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Opera to enhance internet access in Ethiopia


Opera has announced plans to enhance internet access in Ethiopia through a partnership with Safaricom Ethiopia.

The web innovator says the free data campaign will offer users on Safaricom Ethiopia network up to 50MB of data daily for a month when they browse using Opera Mini and Opera for Android.

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“Ethiopia is a large and growing country in which we see a great deal of potential,” said Jørgen Arnesen, EVP Mobile at Opera.

According to Opera, the free data campaign which has been in place since 2017 has meant that mobile products and services are developed first and foremost with the African consumer in mind.

Arnesen says during the period, Opera has invested at least $100 million in Africa to date, in order to bring more people online and offer them the fastest and most reliable internet connection.

“But at this point, the internet penetration rate is only around 16.7pc. So we’re excited to join forces with long-time partner Safaricom to help expand Ethiopia’s digital economy. In the past, our collaboration provided a first window to the web for many users in Kenya, and we’re proud to work together to try to similarly bring millions of new users online in Ethiopia,” he added.

The web browser developer has similarly facilitated nearly 40 million people across five countries to benefit from up to 3GB of free browsing each month.

This initiative has helped users to establish businesses, connect with loved ones, and embark on educational journeys, all with greater ease and affordability. In Kenya alone, Opera has invested over Ksh 1.7 billion ($12 million) in free data campaigns over the past three years.

Opera Mini currently has a user base of nearly 100 million people across Africa, largely due to its unique data compression technology that helps users save up to 90pc of data while browsing.

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