Mobile operators and government institutions of the DRC have partnered with the global mobile association, the GSMA, to advance the nation’s digital transformation with the launch of “We Care” in the country.
The We Care in DRC initiative aims to accelerate and amplify the positive impact of mobile and digital services for the people and economy of the DRC and to develop close public-private collaboration. A sustained dialogue between mobile operators and policymakers will make the most of the benefits inherent to the development of a digital economy for everyone in the DRC.
The partnership highlights the collaboration between the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications, New Technology and Communications; the Regulatory Authority of Posts and Telecommunications (ARPTC); and the mobile network operators Africell, Airtel, Orange, Vodacom and the GSMA.
“The vision of His Excellency the President of the Republic, Head of State is to make ICT a true lever for economic growth and an integral development driver for our country. With this in mind, and in my capacity as political decision-maker at the service of the Congolese people, I firmly believe we will achieve this vision with the contribution of the mobile operators present in the DRC. Consequently, DRC’s mobile operators stand with us as major partners in the Government’s noble mission for the long-awaited digital transformation of our country. We fully support the We Care in DRC initiative which will create a robust environment and framework for permanent dialogue between stakeholders in the sector. In turn, this will create a climate of trust and serenity between all, and for the great benefit of our population,” said Augustin Kibassa, Minister of Posts, Telecommunications, New Technology and Communications.
“We are delighted that the GSMA’s We Care initiative is being implemented in a concerted manner by all stakeholders in the ICT sector in order to develop a series of actions that strengthen transparency, trust and dialogue. The need to develop services associated with digital inclusion is important, so much so that everything should be done to foster all available collaborations. We are therefore more than happy to see the GSMA offering this partnership which will help accelerate the digital transformation of the DRC,” said Christian Katende, President of ARPTC.
“We are honored to launch the GSMA We Care initiative in the DRC, alongside mobile operators and public authorities. Together, we will foster an environment of mutual trust and dialogue and advance concrete actions to reinforce public-private collaborations, which is essential to spur digital transformation and inclusion,” said Angela Wamola, Head of sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA.
Promoting transparency and public-private dialogue
Following the launch of We Care in DRC, a series of public-private collaboration actions will be carried out, in particular:
- The launch of an annual report that shares key sector indicators on mobile sector taxation.
- The publication of a mobile coverage map of the country to inform decision-making on improving connectivity in rural areas. The map, developed with support from the UK government (UKAID), is available here on the GSMA website
- The activation of a local mobile association in the DRC. This organisation will find common solutions to advance inclusive digital transformation.
- The establishment of a framework for regular public-private dialogue between mobile operators, government and regulator to overcome the challenges of the mobile sector and accelerate digital inclusion.
Milad Khairallah, Director General, Africell DRC said: “Africell is proud to partner with organisations that share our commitment to socially responsible business practices. The We Care project in DRC reinforces public-private collaboration, drives digital inclusion and boosts our collective impact on communities across the country. We Care DRC is a great initiative for Africell to be involved in and we hope that the innovative work we do with our partners and the government in the DRC inspires similar collaboration in other sectors and countries.”
Thierry Diasonama, Director General, Airtel RDC said: “Digital is disrupting our society at large, especially the world of work, and this digital revolution is not about to stop. Therefore, we welcome the initiative to bring all stakeholders in the sector together to work towards tackling the challenges of the digital transformation of Congolese society. It is a source of pride for us to bring Airtel’s expertise to the We Care initiative so that together we can lay a solid foundation to help reduce the digital divide and improve the financial inclusion rate.”
Ben Cheick Haidara, Director General, Orange DRC said: “Orange RDC, a multiservice operator, has been engaged for more than 10 years in the deployment of innovative technologies and services for Congolese people, whether in rural, peri-urban or urban areas. The We Care initiative, which has demonstrated its effectiveness in other countries, strengthens the framework for cooperation between public and private stakeholders and therefore accelerates digital inclusion in the DRC. We are therefore very happy to take part, in line with our mission to include digital in the lives of populations wherever we are present.”
Anwar Soussa, Directeur General, Vodacom DRC said: “For us, at Vodacom Congo, the contribution to socio-economic development is at the core of our social contract with the DRC. That is why We Care is very important and represents a unique opportunity to promote transparency in dialogue with all stakeholders involved in the promotion of the telecommunications sector, both public and private, and to encourage open and efficient collaboration.”
Globally, GSMA We Care has campaigns in 30 countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia, in collaboration with 70 mobile operators. In Africa, We Care initiatives are already live in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and Rwanda. The in-country campaigns support the mobile industry’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Digital Declaration, allowing operators to drive impact at a local level.