Facebook’s efforts to connect the world took a major step forward with the launch of Internet.org Free Basics in Nigeria, Africa’s most populated nation.
The social network is teaming up with mobile carrier Airtel Africa to bring more than 85 free services covering health, education, jobs and finance to its customers.
Internet.org said in a blog post:
Free Basics provides basic mobile websites and services for free to people around the world, providing them with an on-ramp to the internet 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, we estimate that our connectivity efforts, which include Free Basics, have brought more than 25 million people online who wouldn’t be otherwise. More than one-half of the 40 Free Basics countries are in Africa.
In November at AfricaCom, Airtel announced that it planned to launch Free Basics in all of its African markets, including Nigeria. You can read that announcement here.