Incubator for Free Basics announces first 10 live sites

Launched in AfricaCom in November 2015, ‘ Incubator for Free Basics’ (which is the partnership between Facebook and has received thousands of applications since the Programme was announced. So far, over 50 partners have been selected by an external independent international selection panel following a rigorous evaluation process.

The partnership supports developers and social change organisations in their efforts to build accessible online services designed mostly by and for people living in the developing world.

The organisations that have been accepted cover sectors including health, economic empowerment, youth, gender equity, youth, agriculture, citizen engagement, and education, and are based in different regions of Africa and Asia. Many of these organizations do not have the technical background to take advantage of the Free Basics programme. Through’s training, technical tools and support, many smaller as well as local organizations have successfully become part of the Free Basics Platform.

A few of the partners now live on Free Basics through the help of the Incubator include: She Inspire Her, HelpMeSee, SEED Madagascar, Edukayson, Da Subject Matter, African Trust Academy, WeFarm, doctHERs, and We Dream Africa.

Applicants appreciated and saw value in the training and tool. “Being selected to participate in the Praekelt Incubator has been an incredible opportunity. We’re a small social enterprise and have bootstrapped all our initiatives to date so it’s been a huge boost to access the platform and receive highly responsive technical support to enable us to get our content into the hands of those who needs it most – entrepreneurial women with little to no internet access who need support in starting and growing businesses,” said Lisa O’Donoghue-Lindy, founder of She Inspires Her.

“Around the world, young people are paving the way for all of our futures. They need our help to grow into the healthiest generation ever,” said Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Global. “Global Mobile gives them what they need: information on relationships, their bodies and their health. And the Free Basics platform is the perfect tool to make sure that information is accessible, no matter where they happen to live.”

With the Free Basics platform, Facebook has brought free basic internet services to people in more than 45 countries and more than 60 operators. Praekelt Group Founder and CEO, Gustav Praekelt said: “Praekelt 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.

“We are proud to announce our first successful Incubator for Free Basics partners and are excited to see the programme grow in the coming months.”

The Incubator for Free Basics is open to any organization dedicated to social change. is committed to launching 100 sites by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Facebook has said that four million businesses actively advertise on the platform, with 70 per cent outside the United States.

In a statement released by the company, the fastest growing region is South-East Asia with the following countries: Vietnam, Indonesia, Greece, Ukraine and Philippines.

The top five countries based on yearly growth are U.S, Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Over 85 per cent of business pages use mobile and 40 per cent of active advertisers have created a Facebook ad on mobile.

Findings have also shown that more than 30 per cent small and medium-sized business pages on Facebook are owned by women. Facebook’s simplest tools have helped convert these businesses to advertise. Two top examples are boosted posts or promoted pages.
More than 20 per cent of active advertisers created video ads in August.

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what is going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. Facebook has 1.04 billion daily active users on average worldwide and 7.2 million daily visitors from Nigeria.


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