Opera helps provide 120 million users in Africa with official information about COVID-19

The Norwegian browser developer has introduced an always on speed dial and a dedicated news channel in the Opera Mini and Opera For Android browsers

The coronavirus outbreak is rapidly spreading across the African continent. As of March 31, 2020, Africa CDC reported over five thousand cases of people infected with COVID-19 in 46 African countries.

As the pandemic expands across the African region, Opera is doing its part in keeping millions safer during the outbreak by adding a speed dial to the Opera Mini browser and Opera browser for Android, providing people with quicker access to official information from local government and the ministry of health about COVID-19 per country.

With this addition to the speed dial, Opera is enabling people in 38 African countries with official information about the actual increase of COVID-19 cases, tips and recommendations on how to reduce the risk of infection, and the latest governmental statements about lockdowns per country. 

“Our mobile browsers and news applications are used by nearly 120 million people across the African continent. By adding the COVID-19 speed dial into our mobile browsers, we are helping people make more informed decisions about how to deal with the pandemic in their local communities.” said Jørgen Arnesen, Head of Marketing and Distribution at Opera.

Dedicated news channel 

The Opera Mini browser and the Opera browser for Android have also included a dedicated news channel with the latest local and global news related to coronavirus outbreak. The channel displays a feed of the top stories and most relevant local articles, as it uses the personalised AI news engine of Opera News. 

Opera users can access the channel by swiping right on the home screen of the Opera Mini and Opera browser for Android. The dedicated news channel is currently available in Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Information available in remote locations

Multiple national authorities have already taken measures to prevent the spread of the virus in different African countries. With solutions such as quarantine and isolation being implemented as measures to reduce the risk of increased cases, people across the African continent are working remotely, accessing online entertainment services, and spending more time on the web. 

In remote communities, this is becoming a challenge as networks get overcrowded, become slower, and consume more data – which already comes at high costs. 

Connectivity barriers can represent a major challenge for millions of people, especially during the current COVID-19 outbreak.” said Arnesen. “The Opera mobile products have unique capabilities to reduce some web page sizes to the extent that you can save up to 90% of your mobile data. This means that even on slow and congested networks, people will be able to access information about COVID-19.”

The speed dial with access to official information from local governments is available in the Opera browser for Android and the Opera Mini browser in 38 African countries. 

Applicable countries: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, People Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

About Opera

Founded in 1995 in Norway, Opera provides browsers and AI-driven content delivery solutions to 360 million people worldwide. On December 13, it introduced the first blockchain-ready browser. Opera is listed on Nasdaq under the OPRA ticker symbol.