Facebook in cooperation with Bharti Airtel Africa, the parent company of Airtel Nigeria, have launched the Free Basics in Nigeria, which provides free access to basic internet services to a billion people all over the world.
The ground-breaking news were announced on Tuesday in Lagos and were also confirmed by Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, on his page. READ ALSO: Facebook founder becomes the fourth-richest person on Earth His statement reads: “Today we’re partnering with Airtel Africa to launch Internet.org Free Basics in Nigeria.
There’s a lot of innovation across Africa right now, and Nigeria in particular is home to a lot of talented developers. In 2009, Olalekan Elude, Ayodeji Adewunmi and Opeyemi Awoyemi started a site called Jobberman in their dorm to help connect people looking for work with companies looking to hire. Now Jobberman is one of the top 100 websites in Nigeria, and it gets 5,000 applications every day.
Free Basics offers Nigerians, including 90 million people who are currently offline, the opportunity to access news, health information and services like Jobberman that were built by Nigerians and other developers across West Africa — all without having to pay for data. Free Basics is now live in more than 40 countries, and half of those are in Africa. Over the next few months, we’ll be doing even more to connect developers with people who can use their apps — and partner with local companies to bring internet to people across Africa who don’t have access to mobile networks.
In the meantime, I’m excited to see what Nigerians build next! Free Basics by Facebook provides people with access to useful services on their mobile phones in markets where internet access may be less affordable. The websites are available for free without data charges, and include content on things like news, employment, health, education and local information.