Airtel Rwanda and Facebook have partnered to offer free web access to Rwandans while using the Airtel network. Through Free Basics by Facebook, Rwandans will be able to access various websites through the Airtel network at no cost. Customers will also be able to access a set of free services in categories of health, education, communication, sports, jobs, and local information.

Hon Jean Philbert Nsengimana – Ministry of Youth giving a speech at the launch of Freebasics.com during the Transform Africa Summit 2015

Commenting on the new development, Airtel Rwanda Finance Director & Acting Managing Director, Mr. Tano Oware said, “We are delighted to kick off this partnership with Facebook and have it go live at a time where we as a telecom are looking to enable our customers to access the internet affordably.”

He added, “With our recent affordable internet-enabled phone offering together with free web access, our customers are in for a feast of information, education as well as the best experience on the Airtel network.”

“Following our success with Free Basics in Zambia, Ghana, Malawi, and Kenya, we are excited to continue our partnership and further extend reach with Airtel in Rwanda. We believe that access to information is a basic right that empowers communities and entrepreneurs around the world,” said Markku Makelainen, Director, Global Operator Partnerships, and Facebook.

During the launch, Hon. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the Minister for Youth & ICT  – Rwanda said; “The introduction of Freebasics.com and Facebook Kinyarwanda, will enable Rwandans have free web access to a variety of popular websites on the internet. With categories ranging from education, jobs to local information, we are confident that Rwandans will have a service that they can be proud to use and benefit from.”

Ebele Oboki Head of Public Policy, Facebook Africa giving a speech at the Transform Africa Summit 2015
Ebele Oboki Head of Public Policy, Facebook Africa giving a speech at the Transform Africa Summit 2015

Free Basics by Facebook will be available as a mobile browser version for feature phone users on the web address www.freebasics.com. Smartphone users can also download the Free Basics app on Android devices through the Google Play store.

Among the free websites to be accessed on Free Basics while using the Airtel network include:  Facebook, BBC Africa, Inyarwanda.com, Wikipedia, BabyCenter & MAMA, Dictionary.com, SuperSport, Bing search engine, and several others.

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