Telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has announced a strategic partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, to offer their consumers across the country 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 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 will access Wikipedia free of data charges at m.wikipedia.org.
With the new partnership Airtel says it will help deliver knowledge and information of Wikipedia to 21 million of new users in the West African region.
Speaking on the new partnership, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Maurice Newa, said the initiative is in line with the company's corporate vision of becoming Nigeria's number one Internet Company, saying the new service will help connect Nigerians with relevant knowledge and information that will empower them to succeed in their personal and professional endeavors.
"We are excited with our partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation and we will continue to provide innovative solutions that will uplift Nigerians in line with our brand promise of becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians," he said.
"At Airtel, we are passionate and committed to creating solid educational and youth empowerment platforms that will enrich and transform the lives of telecoms consumers across the country."
Head of Mobile Partnerships at the Wikimedia Foundation Carolynne Schloeder said the initiative will help more people in Africa have access to the knowledge hosted by the organization.
"We commend Airtel Nigeria for taking a leadership role in empowering their society through information access, and we're thrilled to partner with them. Expanding Wikipedia Zero to the people of Nigeria is a big step forward for free knowledge in Africa." She said