Access to Technology | Dadaab, Kenya

High speed Dadaab network connects refugees to family, support & opportunities

9.5 Million PeopleDisplaceD in Kenya

43 Relief AgenciesWorking on the Ground

ConnectivityEstablished in Dadaab


The Problem

When refugees started flooding Dadaab, Kenya to escape intense famine, drought, and armed conflict in East Africa, no one could have imagined just how massive the refugee center would grow to be. Hundreds of thousands have fled to Dadaab, making the UNHCR-run refugee camp the fourth largest population center in Kenya as of May, 2015. Today, the camp complex hosts three generations of refugees. Dadaab is their home.

The Solution

A sparse area, Dadaab had little to offer as far as communication, digital access, and education until 2012 when NetHope, Cisco, Microsoft, Inveneo, and USAID implemented a large-scale high-speed broadband network.  DadaabNet connects refugees to each other and the outside world, and has become the established tool for NGO collaboration among the 43 agencies in the camp. With a reliable Internet connection, people living and working inside the Dadaab camp are now able to learn basic ICT skills, utilize email and social media accounts to connect with friends and loved ones, access online education, and get news updates from their home countries. In Dadaab, Internet access means hope for thousands.


DadaabNet has enabled 23 local relief agencies to collaborate, share information, and deliver aid more effectively.

  • Savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year thanks to more efficient, unified Internet technology
  • Creation of local jobs related to the ownership, support and development of broadband in Dadaab
  • Increased educational opportunities for refugees: five Dadaab community centers now offer online programs for high school and college diplomas via DadaabNet
  • Planning for the future: to help refugees prepare for life outside a refugee camp, DadaabNet offers a multitude of vocational and life skills training courses to ease the transition — critical for the almost 200,000 children and young adults that live in Dadaab.


Women and children at the Dadaab Refugee Camp. Oxfam East Africa [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Oxfam

Women and children at the Dadaab Refugee Camp.

I am a single mother. With the use of the Internet, I hope that my son will be able to learn skills and knowledge to be successful.

Hassan, Dadaab Refugee