Can a for-profit company bring connectivity to ultra-remote villages?
Friday, June 16, 2017
A for-profit company that is providing mobile phone connectivity for the first time to people living in ultra-remote villages in the Democratic of Congo and Cameroon has received 24 million euros ($27 million) in scale-up funding from the European Investment Bank, it was announced last week.
An additional 4 million people will soon be able to make and receive calls, send messages and access basic internet services as a result of the multi-million dollar investment in Africa Mobile Networks — a commercial company that builds solar-powered mobile network base stations in ultra-rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa.
The investment by the European Union’s bank will pay for 1,000 new base stations, helping to bridge the growing digital divide between urban and rural areas, which development experts say could increase inequality if left unaddressed.