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COVID-19 Response Award

The COVID-19 Response Award recognises organisations and initiatives that have successfully deployed technology solutions in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Africa Data Centres - Colocation Initiative
Africa Data Centres - Colocation Initiative

Africa Data Centres recognises the critical importance of maintaining the digital economy, particularly in Africa where cloud services and big data are still gaining traction. Data centres are at the heart of this sector, as without their secure, private operations, consumers and businesses would not be able to benefit from mobile applications, join Zoom business meetings or virtual classrooms.

In response to Covid-19 shutdowns this year, Africa Data Centres offered a six-month free colocation service for NGOs, small, medium and micro enterprises and digital learning companies.


For its own operations, Africa Data Centres was able to offer employees remote working opportunities so that they did not need to be physically present.

Huawei O&M AUTIN Grid-based Operations
Huawei O&M AUTIN Grid-based Operations

Huawei developed the AUTIN solution for network O&M, using new technologies such as blockchain, grid-based transformation and intelligentization of operations to enable the decentralization of Network Management (‘Portable NOC’) in times of COVID-19 pandemic.

About 100 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria - the most populous country in Africa – are served by 4 main operators that together combine around 30,000 sites nationwide. Maintaining these large infrastructures requires hundreds of field technicians and a 24/7 strenuous monitoring to prevent mobile users from communication shortages, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdown and mobility restrictions due to epidemic imposed additional challenges to Operators, such as increased traffic and reduced workers at the Network Operation Center.

To address these challenges, Huawei developed the AUTIN Operation that promotes the decentralization of network management by empowering field technicians with digitized tools to proactively monitor network quality indicators and respond to any degradation before subscribers get affected. It not only provides a contingency for Operators’ NOCs but expands the network monitoring capability with the grid-based operation. A cloud-based big data digital platform is at the heart of this solution, leveraging on technologies such as machine-learning/AI, prediction algorithms and knowledge-based intelligent rules. A monetary incentive mechanism linked to network quality indicators motivates the field workers to embrace this mindset change. Finally, an intelligent command center - ‘Magnifier in the Sky’ – provides real-time visibility of network status, staff’s geolocation and incidents resolution tracking.


Liquid Telecom - Keeping Kenya's Children Learning by Empowering ICT Enabled Teaching During COVID-19
Liquid Telecom - Keeping Kenya's Children Learning by Empowering ICT Enabled Teaching During COVID-19

As COVID swept across Kenya all schools, public and private, were closed by order of the Government. Only the top private schools in Nairobi continued with online teaching.

Liquid Telecom's team brainstormed with teachers to create the Liquid Virtual Education Programme. The team pulled in a variety of technology companies - at short notice - to help build the programme quickly with free offers to support COVID relief: Microsoft, Angaza Elimu, KENIC, Cisco Systems, and Liquid Telecom.

More schools are signed up every week and the programme will continue indefinitely.

This initiative shows how technology has been used to create a new educational eco system and how people from multiple organisations can work together to create a new and innovative approach to learning. The enabler for online teaching and blended learning is broadband connectivity.  

Orange Middle East -Free mobile access to educational content during Covid-19 crisis
Orange Middle East -Free mobile access to educational content during Covid-19 crisis

From March to June 2020, schools and universities in Africa were closed. Orange Middle East & Africa then brought together many players around a common objective: guarantee a minimum of educational continuity. The major educational and cultural content platforms (Wikipedia, Khan Academy, Wiki books, Gutenberg Project, etc.) have been asked to give the rights to install their content, in French, English and Arabic on their Pan-African Data Center based in Ivory Coast. This was a technical prerequisite so that mobile network access to this content could be made free.

Content from ministries of education (French, Burkinabe, Moroccan, etc.) and startups (Ivorian, Congolese, etc.) as well as university courses (virtual universities of Tunis and Senegal, French Technological University Institutes) were added to the plan.

Fifteen Orange MEA subsidiaries then made free the mobile network connections to this content. The equivalent of 10 million dedicated education packages were offered.

The general mobilization must not stop, but must be encouraged, because the digital education revolution in Africa must continue, for the equality regarding education and for the stability and development of countries.


Telecom26 and SystemOne - Using IoT for COVID testing in Malawi and Zimbabwe -
Telecom26 and SystemOne - Using IoT for COVID testing in Malawi and Zimbabwe -

To date, more than 30,000 COVID tests in Malawi and Zimbabwe have been assessed over the past three months thanks to the IoT network of Telecom26. The programme has been so successful that it will be rolled out in multiple other countries in Africa in the near future (NDAs in place).

This project has provided a blueprint for countries around the world where people live in remote areas with no hospitals and poor network coverage.

SystemOne's medical diagnostics software has been installed onto the laptops and tablets of healthcare professionals enabling them to send test results and other information to a central remote platform where medical conditions can be diagnosed, treatment plans developed and then sent back for implementation on the ground.

Key to the success of SystemOne's remote medical diagnosis system is reliable connectivity; speed of diagnosis and treatment is often the difference between life and death with COVID - and many infectious diseases.