- The FCDO has programmes which support digital literacy in Africa
- There are several FCDO programs which assist digital startup entrepreneurs in developing countries which are: Frontier technologies, Giga Initiative, Digital Access Programme and Girl Effect
- These programs are available for digital startups to apply for and access grants
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom supports digital entrepreneurs to boost digital technology in developing countries. They do this to enable them to achieve their development goals and promote economic growth.
FCDO brings new ideas to scale that improve the lives of people in Lower and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) by investing in digital entrepreneurship.
Here are four examples of FCDO programmes that assist digital startup entrepreneurs in developing countries:
This collaborates with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCDO) at the intersection of technology, innovation, and international development.
It is a programme that assists FCDO in applying cutting-edge technologies to development challenges, such as using drones to deliver humanitarian aid or solar-powered refrigerators to store vaccines.
The Frontier Technologies Hub collaborates with UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) staff and global partners to identify and test the potential of innovative technology in the development context.
They collaborate in multidisciplinary teams and use a rapid research process based on agile methodology. The work being done has several strands, which include:
- Pilots who work with FCDO colleagues to fund, test and scale frontier technologies worldwide.
- Tech Fundamentals which connects FCDO colleagues with one another and the world of tech helps them to explore the future.
- Studies gather and share learning, and deep dives into the positive potential of tech.
- COVIDaction involves working with low and middle-income countries to find, fund and support effective technology solutions for the pandemic.
The Frontier Technologies Hub is managed by a consortium of partners: Results for Development (R4D), DT Global and Brink.
The Giga Initiative
Giga Initiative was launched in 2019 with the mission to connect every school to the internet in order to improve mobile access, digital literacy, and school connectivity in underserved areas.
UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) teamed up to create Giga with the aim to connect every school to the internet by 2030. So far, children have been able to access online learning materials and developed their digital skills through this program.
The project aims to bridge the digital divide by improving school connectivity in underserved areas and providing technical assistance in the five FCDO Digital Access Programme (DAP) countries: Kenya, Nigeria, Indonesia, Brazil and South Africa.
Giga also assists governments in developing their investment case by:
- Building on existing country plans and policies by collecting data on the economic, political, and regulatory landscapes
- Evaluating regulatory barriers and identifying potential levers.
- Examining market conditions for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), and others.
Digital Access Programme
This is a cross-government collaboration aimed at facilitating more inclusive, affordable, safe, and secure digital access for excluded and underserved communities in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, and Indonesia.
The Digital Access Programme (DAP) is a four-year, £59 million initiative funded jointly by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. The program is designed to help excluded and underserved communities in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, and Indonesia gain more inclusive, affordable, safe, and secure digital access.
The delivery is led by KPMG in partnership with Social Development Direct, Cysiam, Chatham House, and cybersecurity and consultants in partner countries.
The Girl Effect
A non-profit organization that uses digital platforms to encourage positive behaviour change in adolescent girls, such as increased confidence and skills.
Girl Effect is led by a team of people and partners dedicated to empowering girls. They collaborate with TEGAs (Technology Enabled Girl Ambassadors and Youth Advisory Panels, in addition to the immediate team, to ensure that youth voices, needs, and motivations inform everything that is done.
So far, Girl Effect has worked with youths to create products girls want, trust, and need. The organization has used technology and data to safeguard girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights.
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