Fantsuam Foundation is a rural-based non-governmental organisation that works with local communities to fight poverty and disadvantage through integrated development programmes.
Fantsuam Foundation was founded in 1996 to empower community members, particularly women, to find means of employment and income and meet their own development needs. Working in 53 communities across seven local government areas in Kaduna State, close to 15,000 individuals benefit from Fantsuam’s services every year and it was estimated that by 2018 over 400,000 people have benefited either directly or indirectly from Fantsuam Foundation’s activities. Its mission is to eliminate poverty and disadvantage in Kaduna State through integrated development programmes. Its vision is to be the most effective model of integrated rural development in West Africa.
Fantsuam Foundation was one of the earliest promoters of ICT for development at a time when official recognition of ICTs was still lacking in northern Nigeria. More specifically, Fantsuam Foundation installed the first satellite internet service for rural northern Nigeria, in 1997, when the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) was the only available equipment for rural connectivity. Fantsuam Foundation was keen to ensure gender equity in access to ICT knowledge and skills, and its efforts earned it the first Hafkin Africa Prize in 2001. The CEO was also awarded First Woman ICT Entrepreneur in Nigeria.
In 2005, Fantsuam Foundation was licensed to provide Cisco Networking Training and also provided a beginners’ class of a five-week certificate course followed by a more detailed 12-week diploma training which qualifies the candidates to undertake the IT Essentials Course. Between 2005 and 2018, the Fantsuam computer training services had trained over 5,000 students. Most of the business centres in Kafanchan are owned or managed by students who graduated from the Fantsuam ZittNet Academy. ZittNet also offers ICT training and a Computer-Based Test Centre for the pre-university JAMB examinations and hosts the Kafanchan Google Developers Group and Kafanchan Co-Working Space.
Fantsuam established the first community wireless network in northern Nigeria in May 2006. Community networks promote digital democracy in which ownership and control of local communication infrastructure resides in the community. Content is created by the people for the people. Fantsuam is also one of the lead organisations in the national advocacy for access to TV white space for affordable internet access for unserved and underserved