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As the world transitions to recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vodacom is celebrating what the human spirit can achieve when combined with technology. With the announcement of a new brand tagline, 'Further Together' it places the emphasis on how - through partnerships and collaboration - it is possible to connect everyone to the digital economy so that no one is left behind, says Balesh Sharma, Managing Director Vodacom South Africa.
'Further Together' echoes Vodacom's Africa.Connected stakeholder engagement approach, which identifies public-private partnerships as a key cornerstone of continued success in the digitalisation of the continent. Strong collaboration will build a future that is fair, inclusive and sustainable.
Technology has played a crucial role in connecting people to lifesaving healthcare information in the last year alone. Vodacom's partnership with Discovery Health, where customers could consult doctors virtually over video for free, is just one example of how fusing technology with strategic partners can offer immense benefit for humanity. The experience of these last 12 months of the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated more than ever that the critical role of connectivity and technology in keeping society, businesses and governments connected.
Vodacom fundamentally believes that technology can improve lives, and this new positioning builds further momentum for purpose to connect for a better future and enable an inclusive, sustainable digital society. But this cannot be done alone.
Vodacom's new brand position is inspired by consumer insights which revealed that the role of technology is profoundly transforming people's lives. Findings from the research identified how technology has evolved from something that simply excites people on a personal level, to playing a more meaningful part in the world at large, in particular, in making a difference to issues such as education, gender empowerment and sustainability. For example, over the last year there has been a significant increase in gender-based violence, with President Cyril Ramaphosa calling this the country's second pandemic. This is why Vodacom launched the Bright Sky app – using its core capability, technology – to address this societal challenge. Bright Sky provides critical support and information for anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about others who may need help. Digital technology has without doubt become an essential part of the arsenal in the fight against the GBV crisis. Additionally, during the early stages of the pandemic, the availability of Vodacom's e-School platform played a critical role in ensuring that learning continued as students were able to access the entire syllabus online for free.
Accompanying the Further Together campaign will be an emotive television commercial that represents society – The Irrepressible Girl, featuring a young girl posing questions about the world around her, on the role technology can play in curing disease, fighting climate change and addressing digital inclusion. "At Vodacom, we want to play a critical role in answering these questions for our customers – from the rollout of 5G to ensuring connectivity for the most remote parts of country, and from leveraging our resources to help distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Africa, to driving financial inclusion and bringing down the price of data – Vodacom will be there to take everyone Further Together," adds Sharma.