Social networking giant Facebook, an exhibitor at this year's AfricaCom show, has outlined its plans to grow its African ecosystem at the event
Facebook has been working to empower local retailers and entrepreneurs with Internet.org’s Express Wi-Fi programme.
“Our mission is to give people the power to share and to make the world more open and connected. Only half of the planet is on the Internet – our aim with Internet.org is to connect the other half through initiatives such as Free Basics, solar-powered airplanes, satellites, and our exciting new programme, Express Wifi. According to the ITU, Internet Penetration in Africa is now at 28 per cent, but there is so much more do be done,” said Chris Daniels, VP of Internet.org at Facebook.
In Africa, Facebook already has partners in Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa, with more countries to follow suit, including Ghana.
“This is a sustainable approach to bringing connectivity to underserved communities in countries across Africa – it is a business model that will grow itself because it empowers entrepreneurs to serve their communities,” said Daniels
The programme has boosted the skills of local entrepreneurs who work with Facebook and its ISP partners to build, install and maintain local Wi-Fi networks, Facebook said.
“We're encouraged by the progress we've made - but also inspired by what we've seen in the community,” added Daniels. “It’s exciting to see local economies transformed by connectivity as people use the Internet to enhance existing businesses or create new ones.”