Local cellular company, Tigo has partnered Facebook to provide free access to Facebook in Kiswahili to its subscribers through their mobile phones.
The maiden move is the first in East Africa and will see Tigo customers in Tanzania connect with the social media network’s 1.2 billion users worldwide without incurring any data charges.
“It is the first time any major social media company has made a version in Kiswahili, the national language spoken by Tanzanians and majority of the people in East, Central and Southern African region.
With this unique partnership, we are making Tigo standout from the crowd and giving many customers their first taste of the internet and social media in Kiswahili. That’s what creating a digital lifestyle is all about,” said Tigo General Manager, Diego Gutierrez.
The move is set to open new frontiers to Tanzanias and to other Kiswahili speakers by offering them new business, educational and other socio-economic opportunities across the world. Tigo’s parent company had earlier partnered in December 2013 and the service’s launch in the historical native Guarani language there.
The partnership is part of Facebook’s recent Internet.org initiative launched by the company’s founder Mark Zukerberg.