Project Isizwe has a simple but powerful vision: Every citizen of South Africa should be within walking distance of free Wi-Fi. The non-profit organization works to bring high-quality Internet access to people in South Africa’s low-income communities, with a core focus on connectedness for education, economic development and social inclusion.
Isizwe partners with local installers to help municipal governments build and maintain free Wi-Fi networks for public spaces near schools, universities, libraries, community centers, and parks. Its flagship project is Tshwane Free WiFi, a partnership with the City of Tshwane that’s activated more than 700 hotspots near the capital of Pretoria.
Along with connectivity, Isizwe also provides a platform for content, with uncapped access to local news, education and employment information through its Tobetsa portal. The most popular content is WiFi TV, a hyper-local video service produced by young community journalists. Omidyar Network’s grant supports these Internet journalists developing content for WiFi TV like the My City channel, which has broadcast interviews with the Mayor of Tshwane, and videos covering current affairs, entrepreneurship, religion, jobs, and sport.