How to scale from connecting 100 schools in Kenya to 1,050 and beyond?

In collaboration with the Government of Kenya, Giga has launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) to select suppliers to enter a Long Term Agreement (LTA) for the provision of internet connectivity services to public primary schools to increase access to digital learning.

Over 17 million children and young people in Kenya had their learning interrupted when schools were closed during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. To enable children to continue learning, the Government of Kenya and other stakeholders continued to offer opportunities for remote learning via radio, T.V. and the Internet.  

While most Kenyan populations have access to remote learning opportunities, many cannot access or afford these offers, either because there is no connectivity, or it is too expensive to connect. This underscored the critical importance of accelerating connectivity initiatives to help children and youth to learn and develop essential skills for employment in a digital world. 

To address this, the Government of Kenya has been working with Giga to connect every school to the Internet and enable every young Kenyan to access information, opportunity and choice. In Phase 1 of the Accelerate connectivity prototype in Kenya, Giga supported the government to connect 110 schools across all 47 counties. In these schools, connectivity has enabled quick access for learners to online educational materials stored in the Kenya Education Cloud (KEC) and Open Educational Resources (OER), and has made it easier for peers to share materials. According to teachers, connectivity has enabled more hands-on and real-world processes of exchanging information, enriching learning conversations and making students feel more motivated and interested in attending school. 

In Phase 2 of the Accelerate prototype, Giga will scale the connectivity to 1,050 schools across the country. To establish an efficient model, UNICEF Kenya seeks to enter into Long Term Agreements (LTAs) with qualified institutional contractors to inform additional connectivity scaling even beyond Phase 2. The objective is to design, plan and establish innovative, reliable and affordable solutions to provide continuous internet connectivity to public primary schools across Kenya, with related maintenance services, through a sustainable business model. 

Solution providers are encouraged to apply
by 29 August 2021, 23:59 East Africa Time:
More about Giga: 

Giga is a global UNICEF-ITU initiative which aims to connect every school to the internet, and connect young people to information, opportunity and choice.  

Giga aims to expand broadband connectivity through its focus on four main pillars of work:

  1. Map: identifying the locations and connectivity status of every school and determining connectivity gaps;
  2. Connect: supporting the expansion of safe, secure, reliable, fit-for-purpose infrastructure to support future digital development needs;
  3. Finance: building affordable and sustainable country-specific models for finance, and
  4. Empower: deploying open-source digital solutions and ensure young people and communities leverage connectivity to reach their full potential. 

Through Accelerate, Giga is connecting the first 1,000 schools in partner countries and exploring diverse technologies and business models to provide broadband connectivity solutions to schools and communities, in order to fast-track governments’ universal connectivity programs.