Bharti Airtel Africa, a telecommunications service provider with operations in 17 countries across Africa, has announced that it has launched Free Basics in Nigeria in partnership with Facebook.
Nigerians with an Airtel mobile connection will be able to access all the services that are available through Free Basics without paying extra for data charges or rental. Free Basics provides basic mobile websites and services for free to people around the world and demonstrating the value the internet can provide.
Free Basics will launch in Nigeria with more than 85 free services dedicated to health, education, jobs, and finance. To date, Facebook estimates that its connectivity efforts, which include Free Basics, have brought more than 25 million people online who wouldn’t be otherwise. Airtel Africa will also be offering Facebook Flex in Nigeria, which allows people to access a version of Facebook without data charges. Airtel Africa has worked with Facebook since 2014 with the launch of Free Basics in Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Seychelles and Rwanda.
Ime Archibong, director of Global Product Partnerships at Facebook, added: “We’ve spent time with the developer community here in Nigeria to understand how we can help people here build and create for their communities, and by bringing Free Basics to Nigeria we hope to provide another platform for developers to bring relevant services to people free of charge. At launch, we have more than 85 services included in Free Basics and hope to spur more development to bring relevant, basic services to Nigerians.”
Archibong continued: “We believe that local entrepreneurs and developers will be the ones to meet the needs of their immediate community, and we are working with developers to know how we can support them in doing so.”