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A woman assembling a Hello Hub dome in the Jama'are community

In January 2024, Hello World, the UK-based not-for-profit organisation, in partnership with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), imparted training on the Hello Hub connectivity model to seven community organisations in Abuja, Nigeria. 

Hello Hubs are outdoor, solar-powered, affordable internet kiosks designed for communities to build, manage and maintain themselves. The model is sustainable and adaptable to local realities, but at the same time replicable and scalable. Hello World works in partnership with communities, training other organisations to build these hubs to deliver meaningful connectivity, especially in marginalised regions.

The training in Abuja involved the same seven communities that had been trained in previous years in the first Nigerian School of Community Networks, led by CITAD in the country and supported by APC and Rhizomatica. Over the course of a week, participants got hands-on training on how to construct a Hello Hub kiosk and on topics like solar-powered internet stations, inclusive community management, as well as joint collaborative sessions on how to adapt the model to suit each community context. 

CITAD and the training participants are now ready to share this knowledge and scale the model to other unconnected communities across Nigeria. By doing so, according to Hello World, the project impact can reach thousands of people. “I've learned how to build a safe and sustainable community hub. This knowledge will have a lasting impact, giving people the power to connect and learn,” said Ismaila Shuaibu, one of the trainees from the Dakwa community. “The Hello Hub will unlock new educational and economic opportunities for our community,” exulted Faith Ikyo, another training participant from the Fantsuam Foundation. 

This new knowledge is already being translated into practice: the participants constructed a fully operational Hello Hub in partnership with Dakwa community in Abuja in January 2024. In February, the building of a second hub also started within the Jama’are community. The hubs get free internet access, thanks to a partnership between Hello World and the internet service provider, Tizeti. Following the community-led construction, each community hub becomes a learning centre for skills development and capacity-building, going beyond just providing connectivity.

This photo essay captures the joy and collaboration that marked the training process and the hubs’ collective building in the Dakwa and Jama’are communities. Through the images, one can see the power of partnership, knowledge-sharing and the leadership roles of community members in offering connectivity alternatives and bridging the digital divide.

Five more hubs are expected to be built this year, once the project covers all seven communities involved in the training. The partnership between Hello World, APC, CITAD and also the Fantsuam Foundation is bound to ensure that this goal is achieved.

Photos: Courtesy of Hello World and CITAD 

With collaboration and review by Anna Sutton and Nathan Binomugisha (Project Hello World)