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MACRA Launch The Universal Service Fund –

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In the picture; Kazako (L) and Khaira (R)

The country’s rural masses stand to enjoy better connection to the digital grid following the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority – MACRA’s launch of the Universal Service Fund – USF five-year strategic plan.

The fund, which became operational in 2019, facilitates the provision and access of ICT services to bridge the digital divide in the country.

According to the strategic plan, the USF is during the period set to facilitate internet connectivity to 225 schools and 25 institutions of people with disabilities.

Also lined up is provision of ICT equipment to 33 health facilities and the erection of at least 4 towers in underserved areas.

Speaking during the launch of the strategy in Blantyre last night, MACRA board chairperson Stanley Khaira stressed the need for commitment in order for the projects to bear intended fruits.

While admitting that Malawi has delayed to wholly roll out the initiative, Information Minister Gospel Kazako believes the situation has allowed the authorities chance to learn from others who already had similar funds.

Meanwhile, USF committee Chair Charles Thangalimodzi has given assurance that they will work within the strategy to ensure sound implementation.

The USF is funded through a levy pegged on various players in the telecommunications in industry.

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