Facebook and Airtel to connect Rwanda with social classes using Nokia Phones
Facebook has today announced a new SocialEDU initiative which aims to bring collaborative online education to the nation our neighbors down south in Rwanda. In August last year Facebook announced Internet.org project, and this is one of the fruits of the project as it aim to support Rwandan government for financing logistics. This will be possible through local telecom company Airtel’s data subsidy and Nokia’s hardware. The classes will come from edX, a consortium of universities including Harvard, MIT and the University of Tokyo. The end result will be a simple application designed by Facebook to deliver a fast but meaningful education to anyone who participates in the program.
Airtel Africa’s CEO Christian de Faria said,
“We are honored to participate in this noble initiative. Education is one of the key engines for economic and social growth across the continent, with Rwanda amongst Africa’s most respected countries for its outstanding development record. We will do everything possible to support this ongoing reform using Airtel’s technological capability in the data and mobile commerce environment, to facilitate Rwanda’s rapid progress.”
As expected, the application delivering the content will be integrated into Facebook, and users will have to sign up for Facebook before they can start to take classes. The scope of the project is also unclear, since Airtel’s offer of free data expires after the first year.