Giga: Connecting schools, connecting communities

April 18
2:00 pm
 – 3:30 pm

Focusing on Giga, the ITU and UNICEF global initiative to connect all schools to the internet, the event will explore strategies for closing the digital connectivity gap, implementing innovative and sustainable solutions, and leveraging the 3 As (Affordability, Accessibility, Applicability) to ensure inclusive and equitable access to information, opportunity, and choice.

Fostering collaboration between stakeholders, it will provide concrete recommendations fo scaling up school connectivity efforts in African countries, empowering learners and educators through digital learning and providing a framework that can be used to expand internet connectivity beyond schools.

Details on the side event

Giga supports African countries to advance on school connectivity and through this empower teachers, students, and communities to thrive in the digital age. This initiative aligns with the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25) and the Agenda 2063: the Africa We Want.

  1. Addressing the Digital Divide: The digital divide remains a significant challenge in
    Africa, with millions of students and teachers lacking access to the internet. This lack of
    connectivity hinders educational opportunities, limits access to valuable resources and
    learning platforms. In 2024, Giga will focus on bridging this divide by providing
    tailored support to African countries in improving their access to affordable,
    sustainable and high-quality school connectivity solutions.
  2. Promoting Sustainable Connectivity – Sustainable Development Goal 9c: To ensure
    long-term impact and align with the UN’s call to make education financing a national
    investment priority, Giga will prioritize the development of strategies to help finance
    sustainable connectivity solutions that are affordable, scalable, and aligned with the
    needs of each country. This includes developing partnerships with governments,
    telecom companies, philanthropy, and other stakeholders to invest in building robust
    and resilient internet infrastructure to schools and communities.
  3. Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4: By connecting schools to the internet,
    Giga will continue to contribute significantly to achieving SDG4 and SDG9c. As such,
    Giga’s support to countries aims to ensure that every African child can access learning
    opportunities, regardless of their location or socioeconomic background. This includes
    connectivity to schools welcoming refugees and their host communities.

The side event brings together policy makers, regulators, investors, the private sector, and
decision-makers from African countries. It offers a platform to:

  • Share experiences and solutions.
  • Exchange ideas for affordable and high-quality internet access.
  • Showcase how partnerships can address connectivity challenges and improve access
    for people and schools.