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Case studies

Through the lens of our four-pillar sustainability strategy, we assess local community needs to deliver tailored sustainability programs. Find out more in the case studies below and through our annual Sustainability Reports

giga chid

Enabling school connectivity 

In December 2021, we finalized our largest sustainability program to date and first ever Group-level partnership. Over three years, we will be supporting the worldwide Giga initiative; a partnership between UNICEF’s Office of Innovation and ITU’s Telecommunications Development Bureau which aims to connect schools worldwide to the internet. Our partnership will help strengthen Giga’s work to map schools and their connectivity levels on an open-source map, using machine learning and satellite imagery.

Ethics and governance 

Engaging Stakeholders

We run regular trainings and workshops to ensure our employees are kept abreast of the latest industry developments and best practice. This includes Group-wide Quality, Health, Safety, Security and Environment (QHSSE) workshops to ensure the highest standards of HSSE are implemented across our business. In March 2022, our Group QHSSE team gathered in Lagos for their first, annual RESET Conference. This conference was an intentional pause for QHSSE teams to come together to communicate the QHSSE strategy for 2022 and reset the conversation around IHS' safety culture. This Group-wide event is supported by regular refresher sessions in-country on the IHS "Perfect Day" concept; a perfect day is a day in which no incidents or accidents occur. For example, following our acquisitions in Latin America, IHS Brazil has delivered training sessions on the IHS Perfect Day concept, and IHS’ fundamental health and safety commitments. Such sessions are also delivered to our suppliers to ensure they follow the same standards of ethics, integrity and best practice.

Education and economic growth

Photo credit - Save the Children International, Nigeria Photo Credit: Save the Children International, Nigeria

Increasing Access to Education 

Despite the 2004 Nigeria Universal Basic Education Act, many girls in Nigeria’s northeastern regions, are not in school, putting them at increased risk of gender-based violence and child marriage. In response, IHS Nigeria partnered with Save the Children to provide approximately 24,000 girls, aged between 6 and 14, with access to quality, gender-responsive and conflict-sensitive education. In 2021, under this partnership over 8,000 adolescents were enrolled in school, over 10,000 children were provided with learning kits, and more than 6,400 families received cash grants to support their households and enable children to continue studying. The financial support we delivered has leveraged the primary funding provided by Global Affairs Canada and enabled an increasing number of beneficiaries to be reached.


Increasing Representation of Women in STEM 

Our primary, although not exclusive, focus is on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, as these support the development of talented, highly qualified and motivated people to work in emerging markets in the communications sector. Across the Group, we partner with local schools, universities and charities to broaden participation in STEM subjects, particularly among women and girls. In Côte d'Ivoire, we have partnered with UNICEF on their Girl Power Initiative, which aims to spark entrepreneurial ambitions among vulnerable, young women aged 16 to 24. Under this initiative, IHS Côte d'Ivoire has hosted interns from the Guingreni Civic Service Centre and committed to providing them with practical experience at IHS on completion of their training.

Environment and climate change

Tackling Plastic Waste

We are dedicated to protecting our local environment and across our markets organize regular community clean-ups. In January 2022, IHS Kuwait partnered with Women in Safety Excellence (WISE) and Trash Tag to coordinate a beach clean-up. Designed to raise awareness of the importance of keeping beaches free from plastic pollution, IHS employees collected waste from a local beach. In one morning, over 44 fully bio-recyclable bags were filled. In Côte d'Ivoire, for World Environment Day, Côte d'Ivoire employees volunteered their time to participate in a community clean-up in the coastal city of Bassam. Whilst in Cameroon, employees collaborated with the environmental NGO Waste Aid to tackle plastic pollution in the Douala vicinity. 

Reversing Deforestation 

IHS Brazil has partnered with Idesam, a non-governmental organization which works to protect the Amazon rainforest and its populations, through environmental conservation, social development and climate change mitigation. Under the partnership, IHS Brazil will help plant approximately 18,000 trees in the Amazon region to reverse the impact of accelerated deforestation. In addition, the partnership has been designed to further promote a sustainable production chain, through the implementation of an agroforestry system which focuses on the production of organic coffee.

Photo Credit: IDESAM Photo Credit: IDESAM

Our people and communities 

Source: UNICEF Photo Credit: UNICEF

Building Digital Child Friendly Communities 

Under a three-year partnership, IHS Nigeria is supporting UNICEF Nigeria’s Child Friendly Communities Initiative (CFCI). In January 2021, the project was upgraded to become a Digital CFCI due to COVID-19, and the Digital Community Information System (DCIS) was rolled out in both Cross River and Bauchi States, Nigeria. The DCIS provides communities with access to real-time data on the results of targeted interventions relating to child survival, growth and development. This partnership has helped enable:

  • Birth registration certificates for 3,289 children under five years olds, leading to a fourfold increase in the birth registration rate in both states.
  • Penta-3 vaccination for 1,768 children under one years old.
  • Access to improved water supply through five hand pump boreholes for 2,000 people.

Frontline Workers Initiative 

In September 2021, we launched a new philanthropic program designed to recognize and reward the outstanding contribution made during the COVID-19 pandemic by our frontline workers, who were in the field daily. For IHS, this included our field engineers, drivers and security personnel. This cohort went above and beyond to maintain our towers and network uptime throughout the pandemic, in the face of extreme challenges. In recognition of their contribution, we committed ourselves to delivering a program of appropriate scope, scale, and impact, that seeks to improve the lives of this group by addressing inequalities in socio-economic status and education.

The initiative recognizes both the important role frontline workers, who traditionally inhabit the low-income roles, play in society and how COVID-19 further deepened global income inequality. It focuses on providing our frontline workers, lower-income workers, and equivalent suppliers, with the opportunity to apply for financial scholarships for their children to attend top level in-country and international universities. This is currently being piloted in our five African markets – Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia. 

Koné Grâce (pictured), is the daughter of an IHS driver in Côte d’Ivoire. Through the Frontline Workers Initiative, Koné is studying Business Management at the International University of Grand Bassam.

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