Liquid Telecom is providing its managed VSAT connectivity services to mbora, a pioneering social enterprise in Malawi.
mbora provides rural populations with free connectivity at a community hub. It has also built an app to help increase digital inclusion by providing access to information and services online including finance and healthcare. Content and service organisations are able to use the app as a marketplace to reach food-producing farming and fishing communities in rural Sub-Saharan Africa.
Liquid Telecom is providing mbora with its VSAT network. Each mbora hub is serviced with broadband speeds of up to 36Mbps, which in turn enables mbora and its content partners to deliver their services to users digitally over a free internet connection. Liquid Telecom is using the latest High-Throughput-Satellite of its long-term partner Intelsat and providing an uncapped data service to mbora.
The first community hub is now live in a lakeshore village near Mangochi, Malawi, a four-hour drive from the country’s capital, Lilongwe.
mbora is aiming to build 150 hubs encircling Lake Malawi and to expand across the region.
Adrian Raisbeck, Founder and CEO of mbora, said: “Malawi is one of the world’s least developed and poorest countries and yet it is blessed with great soils and the third largest body of water on the African continent. Rural communities in Malawi should be living wealthy and resilient livelihoods.”
“Fast and cost-effective connectivity is vital to mbora’s ability to provide Malawi with an alternative effective approach to rural development. The uncapped service is fantastic and will enable us to quickly expand our service across the region”, he added.
With a population of 19 million and a gross national income per capita per year of just of $360, land-locked Malawi currently has two mobile network operators and one fixed-line operator. However, internet penetration is low at 14.2% with rural areas outside the main towns and cities either not covered, unreliably covered, or unaffordably covered by any kind of network.
Scott Mumford, CEO of Liquid Telecom Satellite Services, said “mbora is our first partner in Malawi, and also authorised to resell our VSAT services. We share mbora’s beliefs that online connectivity is a basic human right and that digital and financial inclusion are vital to future economic growth.”