Airtel Nigeria, has announced a strategic partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia, to offer their consumers across Nigeria access to Wikipedia through their mobile phones free of data charges.
The initiative, which is first of its kind in Nigeria, is dubbed Wikipedia Zero, and it is aimed at reaching and empowering billions of people around the world whose access to the Internet is primarily through a mobile device. Airtel Nigeria subscribers can access Wikipedia free of data charges at m.wikipedia.org.
Knowledge and information for free
With the new partnership, Airtel will help deliver knowledge and information of Wikipedia to 21 million of new users in the West African region. Carolynne Schloeder, Head of Mobile Partnerships at the Wikimedia Foundation explained “expanding Wikipedia Zero to the people of Nigeria is a big step forward for free knowledge in Africa.”
Building inclusive mobile technology
Appsafrica.com recently shared how building inclusive technology can be profitable and socially rewarding as outlined by the Praekelt Foundation at Mobile West Africa. Founded by Gustav Praekelt and Robin Millerm in South Africa in 2007, they ultimately plan to roll out Wikipedia Zero across Africa and other developing markets. Based on Praekelt’s Vumi open source platform which uses USSD and SMS, it enables access even on basic feature phones and delivers on their vision of building inclusive mobile tech for the greater good.