Airtel Kenya has today (December 2) officially announced a partnership with Facebook to offer the social network’s Internet.org app, which will allow both pre-paid and post-paid Airtel customers access free internet services.
Mid last month, JUUCHINI reported on the new offing by Airtel Kenya that is aimed at promoting development among the youth through providing a set of local basic internet services at no cost, making it easier for Kenyans to access the internet.
Through this new partnership, Kenyans will have an opportunity to access various information on health, education, jobs, communication, finance, weather and other local information, allowing for creation of new opportunities that they did not have before.
Speaking on the partnership, Adil El Youssefi, CEO Airtel Kenya said, “We believe that this partnership will go a long way in providing Kenyans with information that will help create new opportunities and improve their lives.”
With Internet.org providing a set of sites to be accessed for free on the Airtel network, the telecom believes more people will be connected to the internet, making it better for the country’s economy.
“Only a third of the world’s population have access to the internet. Internet.org aims to give people more opportunities by making affordable the process of getting online and providing information that adds value to people’s lives,” said Naheed Hirji, Growth & Partnerships manager Facebook, Eastern and South Africa.
So what exactly will internet.org offer?
Internet.org is an initiative led by Facebook with the goal of making affordable internet access available to the two thirds of the world who are not yet connected and to bring the same opportunities to everyone that the connected third of the world has today.
In Kenya, Airtel customers will have free access to popular local sites that include but not limited to BrighterMonday, Daily Nation, OLX, Superport, Wikipedia, Facebook, Facts for Life, Jamii Forums, Ebola information, Baby Center & MAMA and Scholars4Dev.
With the telecom currently working with the government to also offer public information from various government websites, this free internet offing is good news to many Kenyan youth who find it expensive to stay connected and access various opportunities available online.
Let’s take a focus at the unemployment cries that plague the country today, with most Kenyan youth not being able to access job opportunities. Most jobs are advertised online, meaning that only those who are able to purchase data and are lucky enough to get free wi-fi are able to access the opportunities.
Through this new offing, Kenyans will now have unlimited free access to available job opportunities through BrighterMonday.co.ke, which is one of the sites being availed at no cost to customers. All the customer will need is subscription to Airtel, the Internet.org app or a visit to Internet.org website.
Speaking at the media briefing this morning, Emmanuel Mutuma, Marketing Manager at BrighterMonday said through Internet.org both the job seeker and employer are set to benefit as the free service helps bridge the gap between the job seeker and employer.
“This free service will help BrighterMonday offer good talent to employing organisations since it is bound to connect more job seekers to employers. More people will be able to come online and access the job opportunities and employers will have a collection of CVs to choose from.”
Commenting on the Internet.org availability in Tanzania, Mutuma said in the one month the service has been operational, BrighterMonday has recorded a 10% increase in the number of people visiting the site for information on jobs.
Internet.org is a promising offing for Kenya as it will not only connect more people to the internet at a fast rate, but will also offer people across the country an opportunity to share in the benefits that come with being online hence creating a knowledgeable society.
Kenya becomes the third country to offer the service, after Zambia and Tanzania. The internet.org app is available for download on the Google Play Store or through visiting www.internet.org, from any device with an internet connection.
Airtel Kenya also allows its customers to tweet for free.