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Opera is celebrating 15 years of connecting Africa to the Internet with a massive data giveaway


To celebrate its 15th year on the continent Opera has announced that it will be running a massive data giveaway for its users.

Opera is asking its users to share experiences of how Opera Mini has helped them to reach new levels of connection. Whether setting up a business, speaking with loved ones or embarking on an educational journey, Opera will then award the most memorable 150 entries with 150 GB of free data.

The competition opened on 15th December and will close on 15th January.

To enter, simply like and comment Opera’s post on Facebook or Instagram, using #CelebrateWithOpera and explain why Opera is important to you. The terms & conditions for participation are available here.

With over 150 million monthly active users in Africa, the company says it is providing better connectivity through its data-light Opera Mini browser. However, with 800 million Africans still yet to onboard the Internet, and 1 GB of data costing up to 16% of monthly income in some parts of the continent, this mission is still ongoing.

In fifteen years, Opera has seen significant growth in users across the African continent. Since launching across Africa, Opera has risen to capture the highest brand awareness of all browsers, excluding Google Chrome.

The data giveaway comes as the Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare deep-seated regional inequalities in internet access. According to Statista, currently, only 39% of Africa has internet access, compared with 60% globally. High data costs are a primary constraint. According to Cable.co.uk, the price of mobile data in Sub-Saharan Africa is the most expensive in the world, with an average cost of $6.44 per 1 GB of mobile data. This is in stark contrast to Western Europe, where the same amount of mobile data is a third of the cost ($2.47).

For some African families, data takes up a significant share of household income, with 1 GB costing up to 16% of a monthly salary in some areas. According to the State of the mobile 2019 report by Opera, In Kenya, an individual can expect to be paying 3 US dollars per GB: 50% more than in Nigeria, twice as much as in Ghana, and ten times more than in India.

“At Opera, we know the power that connection can bring. From sharing ideas, art and culture to kick-starting businesses or bringing loved ones closer together, data is essential to connecting people. Our mobile browser Opera Mini uses only one-tenth of the data that others do, and we’re proud to continue helping millions of people overcome connectivity barriers with our solutions.” Jørgen Arnesen, EVP Mobile at Opera.

The key to unleashing innovation, enterprise and prosperity across the continent is democratizing data. Opera says the data giveaway competition marks the beginning of ambitious plans to accelerate the right to internet access. Building on its commitment to help people get online, Opera adds that it will roll-out a series of impact projects in 2022 to continue to address data inequity and connect the unconnected.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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