December 6, 2022

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USTDA Supports Rural Internet Connectivity in East Africa

U.S. Trade and Development Agency
Press Release
Arlington, VA
April 7, 2022 

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to Kenya-based internet service provider and telecommunications infrastructure company, Mawingu Networks Limited (Mawingu), for a feasibility study to support the deployment of broadband services throughout rural and underserved areas in East Africa. Mawingu selected New York-based Dalberg Consulting-U.S. LLC to conduct the study.  

“USTDA shares Mawingu’s vision to provide reliable and affordable internet access to rural communities across East Africa,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director. “This is one of several region-wide projects in support of our Access Africa initiative, and USTDA is proud to facilitate critical partnerships among U.S. and African companies that work together to bridge the digital divide.”

The goal of the study is to develop an in-depth assessment of Mawingu’s potential for expansion in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. The study will evaluate market demand in those countries and determine the technical and commercial viability of deploying last mile connectivity across rural areas to prioritize expansion opportunities.  

“Reliable internet connectivity is an essential component for economic growth and development,” said Farouk Ramji, CEO of Mawingu Networks. “As pioneers introducing meaningful internet connectivity across rural Kenya, Mawingu Networks is excited to collaborate with USTDA and Dalberg, to reach more communities across East Africa.”

Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Eric W. Kneedler, said: “U.S. Embassy Nairobi is pleased that USTDA is supporting such an important project, which will provide internet connectivity and access to rural and underserved communities. This project supports the goals of Prosper Africa and represents the strong partnerships between U.S. and African companies.”

This activity supports the goals of USTDA’s Access Africa initiative to advance the development of inclusive, secure, and sustainable ICT infrastructure across Africa. It also advances the U.S. government’s Prosper Africa initiative.

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