SocialEDU Rwanda

HEDLINE: Facebook, edX and others launch SocialEDU – Free Mobile Learning

Abstract announced SocialEDU, an initiative that aims to bring free mobile learning experiences to students in Rwanda.

To make this ambitious project happen Facebook partnered with Nokia, Ericsson, edX, Airtel and the Rwandan government. is a Facebook project that aims to bring the Internet to the two-thirds of people on the globe who are not yet connected. Founding partners include Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia and Qualcomm.

Key Takeaway

SocialEDU clearly shows how many partners are needed in such a concerted effort. According to Facebook there are five critical barriers to surmount in order to have access to free mobile education

  • Free content
  • Free data
  • Affordable smartphones
  • Localized, social educational experience
  • A government that supports innovation

While Facebook will be the entry point for the students, edX is going to provide the free educational content and also create a dedicated mobile learning experience integrated into Facebook.

Nokia and the Rwandan government are going to work together to bring prices for mobile phones down and the mobile telephone provider Airtel will offer free bandwidth for educational content over one year to everyone in Rwanda. There will also be free WiFi access on all the university campuses across the country through the government founded Smart Kigali program.

Last but not least, Ericsson will be working closely together with Facebook in order to find new ways to offer bandwidth intensive tasks like video streaming on 2G networks.

A recent study by Deloitte which was commissioned by Facebook found that improved access to the Internet in developing countries can increase productivity by up to 25%, generate $2.2 trillion more in GDP and create 140 million new jobs.

Further Reading

  • announces SocialEDU | Facebook
  • Facebook will use Nokia phones to bring online classes to Rwanda | The Verge
  • Facebook’s to provide educational materials to smartphones in Rwanda in first pilot project | TheNextWeb
  • Facebook-led Partners With Nokia On SocialEDU In Rwanda, Unilever In India, Ericsson On New Lab To Connect Developing Economies | TechCrunch
  • Value of connectivity Economic and social benefits of expanding internet access | Deloitte


Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at