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Youths benefit from Facebook training

28 July 2015, 09:13 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Over 100 Kenyan youths were privileged to get training on how to build and grow their services on Facebook through Internet.org, an affordable internet access platform launched in Kenya in November 2014.

Speaking in Nairobi, Facebook executives behind the Internet.org said the initiative’s free basic services such as information on health, weather, education, sports, news, jobs, agriculture among others have attracted over a billion new internet users worldwide.

The training occurs just after the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) graced by the US President Barack Obama which sought to empower people to become entrepreneurs other than relying on employment to earn a living.

Internet.org Vice President, Chris Daniels said unaffordable internet access and lack of awareness on crucial services offered have been major barriers locking out over two billion people from realizing the importance of internet.

Internet.org partnered with Airtel mobile network service provider to enables users to access the platform free of charge.

“The truth is that access to the platform is working and a thousand people who had no access to internet are joining every week globally. Kenya is among best countries in East Africa with good internet connectivity and entrepreneurship environment,” said Daniels.  

Read Also: Airtel and Facebook partner to offer free internet

“For instance, health information service was widely accessed more than a million times last month (June). Such information helps the common man in addressing sectoral issues such as agricultural production among others,” he added.

Daniels said the initiative's core target is to ensure two-thirds of the world’s population that is currently unconnected gets access to affordable internet to develop content and services that are contextually relevant and contributes to social progress.

The Internet.org Director of Strategic Partnership, Ime Archibong said many people are embracing the platform’s value and revealed that over 50 billion content was uploaded in 2014, barely a year since its launch in 17 countries worldwide.

Archibong said content developers are assured of their information security in curbing cyber-related crimes in developing websites for their services.

“We take the users’ security seriously through encryption of information. Internet.org does not support high-bandwidth sites, VoLP, videos, file transfer, photos with high resolution or volume because they constrain the platform's infrastructure,” said Archibong.

The Facebook team said although it is one year since the introduction of Internet.org mobile application in Africa, Zambia being the first beneficiary, they have been able to work closely with more than a dozen mobile operators across 17 countries to give people access to relevant basic internet services without data charges.

“Today Internet.org is available to more than a billion people. Our goal is to bring more people online and help them discover the value of the internet and it’s working,” said Daniels.

He added that Internet.org is not only a successful tool in helping bring people online but it is also successful in showing people the value of the internet and helping to accelerate its adoption where new operators can get started at www.internet.org/operators.

He said they have made it easier for any mobile operator to turn on Internet.org in new countries through a partner portal that includes technical tools and best practices, improving the process to offer free basic services to the unconnected.

The Facebook team revealed that the application has enabled them to offer free basic internet services to hundreds of millions of people across Asia, Africa and Latin America and maintained that the free services will help change people’s lives.

They said plans are underway to partner with Safaricom mobile network service provider and enable smartphone users to access the platform through any browser including Opera mini if they are unable to use the Internet.org application.

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- MyNews24

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