Blockchain network operator World Mobile has launched free connectivity to Wi-Fi internet in Zanzibar.
The beneficiaries will then pay to access the metered internet.
The initiative, in partnership with eGovernment Agency of Zanzibar (eGAZ), will see all state agencies, ministries, local government offices, and public spaces like bus stops, airport, ports, fish markets, hospitals and any other public institution get the internet service.
In the first 60 days, the partnership will aim to connect the airport, ports and properties owned by the National Housing Corporation of Zanzibar within the main island of Unguja, as part of World Mobile’s plan to provide connectivity to all of Zanzibar’s population by the end of 2023.
This is the first stage of an ambitious partnership and five-year plan, viewed as a project that will drastically boost Zanzibar’s GDP, which includes a Blockchain Centre of Excellence, an eGov solution providing digital identities and integration with government systems.
Micky Watkins, World Mobile CEO, said that Zanzibar is on its path to becoming Africa’s blockchain hub.
“We are thrilled to help make it a reality, sending ripple effects across the region. Our efforts to connect the unconnected will enhance Zanzibar’s economy in multiple ways,” he said.
Said Seif Said, Director General of Zanzibar’s E-Government Agency, said that this new initiative will shine a spotlight on Zanzibar’s emerging potential as the technology and blockchain centre of the future, starting with providing connectivity to people and businesses in the region.
“On this, we will build innovative new ways of conducting local government [business] and boosting businesses, and we are looking forward to reaping the fruits of this spectacular initiative,” Mr Said said.