The global project Giga, which aims to link every school in the world to the Internet by 2030, has reported that it is currently running in 30 different nations.
Under the direction of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Giga offers governments technical assistance and open-source connectivity options to help them achieve universal school connectivity.
With the addition of 12 new nations this year, Giga now supports enhanced connectivity in 30 countries. Barbados, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Guinea, Namibia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, and Zimbabwe are the 12 new Giga nations.
Core Giga activities, including as mapping schools, designing infrastructure, monitoring connection in real time, financing, and streamlining procurement and market access procedures, are being undertaken at different stages in several countries. With the assistance of numerous government ministries, the giga countries have also formed their own national steering committees.
ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin stated, “Our milestone of reaching 30 countries is about empowering governments with the tools and solutions they need to achieve universal school connectivity.”
“We are enabling every nation to customize solutions that meet their distinct requirements, guaranteeing that no child is left behind in the digital age,” she continued.
A lot of governments can now afford school connectivity because to Giga’s open-source technologies like school mapping and real-time connectivity monitoring. The Ministry of Education in Kyrgyzstan reduced their funding by 43%, or around USD 250,000, per year. Giga’s pilot school connectivity project in Rwanda has resulted in a 55% cost reduction and a 400% boost in Internet speeds.
Giga’s procurement and financing technical support helps governments meet their connectivity goals. Over USD 1.7 billion has been raised by Giga to support school connectivity in eight different nations. These monies, which come from a variety of sources including grants, loans, Universal Service Funds, and the sales of government auctions, are essential for linking schools in the most isolated areas
2.4 million pupils and almost 6,000 schools have been linked to the Internet by Giga and its partners since the company’s founding in 2019. In the next 18 months, Giga hopes to link 10 million kids and 25,000 schools with its increased presence.
Bogdan-Martin stated, “Giga’s accomplishments would not have been possible without the special cooperation of two UN agencies, UNICEF and ITU, as well as the confidence and support that governments around the world have placed in us.” With the achievement of this new milestone, we aim to enlist the support of other nations in our effort to link every school worldwide. We are giving the future generation access to knowledge, opportunities, and choices by doing this,” she said in closing.
Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guinea, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Montserrat, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe are among the nations for which Giga is actively providing advanced connectivity support as of November 2023.