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Making a phone call is something that many people take for granted. Yet millions in rural villages around the world simply do not have easy or affordable access to a telephone. The Village Phone concept was developed precisely to help extend access to telecommunications beyond the urban areas.
Started by GrameenPhone in Bangladesh — a client of IFC, IFC is now working with MTN (also an IFC client) and other partners to replicate the Village Phone concept in several African countries, starting with Nigeria.
IFC also collaborated with the Grameen Foundation and other partners to create a Village Phone Replication Manual — essentially a ‘how-to’ resource for setting up a Village Phone project.
Beyond providing much needed communication access, the Village Phone model goes a long way to empower the women operators, spur economic activities and promote entrepreneurialism.
Source: The World Bank