As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded globally in early 2020, Giga focused on extending immediate and accelerated support to a few priority countries.
In 2020, we mapped over 800,000 schools, welcomed 10 partners and developed work plans in 17 countries. Giga was highlighted as a Key Way Forward toward Digital Transformation in the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, and as a practical step toward extending connectivity in post-conflict, post-disaster settings by the UN Security Council.
Over 2021 and beyond, we plan to provide effective support to scale connectivity in these 17 countries, based on 5 key insights.
The key areas of support needed to achieve universal connectivity in these 17 countries are:
- Financing of US$453M of upfront capital expenditure for last-mile connectivity and US$305M of annual operational expenditures
- Increasing transparency and accountability
- Promoting healthy market competition
- Taking advantage of new technologies
- Developing sustainable models for innovative financing
of long-term connectivity
Ensuring conducive regulatory environment can accelerate connectivity expansion and foster market competition.
Every country is different, but some are different in similar ways. We have put them into clusters to develop tailored support.
Giga needs to work with a new and existing set of partners – from tech startups to venture capitalists to new technology providers while ensuring inclusion, affordability and sustainability.
Connectivity needs to connect to something meaningful. Governments want to see the better education and digital learning systems to improve skills for their young people – and initiatives such as UNICEF’s Reimagine Education provide us with a valuable partner in making those links.
Giga will continue to make progress on the mutually identified priorities with national governments described in the document.