It’s another beautiful day full of great hope and a chance for us to be better, isn’t it? 😀
Yes! I’m indifferent about Facebook CEO — Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Nigeria. Fine, we all saw pictures of his visit (I have them here too) and read about what went down. If by chance you are just knowing about this, you had better grab a snack with a chilled soft drink. Why? Because I would be highlighting a few critical things about his visit most people do not know.
Mark came unannounced to Nigeria on Tuesday (August 30) after a visit with his wife to Rome where he met with Pope Francis. So what?!?
Although, this is his first visit to
Sub-saharan Africa Nigeria. First, nobody knew about his arrival (not even the media) until photos of him visiting the Co-Creation Hub (Cchub) innovation center at Yaba in Lagos took the social media by storm. Second, he has a thing about surprise visits, just like me. 😉
According to CcHub CEO, Bosun Tijani: “Facebook told us a few weeks ago there would be a visit by the partnerships manager. Then they told us a few days ago it could be Mark, but it was all top secret until today,” he told Tech Crunch.
On his arrival, Mark mentioned in a Facebook post: “I’ll be meeting with developers and entrepreneurs, and learning about the startup ecosystem in Nigeria.”
Mark Zuckerberg met with coders in CcHub’s co-working space and then met 60 “Summer of Code” students between the ages of 5 and 18 with whom he sat and practiced programming. Fortunately, it was their graduation day and they had to do it with Facebook CEO! It’s hard to estimate what impact that could have on the kids.
Mark then dropped in at Andela, a software developer company (headquartered in New York City and has offices in Kenya and Nigeria) in which he and his wife’s foundation invested $24million earlier this year. That was their first investment by the way. You see, Nigeria is dope! 😀
It seems Mark travels a bit like our president. 😀 After a town hall meeting with several Nigerian startup heads and techprenuers at Landmark events centre on Wednesday, he stopped by at Kenya on Thursday. That was after eating our jollof rice which he said was very delicious! Hulala 😛
To my surprise, Mark returned to Nigeria on Friday (September 2) to attend the grand finale of ASO VILLA DEMO DAY organised by the Federal government. Just in case you did not know, Aso Villa Demo Day is aimed at enabling young Nigerians and startups showcase and pitch their business ideas to industry leaders and investors.
And, for the rest of the gist as to why Mark visited Nigeria…
In May, Nigeria received priority from Facebook when it announced a partnership with Airtel, called Internet.org Free Basics (which was rejected in India), allowing Nigerians to access certain internet services free on mobile for FREE! And in June eBay announced Nigeria as the opening country for its Africa expansion. Three of Africa’s best funded/well known e-commerce ventures—Jumia, Konga, and MallforAfrica— are all headquartered in Lagos.
Facebook has over 120 million users in Africa, 84 million of whom are in Sub-Saharan Africa. With 17 million users, Nigeria is the company’s largest Sub-Saharan African market, followed by South Africa (14 million), and Kenya (5.7 million), according to Facebook spokesperson Aldous.
Whatever is Facebook’s long term Africa strategy, and even without new commitments, Mark’s visit carried a huge amount of significance for Nigeria.
Oh, by the way, his simplicity beats me. Did you see his pictures at all?? (Nigerians should better realise that it’s not about looking rich but ‘being’ rich)