GSMA partners with TikTok to bridge digital divide

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The GSMA, a leading industry organization representing mobile operators worldwide, has announced a collaborative effort with TikTok, the popular short-form video platform, to enhance digital literacy skills.

This partnership signifies a significant step towards bridging the digital divide and empowering individuals with the tools they need to thrive in an increasingly online world.

Building on existing efforts

This initiative builds upon previous digital literacy projects, such as the successful partnership between TikTok and ThinkWifi in South Africa.

The integration of a dedicated TikTok module into the GSMA’s Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit (MISTT) represents a continued commitment to expanding digital access and knowledge.

By equipping individuals with the essential skills to navigate the digital landscape effectively, the collaboration seeks to foster a more inclusive digital environment.

Addressing the digital literacy gap in Africa

Despite significant advancements, Africa continues to grapple with substantial challenges in digital literacy. As of 2020, internet penetration across the continent remained below the global average, with mobile service subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa reaching only 45%.

This data, highlighted by Do4africa, underscores the critical need for increased efforts in both digital accessibility and literacy initiatives.

Furthermore, the Digital Skills Gap Index paints a concerning picture. In 2022, African countries scored considerably lower than the global average, ranging from 1.8 to 5 on the index.

This gap emphasizes the urgency for investment in digital literacy programs to equip African youth with the necessary skills to compete in today’s global job market.

Data from Business News Africa indicates that 87% of African business leaders recognize digital literacy skills development as a vital area for additional investment.

Additionally, the American Library Association reports that only 50% of African countries incorporate computer skills into their school curriculums, compared to the global average of 85%.

Connections, knowledge and accessibility

The GSMA boasts a membership of over 750 mobile operators and nearly 400 companies within the broader mobile ecosystem. This includes device manufacturers, software firms, equipment providers, internet companies, and organizations in related industries.

“At TikTok,” says David Saidden, Director of Distribution Business Development, “we are firmly committed to empowering our users through digital literacy initiatives. Our partnership with the GSMA to integrate educational tutorials into the Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit reflects our dedication to providing the skills necessary for success in education, business, and personal development. Together, we aim to cultivate a culture of continuous learning and innovation, driving digital inclusion and enhancing global connectivity.”

Beyond entertainment: A hub for learning and growth

TikTok transcends its reputation as a platform solely for entertainment. This collaboration unlocks access to its vast educational content, empowering users to develop critical digital skills, explore new business possibilities, and discover practical solutions for everyday challenges.

This partnership represents a pivotal moment in narrowing the digital divide. It signifies a significant step towards enhancing digital access, knowledge, and empowerment on a global scale.

The collaboration reaffirms the commitment of both organizations to drive digital inclusion and advance global connectivity through innovative edutainment initiatives.

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