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Ericsson, Free and the Ministry of National Education collaborate to improve the digital education ecosystem in Senegal

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  • This partnership creates a digital educational ecosystem in five public elementary schools under the Academy Inspectorate of Pikine-Guédiawaye, Senegal.
  • Thanks to this partnership, schools will be connected to existing radio networks using Fixed Wireless Access solutions, while benefiting from the introduction of digital tools such as laptops, software and access to digital platforms and content.
  • The pilot school of this program, Pikine 7/A, was inaugurated during an official ceremony on April 25, 2024, in the presence of local dignitaries and senior representatives of the institutions involved.
Press release
Apr 26, 2024
Ericsson, Free and the Ministry of National Education Senegal group photo

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has signed an agreement with Free and the Pikine-Guédiawaye Academy Inspectorate of the Ministry of National Education to implement a digital education ecosystem in five schools in Pikine-Guédiawaye.

Following a Memorandum of Understanding announced in 2023 by Ericsson and Free to improve educational opportunities through technology, the inauguration of these connected classrooms demonstrates our common desire to guarantee quality education in an equitable manner, thus strengthening the autonomy of teachers and students through access to quality internet connectivity and the development of digital skills.

As a reminder, this project aims to connect the schools concerned to existing radio networks powered by Ericsson and operated by Free Senegal using Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) solutions that are quick to deploy, cost-effective and which will contribute to reducing the digital divide. These schools will receive devices and equipment intended to promote interactive learning in the classroom. Ericsson will provide access to its open-source, cloud-based Connect to Learn operating system and learning management system to improve lesson planning and delivery and ensure more pupil-focused teaching.

As part of this partnership, Free Senegal will provide quality internet connectivity and both partners will provide laptops for learning. The Academy Inspectorate of Pikine-Guédiawaye will play a crucial role in strengthening the digital capacities of teachers by training them in the use of new tools and their integration into their teaching practice.

Gana SENE, Academy Inspector of the Pikine-Guédiawaye Academy Inspectorate of the Ministry of National Education of Senegal declares: “Our partnership with Ericsson and Free marks an important step in our contribution to the deployment of the strategy of digital technology of the Ministry of National Education and the national vision of human capital development. We firmly believe that we must utilize the opportunities offered by the emergence of an information society. Through this partnership, we are demonstrating how schools, teachers and the education sector in Senegal can take a leap forward towards the school of the future.”

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report quantifies how school connectivity is a key factor in improving learning outcomes and thriving economies, finding that a 10% increase in School connectivity can increase children's effective years of schooling by 0.6%, and GDP per capita by 1.1%. This report also shows that access to a multitude of resources and new forms of learning, such as adaptive learning platforms, internet access and digital learning, play an important role in improving the quality of education globally.

Mamadou Mbengue, Managing Director at Free Senegal underlines: “At Free, we work every day to promote progress, innovation, and connectivity, thus strengthening our mission to propel Senegal into a prosperous digital era. Through the Connect to Learn program, we are determined to achieve Sustainable Development Goal #4 by ensuring equitable access to quality education and strengthening learning capacities in Senegal. In this perspective, our “Jang ak Free” program aims to sustainably improve schooling conditions in Senegal by offering present and future generations the best prospects. This strategic partnership between Free and Ericsson makes it possible to provide cutting-edge educational resources to communities, thereby contributing to the digital growth and development of all.

Majda Lahlou Kassi, Vice President and Head of Ericsson West Africa and Morocco, said: “Ericsson's Connect to Learn initiative aims to improve educational opportunities through innovative technology for young people around the world. With this in mind, we designed and launched this project to have a positive impact on an individual, community and national scale. This partnership reflects our commitment to using technologies such as Fixed Wireless Access to promote inclusive education and a brighter future. We are excited to contribute to a transformation that transcends borders, by making quality education accessible in a few schools in Senegal.’’

Since 1999, the collaboration between Free and Ericsson has seen several milestones, including the launch of 4G and LTE networks, modernization programs and the introduction of mobile financial services. More recently, it was with the support of Ericsson that Free was the first operator to launch 5G in Senegal in March 2024, a major milestone which positions Free as the undisputed leader in innovation in Senegal. With this historic deployment, Free Senegal becomes the only operator to offer the revolutionary power of 5G, paving the way for a new era of speed, reliability, and unparalleled connected experiences.

 

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ABOUT ERICSSON:

Ericsson enables communications service providers and enterprises to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans the following business areas: Networks, Cloud Software and Services, Enterprise Wireless Solutions, Global Communications Platform, and Technologies and New Businesses. It is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency and find new revenue streams. Ericsson’s innovation investments have delivered the benefits of mobility and mobile broadband to billions of people globally. Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York. www.ericsson.com

ABOUT FREE:

Free is a global mobile telephony operator in Senegal which is part of the AXIAN Telecom group. It now has more than 5 million customers who use its mobile, internet and financial services every day.

Free is the first operator to launch 5G in Senegal. Free in Senegal has always set itself the ambition of introducing and experiencing digital to the populations and businesses of Senegal. This promise is materialized on the one hand by the innovative and accessible offers that the operator launches on the market, but above all it is part of a corporate citizenship approach which wishes to put digital technology at the service of communities and the economic development of the country.

Free in Senegal is also a new customer experience and new offers that will transform our market and above all change the lives of Senegalese people.

Free in Senegal addresses all market segments, with specific and varied services. In addition to its umbrella brand Free, it is present on the market with Free Business for the professional world, and Free Money for mobile financial services.

Free in Senegal is a bold and innovative brand that always offers the best of digital in a simple and accessible way to all its customers.

MORE INFORMATION AT:

FREE Communication Department: Lamine Diallo Ldiallo@free.sn (+221) 32 824 00 00