Facebook announces partnership with Airtel to offer free internet in Africa

Free basicsIt’s been a few months since Facebook launched its Free Basics service to over 30 countries, including South Africa. Now, the social media giant has announced a partnership with Airtel Africa to spread  its services to a further 17 African countries.

Internet.org first rolled out its services in Zambia. As of Tuesday, 17 November, Mark Zuckerburg confirmed that half of the 30 countries with Free Basics are in Africa.

Free Basics is part of Facebook’s Internet.org programme which provides free internet access to users who cannot afford internet services. In South Africa, Free Basics, in association with Cell C, brings internet services closer to those without. There are plans to increase consumer reach through other service providers in the country.

This means that users in Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Uganda, can now also enjoy free internet, provided users access websites associated with the app.

By simply downloading Internet.org’s Free Basics App on an Android device or visiting FreeBasics.com, users can access Facebook and the following websites, free of charge:

Education: BeSmart, LoverWords, FunDza, Schilars4Dev, Wattpad, WorldReader, D-Siders

Finance and Jobs: Careers24, DAI, SmartBusiness, MoneyMatters

Health: Health24, BabyCentre and MAMA, HIV360 and Unicef Facts for Life

Information: Bing, Cell C, WikiHow and Wikipedia

Marketplaces: Gumtree and OLX

News: News24, BBC News and SuperSport

Women: Intel She Will Connect, Girl Effect, iLearn

To find out how the app works, visit Careers24.