December 14, 2017

Millicom and Reach for Change five-year partnership drives locally-led development in African communities to achieve the SDGs

Millicom International Cellular S.A. and Reach for Change are celebrating 5 years of driving locally led development of youngsters in Africa, highlighting how corporate and non-profit organizations can work together to contribute innovative approaches to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). To mark the anniversary, the partners released a special 5th anniversary social impact report.

Since the start in 2012 the partnership has supported 194 exceptional, passionate and creative social entrepreneurs – individuals bringing innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems – working to improve communities and the lives of children (0-18 years) in Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania, Chad and Senegal. The social entrepreneurs have in turn improved the lives of 869,687 children through the support they have received.

The support provided to the social entrepreneurs consists of organisational funding and technical expertise provided by Millicom every year, and of Accelerator and Incubator programs provided by Reach for Change, aimed to transform innovative ideas into working social enterprises.

“At Millicom we are passionate about the power of digital technology to advance people’s lives both financially and socially. We are proud of our partnership with Reach for Change and the positive change the Tigo Digital Changemakers Program is making in the areas of digital inclusion, financial inclusion, business entrepreneurship and education. It is really inspiring to see those African social entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality and find digital solutions that address the social challenges in their countries and impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people,” said Millicom’s Africa Executive Vice President Mr. Mohamed Dabbour.

The Accelerator and Incubator programs provide training and support to help enterprises achieve measurable social impact, financial sustainability and scale and provide awardees with access to global networks of entrepreneurs, corporate partners and prospective investors as well as a one-time financial grant.

“With the increased focus on achieving the sustainable development goals, partnerships like what Reach for Change has with Millicom in Africa highlight the power of SDG17 – partnering for the goals. Millicom played a crucial role in our ability to establish accelerators and incubators to support African social entrepreneurs, and to impact hundreds of thousands of lives across the continent over the past 5 years,” said Amma Sefa-Dedeh Lartey, the Africa Regional Director of Reach for Change. “This partnership really highlights the immense impact that can be achieved when companies and non-profits join forces to promote local-driven development and change in African societies.”

About Millicom

Millicom is a leading provider of cable and mobile services dedicated to emerging markets in Latin America and Africa. Millicom sets the pace when it comes to providing high speed broadband and innovative digital lifestyle services through its principal brand, Tigo. As of December 2016, Millicom provided mobile services to more than 25 million customers in Africa.

About Reach for Change Africa

Reach for Change Africa is a non-profit organization that invests in innovative, early-stage social entrepreneurs who are addressing problems faced by children, youth and women in seven countries across the continent; Ghana, Senegal, Chad, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. Reach for Change runs innovation competitions and provides Accelerator and Incubator programs to exceptional social entrepreneurs who are supported to scale their innovations through funding, access to technical and organizational management expertise, and networking opportunities. Reach for Change Africa is a part of the global organization Reach for Change which operates in 17 countries worldwide.

Below are some stories of the impact that some of the Tigo Digital Changemakers are making in their communities:

Strengthening the education system in Chad through ICT

Patricia Ronel Neldingar is a brilliant young lady with a Masters Degree in IT, is passionate about education and is the founder & president of ADTIC, an association which promotes development of ICT. After university Patricia realized that national educational levels were declining, especially in her old high school which she visited regularly.

Her solution to this was creating a mobile platform that allows parents to follow up on their child’s development in school. Through the app, parents, by request through their mobile phones, can obtain detailed reports on their child’s activities at school such as unexplained absences, disciplinary behavior and academic performance.

Through the implementation of this project in partnership with Tigo Chad and Reach for Change, Patricia is realizing her dream to fight “the decline of quality education that plagues the Chadian schools, which is largely contributed to by the lack of involvement and awareness parents have of their children’s performance at school.”

Bringing tech skills to rural children and youth in Ghana

Herman Heinrich Hesse identified very low vocabulary capacity amongst basic school pupils as the root cause of illiteracy in underprivileged schools. This is what led him to start the E-Read Right Foundation which is taking necessary precautions to make sure that students graduate from school with basic literacy skills and good grades.

E-Read Right Foundation is using the WordBankers School Centre Programme; a specially designed vocabulary development programme for basic school pupils, to improve their reading, writing, spelling, pronunciation and academic performance.

The WordBankers School Centre Programme is installed on Android and Windows platforms and provides a well-structured lesson plan for students. E-Read Right Foundation also organises training workshops for teachers on how to implement the WordBankers School Centre Programme in their respective schools as part of the curriculum, after school support programme or a school club activity.

Read more about the 5 year impact report here: http://www.millicom.com/media/3029/r4c-five-year-impact-report.pdf