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Facebook to launch satellite to expand internet access in Africa

Oct 09, 2015 Facebook Incorporated recently announced plans to launch a satellite in partnership with France’s Eutelsat Communications to increase Internet access in sub-Saharan Africa. The satellite, which is called AMOS-6, will be launched in 2016.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive at Facebook, AMOS-6, will cover a large part of West, East and Southern Africa.

Stephen Musyoka, a social media consultant said the satellite will be a game-changer for the 2.2 million internet users in Kenya.

“Free and better internet will improve lives, that are it. It will help in all the sectors: education, health, government, business, and corporates – it is here. We are going to find it is free, it is affordable and it is very fast. So it’s all about moving the country forward, moving the continent forward and globally, it is all about moving forward,”

Like most African countries, Kenya has experience a technology rush in recent years which has alleviated poverty in the lives of millions.

“It is something we cannot ignore, its time has come. So you find that five years ago we never had technology helping lives and all that but nowadays you find you can find any information you want, any solution from your phone. Look at all the start-ups we have all over Africa from South Africa, Egypt and in Kenya we have iHub, iLab and all those start-ups. Look at what they are doing and all that is thanks to technology, so it is something we cannot ignore, it is something that… its time has come and it is all about improving lives,”

The project is part of Facebook’s Internet.org platform, which will offers free access to web services. The services will focus on job listings, agricultural information, healthcare and education as well as Facebook’s social network and messaging services.

“I think it is a good thing because one you will be able to access the internet for longer times because it is cheaper – it’s free actually. Secondly people can get encouraged to do even more online jobs, make advertisements and such stuff.” Said Essie Mutua

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