Zenzeleni Networks is delighted to have achieved fourth place in the Mozilla Equal Rating Challenge, a global innovation competition aiming to catalyze new thinking and innovation to provide access to the open Internet to those still living without. We congratulate the other finalists on an excellent result!
Zenzeleni Networks is a model for community-owned telecommunications, where any community can provide themselves with voice and data communications at a fraction of what they are currently paying. Through this model, the community of Mankosi in the Eastern Cape has built and maintains its own telephone and internet “company”. Local calls are free and calls to other networks cost half of what they would on those other networks. Data costs a tenth of the market price.
We are especially pleased to have won the community voting. To be shortlisted out of more than 100 projects across the world and to be placed in fourth position was an honour, but the support of ordinary voters from across the world means even more to us, because the whole point is to keep spreading the idea that anyone, any community, can “Do it by themselves” – the meaning of the word Zenzeleni. Thank you very much for your support! It’s a great success for Zenzeleni to have been selected as finalist, and an amazing experience in terms of growth for our team and exposure.
With the fourth-place award, which comes with $10,000 funding, we will continue developing the tools that enable the unconnected to continue connecting themselves and building the backbone that would make it possible for other schools and communities in the Mthatha river valley to provide themselves with affordable communications. We remain committed to our collective vision of community-owned telecommunications networks that allow ordinary people to connect with one another and take control of their own destiny.
Looking forward to the future!