Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) has disclosed plans to offer free Wi-Fi at 60 sites by mid-2023 in various schools, markets, libraries, airports and hospitals across the country under the Digital Malawi Projects.
This comes at a time when the Government of Malawi through the PPPC allocated 30 free Wi-Fi services in various markets and schools in cities under the Digital Malawi Project last year.
PPPC Executive Director, Patrick Kabambe said the Internet is critical for social, communication, business, information and education services.
Kabambe said that there are more opportunities in accessing the Internet and communicating messages, adding that access to information is important in people’s lives and this can translate into better socio -economic outcomes.
“Our target is to cover at least 30 more sites in the country and the list of the sites is undergoing finalisation at the moment and it will be completed in the next few weeks. Under the project, we are in the process of ensuring that the public has access to the Internet in the various public sites in the country.
“We have created a WhatsApp group for the focal point of the sites for the services provided by TNM and ourselves to participate in the group. The group is used for various communications among the parties including fault reporting and other technical assistance,” he said.
One of the business operators, Getrude Matululu said that Wi-Fi needs to be allocated in various places in the country especially markets because it is assisting in business operations and facilitates trade.
She said that Wi-Fi has changed the business structure in the market and people can also sell their goods beyond the borders like in Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
“The introduction of free Wi-Fi in the market has really assisted and it changes the business structure since people are able to do business online and physically. For example, I do sell clothes and I'm able to do my business countrywide through the Internet and Wi-Fi has supported me to have easy access to the Internet,” she said.