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Mark Zuckerberg in Nigeria, Kenya For a Surprise Visit: Benefits To Tech Start-ups?

In his words, Mr. Zuckerberg quipped the purpose of the trip was to meet with entrepreneurs and developers and to “learn more about mobile money, where Kenya is the world leader.”

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Social media “revolutionary”; Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was in Nigeria and Kenya in a surprise visit to both countries. He had a week-long trip where he visited some tech start-ups including the Yaba technology hub in Lagos, meet with developers and partners, and explore Nollywood (Nigeria’s film industry). He also had some talks with policy makers and leaders in both countries.

He has visited the ‘Summer of Code Camp’ at the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) and Andela, both located in Lagos Nigeria. CcHub is referred to as the Silicon Valley of Nigeria. CcHub is a premier tech hub that commenced operation in 2011 without an office apartment. It is Five years now and their expansion is unimaginable, with properties on three floors and the roof of a building. CcHub provides opportunities for young people to learn how to code. Developers can also get assistance launching their first products, and find mentors and funding.

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One of the innovative developers that Zuckerberg met at the CcHub is Temi Giwa, who manages a unique platform that makes blood readily available when/where it is needed in Nigeria. The platform is known as Life Bank and it gathers and takes record of blood donated and available in the country.

At Andela, Zuckerberg had a look into an organisation building the next generation of technical leaders in Africa. Andela recruits some of the most talented technologists in Africa and moulds them into world-class developers through a four-year technical leadership program. Earlier this year, Mark’s wife; Chan Zuckerberg through her initiative, invested in Andela after she was 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.

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Mark Zuckerberg had a brief stopover at Express WiFi stand in Lagos owned by Rosemary Njoku. This Facebook’s Express WiFi allows entrepreneurs like Rosemary to build a hot spot to help their community access apps and services built by local developers.

It is expected that his visit will among other things:

  1. Provide the needed boost and exposure to the tech products and services from Kenya, Nigeria and other African nations.
  2. Serve as a catalyst to attracting capital investments to the information and communication sector of these nations, which are so much starved of funds.
  3. Encourage youths to pursue ICT careers, seeing that it is actually rewarding.

In conclusion, Mark Zuckerberg is expected to drum support for and roll out some other projects to build capacities, create opportunities as a step to supporting Technology revolution in Africa.

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