Notre Dame receives $1.6 million from Accenture to expand technology and opportunity in Uganda and South Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa

The University of Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) has received $1.6 million from Accenture — one of the world’s leading professional services companies, with capabilities in consulting, strategy, digital, technology and operations — to expand the Connectivity, Electricity and Education for Entrepreneurship (CE3) project.

CE3 empowers disconnected communities in northern Uganda by harnessing solar energy to deliver clean, efficient, renewable power and Wi-Fi connectivity to off-grid communities, significantly improving access to technology, job-skills training and mentoring. The project was introduced in 2012 by NDIGD and Accenture as a pilot program in rural northern Uganda, resulting in 40 new business startups and more than 130 new jobs.

Accenture’s commitment, which includes both cash and pro bono services, will help expand the project in Uganda and launch the project in South Africa, enabling more than 2,400 individuals to find a job or start their own business.

“When job seekers and entrepreneurs in these rural communities lack access to electricity and Internet connectivity, they become disconnected. They also face severe barriers to skills training and job opportunity,” said Jill Huntley, managing director of global corporate citizenship at Accenture. “Our work with the University of Notre Dame is helping to provide innovative and sustainable solutions that improve the livelihoods for people in these communities and drive long-term economic development.”

Accenture’s commitment will be announced this week as part of the NDIGD Corporate Impact Forum, a gathering of more than 100 leaders from private industry, government agencies and the Notre Dame community who are discussing innovative ideas to address critical issues for the private sector such as talent assessment in emerging markets and employee engagement.

An integral part of the University’s Keough School of Global Affairs, NDIGD works to address the challenges of building just and equitable political, legal, economic, health and civil structures in fragile nations that suffer from extreme poverty or are experiencing insecurity due to armed conflict or war. The Keough School, scheduled to open in August 2017, will prepare students for effective and ethically grounded professional leadership in government, the private sector and global civil society, engaging them in the worldwide effort to address the greatest challenges of our century.

“Creating and strengthening global partnerships with the private sector to improve lives and support human development is a priority of the new Keough School of Global Affairs," said R. Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean. “Accenture’s partnership with NDIGD is truly a model for excellence and global impact.”

Contact: Joya Helmuth, NDIGD, 574-631-9753,

Originally published by Notre Dame News at on July 27, 2015.