Connecting offline communities with solar wifi and local cloud services.
UNDP SDG Accelerator, UNDP Business Call to Action (Impact Champions Programme), CARE, PLAN International, and The Hunger Project
Bluetown rural connectivity platform seeks to break down the multi-faceted barriers to digital adoption and has been developed in collaboration with a variety of partners, including governments, impact start-ups, donors and tech giants, and notably, also NGOs, such as CARE, PLAN International, and The Hunger Project, who have facilitated participatory workshops on user-needs and understandings of socio-cultural barriers to digital adoption. Learnings from that include the importance of connecting spaces where women feel comfortable congregating as well as flexible lease-to-own models to increase device penetration. Furthermore, Bluetown has participated in the UNDP SDG Accelerator which included stakeholder engagement and peer reviews with UN entities and experts. Bluetown also has a formal partnership with the University of Copenhagen which has informed our model through ethnographic research on the digital gender divide.
Bluetown bridges the digital divide and enables economic empowerment by connecting underserved communities to high-speed internet, ICT capacity training and user-free access to curated digital content and services.
Its mission is to connect the unconnected by specifically targeting communities with limited connectivity and population groups who are underrepresented in digital services. Moreover, it allows governments and NGOs to curate content and services which allows access to low-income users access - even when they cannot afford data.
Bluetown has established a formal entity to expand to Nigeria within the next 12-24 months and has secured funding to increase engagement in Mozambique at the beginning of 2023.