Popular
Image via Google in Africa Twitter

Google Launches Free Wifi in Nigeria—Will it Stick?

Nigerians celebrate what they hope is an end to high data costs.

There's a lot of excitement today as Nigerians anticipate free high speed Wifi services brought by Google.

Google Station is launching in Nigeria, and it promises to make free Wi-Fi facilities available in 200 sites in Lagos and five other states in the country. The facilities are going to be created between now and 2019. Google will partner with local services to build hotspots in places like markets, malls, bus stops, city centres, and cafés, and universities. The service is supposed to benefit at least 10 million Nigerians this year.

According to The Guardian, Google's vice president Anjali Joshi said that they are launching in Nigeria because the station targets countries with the "next-billion Internet users" and because the internet has "the potential to completely transform Africa." Google drive has also been launched in countries like India, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, and it strategically makes sense that the most populous country in Africa would be next.

At today's launch, Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo added, "It has become increasingly clear that the provision of food and health care will depend on technology."

While the launch has been framed as transforming millions of lives in Nigeria, perhaps the real benefit lies with the companies that will profit from getting millions of users online. Since Google Station will be launching in major cities its not clear whether the free public wifi will be mostly available for a middle class that already had access to wifi or if this will truly be benefiting new users.

We will have to wait and see if Google will achieve their goals of serving millions of Nigerians with free internet, but for now the promise on saving data seems to have gotten many people excited.





News Brief
Podcast cover art.

Bobi Wine's Release Detailed in Latest Episode of 'The Messenger'

Trauma is the topic on the podcast's latest episode: "The Ballot or The Bullet."

The latest episode of The Messenger is something to behold.

Created by Sudanese-American rapper Bas, The Messenger throws the spotlight on the thunderous circumstances many African countries face, with a close focus on Ugandan politician Bobi Wine.

In his most recent traumatic experience, Wine and his wife Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi were released from a nearly two-week military house arrest following the ruling of a Ugandan court. Keeping up with current events and circumstances that Wine finds himself in, the latest episode of the podcast recounts the traumatic events that led to Wine's very public abuse and eventual house arrest.

Upon his release, Wine spoke with The Messenger and had this to say, "I want to remind the world that we went in this election knowing how corrupt the staff of the electoral commission is. We saw this through the campaign and the world saw how much was oppressed, how biased and one sided the electoral commission was, and how much it was in the full grip of General Museveni. And therefore we are going to test every legal test, we shall take every legal test. We shall take every legal step. And indeed we shall take every moral and morally proactive, nonviolent, but legal and peaceful step to see that we liberate ourselves. The struggle has not ended. It is just beginning."

Listen to Episode 7 of The Messenger here.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 9 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (January)

Featuring Ayra Starr, Reekado Banks x Tiwa Savage, Femi Kuti, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Joeboy, Yung L, Buju and more