DigI:TZ-Sustainability SchoolConnectivity Feb2020

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DigI:TZ-Sustainability SchoolConnectivity Feb2020

Title Sustainability in School Connectivity-Feb2020
Place MUHAS@DarEsSalaam
Date, Time 2020/02/27, 10:30-12:30
Contact Person Catherine R. Kimambo, Felix Sukums
Participants Asanali Msangi, Joseph Bishi, Catherine R. Kimambo, Felix Sukums, Eden Wanyimba, Rashid Ally, Felix Sukums, Matogoro Jabera, Joseph Bishi, Christine Holst, Julius Peter, Peter Mmbando
related to Project DigI, BasicInternet
Keywords School Connectivity, OPEX
this page was created by Special:FormEdit/Meeting, and can be edited by Special:FormEdit/Meeting/DigI:TZ-Sustainability SchoolConnectivity Feb2020
Catherine R. Kimambo (African Child), Albert Richard (UCSAF), Matogoro Jabera (tzCNA), Felix Sukums (MUHAS), and Peter Mmbando (Internet Society) in the Panel Discussion on Approaches, Challenges, and Sustainability of Community Networks and School Connectivity


Panel Discussion on Approaches, Challenges, and Sustainability of Community Networks and School Connectifity. Including contributions from Governmental representatives addressing sustainability in school connectivity

Main Take-away

During the panel and the discussion we reached to a common understanding of the success sustainable school/community connectivity. UCSAF (Universal Communication Service Access Fund) supports school connectivity and is inviting to a proof-of-concept involving 10 schools. Main conclusions were:

  1. OPEX costs need to be affordable for the local communities/schools. It has to be ensured that the OPEX costs can be covered locally, thus a target of max 20 USD/month is envisaged for rural areas. If there is a certain demand, then access solutions with higher costs can be considered.
  2. The Internet need to be centred around people and need to answer the needs of the local communities. The main goal should be to empower the society, including content hosted locally.
  3. Both inclusion of policy makers and policies to ease the roll-out of community networks are essential for the success of digital inclusion. Community networks find their role in areas where mobile operators don't see a viable business model.

More detailed Recommendations from the participants and the panel on Sustainability in School/Community connectivity:

1. Improve and sustain School connectivity
a. Forge partnership with education stakeholders e.g. Ministries of Education, content developers e.g. Institutes of Education, ShureDirect, and Universities in order to improve the availability of relevant local contents which are context-specific to different users
b. UCSAF pitch this project as an education project to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) so as we can get tax exempted on importing of network equipment
c. UCSAF will support/provide the CAPEX to connect 156 (schools/villages)
2. Improve and sustain Information Spots in the community networks (CNs)
a. Organize a stakeholders consultative meeting with telecom operators, tower owners, regulators and relevant Ministries/Agencies to discuss policy, legal and regulatory frameworks that support non-profit community networks
b. Discuss with mobile network operators on a possibility the bulk SIM contracts for easier management of community networks connectivity
c. Conduct sensitization of the community on paying for the monthly bundles to sustain the established connectivity/community networks
d. Advocate the use of TVs for displaying the health videos in health facilities instead of using shared tablets or other smart devices. This approach will avoid contamination/transmission of infections.
3. Organizational support and sustainability of Community Networks (CNs)
a. Involve local government authorities e.g. district councils in establishing, promoting and sustaining community networks (CNs)
b. Promote provision of peer support among CNs within and beyond countries
c. Promote the use of affordable/cheap, scalable and sustainable solutions for CNs
d. Promote the use of cheap and renewable energy source e.g. solar power systems or batteries for powering CNs
e. Cultivate multi-disciplinary approaches/teams in establishing and managing CNs
f. Conduct research on ways to establish, sustain and role of CNs in accelerating the attainment of SDGs


The meeting took place at MUHAS@DarEsSalaam in the MUHAS Harvard Room at MUHAS HD-CHPE Building, 2nd Floor. The workshop was part of the DigI Hackathon.


  • MUHAS: Felix Sukums, Asanali, Nyoni, Anna Chamwali, Fikirini Akbar, Juliana Mbuke,
  • African Child/Basic Internet TZ: Catherine, Ben, Zaina, Hamza, Pious
  • UDESO: Eden Wanyimba
  • BOACSE: Rashid Ally
  • Zimbabwe: Joseph Bishi, Yeukai
  • Univ Dodoma: Matogoro Jabera, n.n., n.n.
  • Tanzania Community Network Alliance: Matogoro Jabera, Hellen Kingu, Elinipenda Amin, Salome Nkonoki,
  • University of Oslo/Basic Internet: Christine, Josef, Brenda
  • Kenya - AHERI: Barrack Otieno, Robert Owino
  • UCSAF: Albert Richard
  • Internet Society - TZ Chapter: Peter Mmbando
  • UDSM: Stanley Mosha (DLab), Hermes Sotter
  • TEG: Pius Mbogo
  • MOHCDGEC: William Mussa

Agenda Sustainable School Connectivity Workshop

10:30 Welcome (Felix)
10:45 The "National Knowledge Portal" for Tanzania (3 min video - https://owncloud.basicinternet.org/index.php/s/gfyTAbyhLifvyja)
10:50 Knowledge uptake from Digital Content (Christine Holst) (10' + 5')
11:05 Connecting Schools, Health Stations and Communities (participants)
reports from DigI projects in collaboration with communities
11:30 School connectivity pilot (Vodacom & UCSAF)
11:45 Affordability and Sustainability in School connectivity (Catherine R. Kimambo)
12:00 Panel on School/village/primary Health facilities -
12:25 Conclusions and Action Items (Catherine/Juliana)
12:30 End of workshop