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A community of digital relays to promote digital inclusion in Benin

Progress stage
Feb 2024 to Jan 2026
  • Benin
  • Education
  • Feb 2024 to Jan 2026

The French association Emmaüs Connect is working in partnership with the Benin association Sonagnon to promote digital inclusion in Benin, by trialing three innovative digital facilities in the lakeside commune of Sô-Ava and several villages in the Atlantique department. This program combines research and actions in the field to help understand the key factors in order to reduce the digital divide and identify the most effective solutions.

Project deployed by:

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The “Smart Gouv” (Smart Government) strategy was launched in Benin in 2016 with the aim of digitizing the most commonly used public services, and thus paving the way for more than 250 online processes, such as enrolling for university, launching a business, or accessing microcredit facilities.

However, the digital divide remains a stark problem, particularly in the most vulnerable communities, where access to digital resources and opportunities is limited due to a lack of availability, the cost of infrastructure and low levels of digital skills. By working to bridge this divide, the Beninese government’s strategy can be deployed more effectively.


Emmaüs Connect has developed three types of digital help centers with specific formats, target populations and impact objectives, which will be set up in partnership with the Sonagnon association to provide support for communities with the least access to digital technology:

  • Five rural digital help centers: via local kiosks, these centers will focus on everyday use and online services, with the aim of supporting 3,000 people in remote areas where access to basic public services is limited.
  • A mobile digital help center: based on a connected dugout canoe, this mobile computer room will offer digital training courses to facilitate the socio-professional integration of young people. It aims to provide training for up to 300 young people.
  • An economic digital help center: run by local cooperatives, this service will focus on the empowerment and professionalization of women, with the aim of supporting up to 100 women in Womey.

FID funding will be used to build the capacities of seven structures so that they can be transformed into digital help centers in order to provide support and reduce regional and gender inequalities. In addition, this pilot scheme will shed light on whether the project is suitable for roll-out on a wider scale, by taking into account the level of buy-in from the various groups of beneficiaries and identifying the most appropriate solutions to promote inclusion and thus reduce the digital divide.

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Expected results

This project aims to facilitate socio-professional integration, increase economic power, foster social ties, promote personal fulfillment and reduce regional and gender inequalities, by helping to improve the digital skills of target populations and provide greater access to equipment via the digital help centers.

Cite lacustre Bénin
Emmaüs Connect

Emmaüs Connect

Founded in 2013, the Emmaüs Connect association is a member of the Emmaüs France network, which aims to support individuals in social and digital precarity across 18 territories in France. Its actions are based on three key pillars to combat digital illiteracy: providing equipment, connecting people and supporting users.


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