dutch Embassy to bring the groups together

Detailed discussions and contributions

The Dutch Embassy

  • Our discussions on access to information and creation of content that is viable for communities in emerging economies, South Africa to mention, resonates with the vision and mission of the Dutch Embassy in South Africa.
  • The lack of access leads to the digital divide and therefore the need to close the digital gap will become an economic boost to the emerging markets
  • The Dutch Embassy works towards emerging development enterprises with organisations like Youth Zones, which works with communities at the Basic Level. Youth Zones involve youths, on matters pertaining to Gender-Based Violence Violence by providing them with internet access in the townships as information access is important. In addition, they teach youths entrepreneurial skills.
  • Going through communities for Strategic Partnerships is important due to the boost in community involvement.
  • Cyber-bullying among the youths is a challenge and should be addressed.
  • The Dutch Embassy promotes trade and investment in South Africa. Unafundo and Basic Internet Foundation will be introduced to relevant NGOs for collaboration and job creation.
  • We will be introduced to RISA(?)


  • Wenzile mentions that the collaborators in Unafundo are required to be individuals of integrity and so should the strategic partners carry out their activities with integrity
  • Digital health issues is one of the objectives of the collaboration that Unafundo would like to bring across. That is, the need to plant the seed that reaches out to communities through the people who share a similar vision.
  • We need to tap on the South African Infrastructure and this would be attained through work with communities that have planted these infrastructures.
  • The technological advancement should be scaled up. We need to know how to bridge the access gap but not to just basic digital skills.
  • In addition, we have to work with the government without getting entangled but to also have an influence on the rules and regulatory frameworks.

Basic Internet Foundation

The Basic Internet Foundation has the vision of improving the life of every single human being through free access to information on the Internet. To enable the vision, the Foundation has

  • Access: Established solutions for access, by creating InfoSpots in rural villages with no/bad mobile coverage. An example is Selela as the border of the Serengeti, where we established connectivity from a mobile tower being more than 20 km away.
  • Skills: Providing InfoSpots with preloaded short animations had a tremendous impact on skills, as demonstrated in the "Digital Inclusion" (DigI) project. Knowledge uptake on the health topics showed a knowledge increase of 60% (from 15% to 75%), and a knowledge level of tuberculosis and HIV/Aids on more than 90%. In addition, we observed a range of positive side effect like digital literacy and using the health animations for learning English, as presented to the Lancet Commission on Digital Health (Oct2020)[1]
  • Regulations: Encourages regulations for the freemium model for access by free access to information through Internet Lite, and premium access for broadband content.
  • Inclusion: Using digital health information is seen as a necessity in all countries, and as such an enabler for digital inclusion.

Furthermore, we promote a National Knowledge Portal as introduced by countries like India and Estonia, for trusted information, data governance and free access to the portal through regulations.

The topics above are core of Digital Transformation and Development Policy, a white paper by the Norwegian Government. The white paper attributes digital transformation as the driver for development. The four key focus areas are access, skills, regulations and inclusion. [2]

  • "Digital Transformation and Norwegian Development Policy" is intended to contribute to a more effective development co-operation, ensuring that no one is left behind and that developing countries have...
  • Regarding the coalition of governments, BasicInternet suggests that the Dutch-Nordic collaboration in South Africa can become an example of Compact with Africa (CwA). BasicInternet is in contact with Günther Nooke (Afrikabeauftragter Angela Merkel).

Other info:


  1. J. Noll, C. Holst, Digital Health Promotion. Contribution to Lancet Commission on Digital Health, Wilton Park, 8Oct2020 Media:202010_GovernmentPathways_Health_Noll-Holst.pdf
  2. "Digital Transformation and Development Policy", Norwegian Government, Message to the Parliament, Meld. St. 11 (2019-2020), Apr2020,