Vodacom’s Managing Director, Hisham Hendi said as Tanzanians join the world in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 outbreak, the weeks and months ahead require collective efforts to assist government as it works to cope with additional pressures brought by the virus.
Hendi said in Dar es Salaam earlier this week that helping to address societal challenges, such as those posed by COVID-19, is part of Vodacom’s broader commitment to create a social contract with its stakeholders.
“Vodacom can play a critical role in supporting the society during this time. We are rolling out our business continuity plans during this rapidly evolving situation. Tanzanians can rest assured that they will remain connected to their friends and families and that businesses can continue to run using remote working tools through our network should the need arise,” Hendi said.
Vodacom’s priority is the health and safety of its over 560 employees while continuing to connect, deliver services and support its over 14 million customers to remain confidently connected through this lockdown period.
“At the same time, we are ramping up efforts to support learners with out of school digital learning materials using the globally accredited Khan Academy curriculum on http://instantschools.vodacom.co.tz/user/#/signin, he added saying children who find themselves out of school for an extended period of time can continue learning for free of charge as the closure continues to be in place to mitigate the potential spread of the virus.
Among other measures, Hendi said Vodacom has taken several measures to support the community go past the situation including: having a well-developed business continuity plan for dealing with events of this nature, including co-ordinated regional and international incident management.
“We have given extensive advice to staff and contractors to help minimise the spread of COVID-19 as well as activated hygiene protocols at our places of work,” the Vodacom CEO added noting that the company has also dedicated COVID-19 team working to maintain the level of service that customers need to get through various digital offerings to support enterprise clients.
In addition, the country’s largest mobile services company said it has in place data, voice and connectivity services that offer customers to stay connected especially for those in social isolation backed by sufficient network capacity to enable people and businesses work seamlessly.
Hendi further noted that to date, Vodacom has not experienced significant device and or hardware supply disruptions but is putting further measures in place to avoid disruptions by working closely with suppliers and partners.
“In partnership with the Ministry of Health, we are providing SMS awareness messaging to over 14 million subscribers on hygiene etiquette and other pertinent information in connection to the pandemic,” he noted adding that the company has also activated an awareness campaign in collaboration with the Ministry of Health where one can Dial 199 or SMS the word CORONA to 199 or dial *199# to get insights on COVID-19 including symptoms, how to protect oneself and other important information.
The multi media campaign makes it possible for people from all walks of life to have access to this important information for free. The company has also supported a cross sectoral government unit working on Covid-19 operations at NIMR offices by providing them with free fixed internet connectivity at their premises to allow them work seamlessly to support the public.
“We emphasize our willingness and commitment to assist government efforts and will continue to do whatever we can to help. Success will depend on citizens taking collective responsibility for preventing the spread of this pandemic,” Hendi stressed while urging Tanzanians to follow expert advice being given by government and health care workers in order to protect themselves and their families.
Through its Instant Schools portal, Vodacom has assisted with education for students as they remain out of school where its customers and non-subscribers can access a free e-learning platform for content in Kiswahili and English for primary and secondary schools.
The content available includes assignments, quizzes and learning videos that are fully geared to help students who find themselves out of school during this time and can be accessed through mobile devices, tablets, laptops and desktops.