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Digital Inclusion

Vodacom Business and Microsoft SA partner to deliver a Digital Education Platform

JOHANNESBURG – Vodacom Business and Microsoft South Africa have partnered to provide access to continuous, connected digital learning for South Africa’s education institutions, educators and learners through their Connected Digital Education initiative.

This is in response to the growing need for affordable online learning solutions that meet the educational needs of today’s learners through a secure combination of connectivity, collaboration, communication and educational tools and resources, while also considering the long-term need to transform education.

This partnership brings together two companies who have invested extensively in education to deliver solutions that address the immediate and long-term needs of education in the country.

The Connected Digital Education Platform is a trusted education platform that enables remote learning with affordable connectivity, ultimately turning the learning environment into a single, simple solution for the learner and giving them access to the tools, apps and resources they need to learn.

"As a company with a purpose to connect for a better future, we are leveraging our ongoing partnership with Microsoft to provide educational institutions, from schools through to universities, with an education bundle of data at an affordable rate to participating institutions. We are fundamentally accelerating digital transformation in education through online learning now and well into the future," said Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group.

The solution also provides access to cost-effective data and educational apps and resources through Vodacom Business’s Edu Data Bundle and Microsoft Office 365 Education, a cloud-based service which offers the key Microsoft productivity apps like Teams, OneNote, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

With the Connected Digital Education Platform, educators are able to continue to deliver classes to their learners, who can participate through chat or voice using a SIM card where access to Teams is provided for free, allowing them to continue learning regardless of where they are or what device they are using – whether it be an Android, iOS or Windows smartphone, tablet or laptop. The solution addresses the short-term need for online learning, while education institutions are partially closed, by giving educators and learners access to the tools and resources they need to teach and learn respectively.

However, it also addresses the long-term need to transform education, and provides learners with the tools needed to equip them with technological fluency, high-level knowledge skills and an agile mind-set that embraces innovation and creativity – the skills that are needed for future employability.

"This empowers both educators and learners, and enables learning to continue in a seamless manner, which is a priority for Microsoft as we aim to ensure that South African learners are equipped with the right tools and skills needed to make them future-ready. The ability to bring together learning into one hub or solution is invaluable, and forms an important part of our commitment to building a complete education solution with critical partnerships with organisations like Vodacom Business,” said Lillian Barnard, managing director at Microsoft South Africa.

Vodacom Business and Microsoft are committed to supporting the digitisation of education in South Africa and believe that through investing in education, they are investing in the long-term economic growth and prosperity of the country.

Vodacom Pty. Ltd.
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

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Meeting SME’s where they are - Building inclusive ecosystems for Africa’s small business owners

Micro and small businesses have been, and still are, the spine and lifeblood of the African economy, making up 90% of businesses on the continent.

Many of these businesses have still been operating in traditional ways and serving non-digital customers. With Covid-19 expediting the digital transformation process, businesses - big and small - have been forced to adapt to operate successfully in a more digital-first environment.

To ensure that the digitalization of Africa’s market doesn’t leave micro and small businesses behind, digital solutions must be inclusive and create business-ready environments. But how can we ensure that African SMEs become digitally enabled?

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  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world

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