Free Basics by Facebook: Cape Town Event

Ahead of this week’s AfricaCom conference, Facebook shared the progress of Free Basics at an exclusive event held at the CAAM Gallery in Greenpoint, Cape Town.
The Free Basics Platform is a service maintained by both Facebook and and aims to deliver free connectivity to essential online apps and services to previously disconnected communities around the world.

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Ime Archibong presents his introduction to Free Basics by Facebook

Speaking at the event, Ime Archibong, the Director of Strategic Partnerships at, laid out his vision for the Free Basics Platform and its launch in Africa.
“œWhen people are connected, they can achieve extraordinary things as individuals and as a community. Connectivity brings opportunity for people around the world, and we‘ve seen this firsthand here in Africa, where we began this journey,“ Archibong said.

The Free Basics Platform serves as a means for developers to create services that integrate with Free Basics; users who make use of Free Basics services will be able to access services free of charge.

“We’re working with all operators”, Archibong stated, when posed a question dealing with Facebook and net neutrality.
At the event, the Praekelt Foundation and Facebook announced a new partnership which would support developers and social change organizations. The partnership is aimed at increasing the number of free websites and services available to users of the Free Basics Platform.
To support this, the Praekelt Foundation is launching an incubator programme that will provide resources and support to one hundred independently-selected social change organizations.

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A video message from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg launched the event

“Praekelt Foundation believes that access to essential information and basic services is a human right. When people have access to the tools and knowledge that the internet and other digital communication technologies provide, they have access to opportunities that will make their lives better.“ said Gustav Praekelt, founder of the Praekelt Group. Praekelt continued: “œOver the last year, we have worked with NGOs to provide life-saving information to a potential audience of over 1 billion through and the Free Basics Platform. We‘ve never seen our work reach so many people so quickly. But we need to do more, and through the creation of the Praekelt Foundation Incubator for Free Basics we will do just that.“

The Free Basics Platform is now available in 29 countries, including 14 in Africa, and will now reach over 1 billion people across the continents of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
What’re your thoughts on Facebook’s work with the Free Basics Platform? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!