SK Lopang Foundation and Abaricom launch free Internet Hotspots
In line with its aim to help build communities through sustainable partnerships, the SK Lopang Foundation in collaboration with Abaricom has launched three free internet hotspots in Selebi Phikwe.
The free internet hotspots are expected to make a profound impact on the lives of the community, particularly youth and women whose limited or no access to the internet affects their livelihoods in various ways.
The foundation also donated stock to some selected informal traders – all women, who are vendors in the town for their businesses.
Speaking at the event, Chief Executive Officer Of SK Lopang Foundation, Dumi Lopang said that the Selebi Phikwe community remains disadvantaged in many ways since the closure of the BCL mine which used to be the lifeline of the town.
He said that the stock is expected to boost their businesses and also stimulate profits.
“While great strides have been made to resuscitate the town’s economy, access to affordable and reliable internet connectivity remains a challenge for community members. This digital divide poses a significant barrier to economic development and limits opportunities for our youth and women to engage in meaningful entrepreneurial activities,” he noted.
In addition, Lopang said, “The provision of these free internet hotspots is aimed at bridging the gap and the benefits to be accrued are twofold in access to information and resources while promoting job creation through increased digital skills and online entrepreneurship.”
Lopang mentioned that free internet will enable the community members to access online educational materials, thereby improving their skills and knowledge base.
He also added that it will also facilitate better communication and connectivity, allowing individuals to stay connected with friends, family, and professional networks.
“Access to online government services and resources will be enhanced. With these free Wi-Fi hotspots, we are not just providing access to the internet; we are opening doors to a world of knowledge, opportunities, and collaboration. Education, job searches, entrepreneurial ventures—all now at the fingertips of every resident, unlocking the full potential of our community,” said the CEO.
The free internet, Lopang noted, will provide the youth with opportunities for e-learning, enabling them to acquire digital skills and competencies required in today’s job market.
“Women, who often face societal barriers to employment, will have an opportunity to explore online entrepreneurship from home, thereby promoting gender equality and financial independence. Access to online job portals and freelancing platforms will open up new avenues for employment and income generation,” explained Lopang.
For his part, technical partner of the project from Abaricom Mbaki Chalegwa Motlotlegi said, “We seek to empower and improve Batswana and their communities, ensuring that no Motswana is left behind.
Through technology, the playing field is leveled and that is why we have made deliberate efforts to integrate sustainability and social inclusion at the core of our business.”