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Driving 100% Connectivity in Namibia

In rural Namibia, poor or no wireless coverage can have a serious impact on people’s lives and businesses. In 2015, a car accident caused a lot of debate on social media. Following the accident which happened 120 kilometers outside the capital, the driver was stranded for hours without a wireless signal. There was no way to call the police and there were no passing vehicles to help him gain assistance. He waited helplessly on the road before he hitchhiked for 40 kilometers to find a signal and call for help. In another case, the Minister of Communications of Namibia found there was no wireless signal to make a call in a new school he had recently opened. The nearest area to gain a signal was 30 kilometers away from the school. Faced with increasing pressure to improve communications, Namibia's Communications Department proposed three ‘100% plans’ in 2017. These include achieving 100% population coverage, 100% road coverage, and 100% national coverage. Based on the plans, the Ministry of Communications together with mobile operator MTC, launched the "081 everyone" plan, and is building 525 new sites within two years. The goal is to connect everyone in Namibia. The completion of the 081 everyone project will greatly improve mobile connectivity and broadband internet access to help transform the country’s economic development and people’s lives.

Related SDGs: