In January 2020 the Malawian government concluded an agreement with the UbuntuNet Alliance which will increase internet access in the country.
The initiative will bring reliable, fast and affordable internet connectivity to educational and research institutions in partnership with MAREN (the Malawi Research and Education Network). The initiative forms part of the Digital Malawi Project which aims to boost ICT infrastructure while also improving service delivery by implementing e-government services.
The Digital Malawi Project is funded by the World Bank and UbuntuNet is committed to running the initiative over a 10 year period. Once the project is implemented, students and researchers at Malawian institutions will benefit from fast and affordable connectivity.
The UbuntuNet Alliance previously collaborated with partners in Uganda, Somalia and Zambia (among others) and in these countries, universities were able to reduce the cost of internet connectivity by 70%. UbuntuNet Alliance head, Dr Mathews Mtumbuka, stated that the organisation hopes to partner with the World Bank implement the initiative in more Southern and East African countries.
The Inclusive Internet Index 2020 ranked Malawi at 97 out of 100 countries in terms of, and affordability and availability. The Index also ranks Madagascar, Liberia and Burundi at 98, 99 and 100, respectively.
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