Connecting offline communities with solar wifi and local cloud services.

Past and Current Partners

UNDP SDG Accelerator, UNDP Business Call to Action (Impact Champions Programme), CARE, PLAN International, and The Hunger Project

Active Countries
Ghana, India
Thematic area(s)
Inclusive Growth
Organisation Name

The Problem

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.

The Solution

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.

How it works?

  • Step 1: Identifying underserved rural communities and connecting them through in-house developed solar-powered Wi-Fi solutions.
  • Step 2: Partnering with governments, NGOs, and/or companies who work on the ground in communities.
  • Step 3: Identifying content and service providers that match user needs and then making them available on the free-to-use content platform LOCAL CLOUD.
  • Step 4: Implementing digital capacity-building sessions and own-to-lease device models to increase the potential base of adopters.
  • Step 5: Hiring local digital champions to market services and continuous capacity building. Step 6: Monitoring adoption, usage, and impact through the Impact Management Framework and implementing tailored activities for user groups trailing behind.
Digital X Solution Bluetown

Bridging the digital divide

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.

Impact and highlights

  • The platform is available at more than 6,000 underserved locations (covering 2.5M+ people).
  • More than 10,000 women in rural communities have undergone formal digital capacity training.

Plans for expansion

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.