Facebook’s Internet.org set for SA launch at the Barn Khayelitsha

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Facebook is to launch its Internet.org service – which allows users to browse selected internet services without incurring data costs – in South Africa at the Barn Khayelitsha tomorrow (July 4), in a collaboration with the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) aimed at promoting the creation of tech solutions for social impact.

Facebook, which recently announced the opening of its first African office in Johannesburg, has already rolled out Internet.org in Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana, and is now collaborating with CiTi for the South African launch.

The social network will showcase the set of tools to develop solutions and content on the Internet.org platform to developers at the Khayelitsha incubator, the opening of which Disrupt Africa reported in March.

“We are delighted to have been selected to partner with Facebook’s very worthwhile social initiative. It aligns perfectly with our own programs which are empowering community developers and coders at the Barn Khayelitsha,” said Ian Merrington, chief executive officer (CEO) of CiTi.

Facebook’s Jenifer Fong said developers from the community will hear how to become a content partner with Internet.org, as well as find out about tech developer communities.

“More importantly though, we will provide user feedback and, hopefully, give people a better understanding of this project’s social impact,” she said.

The event will include an introduction to Internet.org, a showcase of regional developers, the Internet.org platform and the Internet.org Ambassador Training Programme. Open discussion will focus on the topic “How can we build tech solutions for social impact in South Africa? – Challenges and Solutions”, followed by a presentation by Facebook entitled “FBStart – Build, Grow, Monetise”.

Those interested in attending can secure their ticket here.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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