By Allieu Sahid Tunkara
Africell, one of Sierra Leone’s leading telecoms company, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the University of Sierra Leone (USL) to implement the e-learning big data project.
The e-learning project provides students with the opportunity to access lectures on-line.
USL consists of three constituent colleges of Fourah Bay (FBC), Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) and College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS).
The two parties, USL and Africell are expected to establish a technical working group to examine the technical and operational aspects of the MOU implementation.
The project, according to Africell, will be extended to other institutions of higher learning nominated by USL.
Also, designated locations would be made available to Africell in the three campuses of FBC, IPAM and COMAHS to be used as points of sale and services.
Provision of mobile connectivity to USL staff and students, access to and the utilisation of the USL web portal in a reliable and cost-effective manner is also covered by the MOU.
Similarly, the MOU also provides for students and other users of USL web portal to make payments into USL administrative accounts using Afrimoney services.
Apart from such services, Africell Company would provide Sim cards to all users, provide special data bundle rates that will give access to web URL’s established mainly for the delivery of digital lectures by USL.
An Africell press release dated 30th March, 2020 indicates that periodic promotions in which student users of the portal shall be eligible to win prizes including computer devices, smart phones and scholarship awards would be provided.
“Africell will also provide USL with a Toll Free short code 5505 for the University Complaints Commission in the Academic and Career Advisory and Counselling Services Centre as this will increase and improve reach and access to USL,” the document reads in part.
The Managing Director (MD) of Africell, Shadi Gerjawi signed the MOU on behalf of Africell.
At the Signing ceremony, the Africell MD spoke about digitisation that was on-going in the world owing to the outbreak of the Corona Virus.
“The world is trying to digitise much faster than it would have because of the existential threat of the Corona Virus Disease,” Gerjawi said.
“People are fast-tracking their plans to ensure there is seeming continuity of life,” he emphasised.
The agreement, Africell MD says, is Africell’s support to USL’s digitisation effort that offers students access to the portal of the university at a “zero-rated cost,” in other words, the service is provided for students on a free-of-cost basis.
The Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sierra Leone, Rtd Brigadier General Professor Sahr Foday signed the MOU on behalf of USL.
Prof. Foday was appreciative and thankful of the partnership between USL and Africell over the years.
“I am appreciative and thankful of the partnership between USL and Africell over the years especially at this time when the university has gone digital,” the Vice Chancellor thanked Africell.
The mobile network operator, Africell has shown great support to the government in the early days of preparation.
See press release below:
30th March 2020
Africell signs MOU with The University of Sierra Leone for
the implementation of E-learning Big Data Project.
Monday March 30, 2020,- Africell SL and the University of Sierra Leone (USL)have signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the implementation of the e-learning big data
The MOU covers provision of mobile connectivity to staff and students of the university, access to and the utilization of the USL web portal in a reliable and cost-effective manner, and access to students and other users of the USL web portal to make payments into USL administrative accounts using AfriMoney services provided.
Additionally, Africell will:
– Provide SIM cards to all users
– Provide zero-rating of the USL web portal mobile application, which shall eliminate the
need for payment of mobile data tariffs to access the web portal.
– Provide special data bundle rates, to be agreed, that will give access to web URLs
established solely for delivery of digital lectures by the University.
– Provide Free SMS services via Africell platform
– Offer periodic promotions in which all student users of the portal shall be eligible to win
prizes such as computer devices, smart phones and scholarship awards.
– Provide USL with a Toll Free short code 5505 for The University Complaints Commission
in the Academic & Career Advisory and Counselling Services Centre. This will obviously increase and improve reach and access to USL.
The e-learning big data project will not be limited to USL only; It shall be extended to an additional institution of higher learning to be nominated by the USL.
The USL shall make available designated locations to Africell as Points of Sale/Services in all 3 campuses of the University: FBC, IPAM & COMAHS. Both parties to the MoU are expected to establish a Technical Working Group to examine all the technical and operational aspects of implementing the MoU.
On signing the MOU on behalf of Africell SL, the Managing Director of the company, Shadi Gerjawi said, “The whole world is trying to digitize much faster than it would have because of the existential threat of the Coronavirus Disease. People are fast tracking their plans to ensure there is seeming continuity of life. This agreement is Africell’s support of the digitization leap taken by USL with technology that will give students the access to the portal of the University at a Zero-Rated cost”. The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of Sierra Leone, Brigadier General Professor Foday Sahr signed the MoU on behalf of the University. He expressed appreciation for the collaboration and partnership that USL has had with Africell over the years especially at this time when the University has gone digital.
Olive A.K Barrie
Dr. Tonya Musa- USL Director of Media, Alumni & International Relations
Mobile: +232-76 507 160
John Konteh – Africell SL. MediaContact