The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) and Vodafone Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday to support the implementation of the executive phase of the Better Connections Programme.
The MoU stipulates that Vodafone Qatar will support the ministry’s efforts in raising the ICT awareness and achieving better connections among migrant workers by providing Internet connectivity services and devices in the ‘1,500 ICT Lab’, which was established for the Better Connections Programme.
The MoU was signed by MoTC’s assistant undersecretary of Digital Society Development Reem al-Mansoori and Vodafone Qatar CEO Ian Gray. Also in attendance was Khalid al-Ghanim, Labour International Relations Department manager at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA).
“The MoTC will continue work with different entities and bodies concerned in the State of Qatar to broaden the programme scope, increase the number of its beneficiaries and achieve more progress in digital inclusion across all the society,” al-Mansoori said. “I believe that such work and co-operation with our partners and stakeholders will make a positive difference towards achieving the programme goals and bear amazing fruits in the years to come.”
Gray said: “Vodafone globally has long championed the importance of giving Internet access to all members of society, so we are delighted that thousands of workers will benefit from being included in the digital world through the MoTC’s Better Connections Programme that utilises our world-class network.”
Al-Ghanim said: “The Better Connections Programme seeks to enable employers to provide ICT tools and the Internet to migrant workers in their accommodation places in order to integrate them into the digital community, keep them connected with their friends and families and enhance their digital skills, in addition to helping them become aware of their work rights and responsibilities.”
In its coming executive plans, al-Ghanim added that the programme is targeting 1.5mn workers in the country, establishing the ‘1,500 ICT Lab’, providing 15,000 computer devices worth QR55mn and securing 3,000 volunteers.
Following the MoU signing, Vodafone Qatar COO Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim al-Thani handed over Vodafone Internet devices to representatives of a number of contracting companies participating in the programme.
Launched by the MoTC in co-operation with MADLSA last May, the executive phase of the Better Connections Programme aims to broaden the programme’s scope over the next two years, taking the total number of ICT labs up to 1,500 and achieving digital inclusion across all migrant workers in the country.
Launched in 2014, the Better Connections Programme is a unique initiative that will help workers reach their families back home, learn basic IT skills, and widen their knowledge by being digitally-connected.
It gives contractors and employers a practical framework to provide training and access to ICT tools for their labourers. Programme partners include several Qatari institutions, entities and local contracting firms.
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