Facebook CEO Arrives Nigeria, Witnesses Africa’s Tech Revolution | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Facebook CEO Arrives Nigeria, Witnesses Africa’s Tech Revolution

zuckerberg, facebook ceo
Posted: Aug 31, 2016 at 4:31 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Facebook Chief Executive Officer, Mark Zuckerberg, arrived Nigeria unannounced on Tuesday which is his first trip to Africa.

He used his time in the country to visit the Yaba technology hub in Lagos, met with developers and partners and explored Nollywood.

Information gathered revealed that Zuckerberg’s visit would afford him the opportunity to listen, learn and take ideas back to California on how Facebook could better support tech development and entrepreneurship across Africa.

He visited ‘Summer of Code Camp’ at the Co-creation Hub (CcHub) in Yaba, known as the Silicon Valley of Nigeria.

CcHub was opened in 2011 and at the time did not even have an office. Five years later, they filled three floors and the roof of a building.

At CcHub, where people could learn how to code, while developers could get help launching their first products and find mentors and funding, Zuckerberg met with developers like Temi Giwa, who runs a platform called Life Bank that makes blood available when and where it is needed in Nigeria.

Life Bank saves lives by mobilising blood donations, taking inventory of all blood available in the country, and delivering blood in the right condition to where it is needed.

After visiting CcHub, the Facebook boss said: “This is my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa. I’ll be meeting with developers and entrepreneurs, and learning about the startup ecosystem in Nigeria. The energy here is amazing and I’m excited to learn as much as I can.

“The first place I got to visit was the Co-creation Hub Nigeria (CcHUB) in Yaba. I got to talk to kids at a summer coding camp and entrepreneurs who come to CcHub to build and launch their apps.  I’m looking forward to meeting more people in Nigeria.”

He then went to Andela, an engineering organisation that is building the next generation of technical leaders in Africa.

Andela is a business that recruits the most talented technologists in Africa and shapes them into world-class developers through a four-year technical leadership programme.

In the two years since it was founded, Andela has accepted just over 200 engineers from a pool of more than 40,000 applicants.

Andela developers spent six months mastering a technical stack and contributing to open source projects before being placed with global technology companies as full-time, distributed teammates, working out of Andela headquarters in Lagos and Nairobi.

Earlier this year, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invested in Andela after being impressed by the company’s innovative model of learning and its drive to connect the global technology ecosystem with the most talented developers in Africa.

Director, Andela Lagos, Seni Sulyman, said: “We are excited and honored to welcome Mark Zuckerberg to Lagos. His visit reinforces not only his support of Andela’s mission, but his belief that indeed the next generation of great technology leaders will come out of Lagos, Nigeria and cities across Africa.

“Andela has created a platform for passionate, driven software developers and engineers to break into the global tech ecosystem, but the barriers to entry are still very high.

“Mark’s visit demonstrates to all Nigerian developers and entrepreneurs that they’ve caught the attention of the tech world, and they are capable of succeeding on a truly global level,” he stressed.

At the end of the day, Zuckerberg stopped by an Express WiFi stand in Lagos owned by Rosemary Njoku. Facebook’s Express WiFi lets entrepreneurs like Rosemary set up a hot spot to help their community access apps and services built by local developers.

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what is going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. Facebook has 1.04 billion daily active users on average worldwide and 7.2 million daily visitors from Nigeria.