Tanzania’s schools to benefit from SmartWASOMI initiative

02 July 2024

Airtel, UNICEF and the Government of Tanzania’s Ministry of Education, have launched the SmartWASOMI initiative to accelerate the rollout of digital learning by providing free internet connectivity to schools in the country.

“This partnership is a major step forward for Tanzania. It aligns with our national vision of providing digital infrastructure for every child. I would like to thank Airtel and UNICEF for their support in making digital content accessible to children in urban and rural areas,” said Honourable Kassim Majaliwa, prime minister, United Republic of Tanzania.

In 2022, Tanzania pledged to revolutionize education through digital initiatives at the Transforming Education Summit during the UN General Assembly. This commitment is reflected in the new education curriculum, which embraces digital literacy among students and teachers. Further to this effort, the Government has distributed 300,000 tablets to schools, demonstrating its dedication to advancing digital education.

“We are working closely with educational authorities, teachers, and local communities to ensure the successful implementation of this initiative. Our vision for SmartWASOMI is rooted in the belief that education is a fundamental pillar for socio-economic development. We are excited about this project’s potential to transform education in Tanzania, empowering the next generation of leaders and innovators. Together, we can create a more connected, informed, and empowered Tanzania, where every student can reach their full potential,” said Dinesh Balsingh, managing director, Airtel Tanzania.

The SmartWASOMI initiative will leverage existing and new digital infrastructure to provide high-speed internet connectivity to public secondary schools through a national digital teaching and learning platform. The pilot phase of the project has already made significant strides, reaching 50 secondary schools across Zanzibar, Dodoma, and Mbeya. The digital learning platforms will deliver audio lessons and provide teachers and school management with teaching guides and content.

“Digital learning is a powerful tool that can transform education in Tanzania especially for excluded children and communities. Through the SmartWASOMI public-private partnership initiative the Government of Tanzania, UNICEF and Airtel are collaborating to ensure that teachers have access to modern learning methods and that no student, and no child is left behind. UNICEF will continue to work with the Government and partners like Airtel to develop an evidence-based digital learning strategy that supports the country’s efforts to provide 21st-century education,” said Elke Wisch, UNICEF Representative to Tanzania.

The SmartWASOMI initiative will run for five years and ensure digital education access to more than 3,000 schools across Tanzania. This launch is part of a broader global partnership between Airtel Africa and UNICEF aimed at accelerating digital learning in 13 countries across the African continent.