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Africa Gist / Naija News

Facebook to launch African community tech and training hub in Nigeria

Emeka Afigbo - Facebook Platform Partnership
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AFRICA GIST: Facebook plans to launch a community hub and training program in Nigeria, its biggest market on the African continent.

Emeka Afigbo - Facebook Platform Partnership

Emeka Afigbo – Head of Facebook Platform Partnerships, Middle East & Africa

Facebook African Tech Hub Nigeria

The African tech hub, according to information gathered, will offer support to tech startups and will also train 50,000 young people and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in digital skills across the country.

It will be Facebook’s first tech space in Africa as the social media company follows in the footsteps of Google who in July launched an ambitious initiative to train 10 million young people in online skills over five years.

We gathered the community tech and training hub will be opening in 2018, but launch date is yet to be fixed as at the time of writing.

Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of platform partnerships in Middle East & Africa told CNN, that:

“What we aim to do at the incubator is to provide support for high tech startups that do not ordinarily get investments, until they can develop a proof of concept, which will attract other investors.”

With an eye on growing their user base, US technology companies like Facebook are increasingly turning to Africa’s large youth population.

In Nigeria alone, there are over 22 million monthly Facebook users; 10 million of them log in daily to the platform, all on mobile devices, Facebook says.

Uge Ikemba and others at Facebook Digital Launch

Uge Ikemba, Ministry of Trade, Investment and Industry; Sherry B. Dzinoreva Public Policy Programs Manager, Facebook, Europe, Middle East and Africa; Ebele Okobi, Head of Public Policy, Africa, Facebook and Emeka Afigbo, Platform Partnerships, Middle East & Africa at the event.

Facebook has been increasing its investments in Africa and recently appointed a regional director based in South Africa.

In August of 2017, Facebook Founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited Nigeria and Kenya for the first time and also visited the Co-Creation (CCHub) in Yaba, Lagos. While there, he met with developers and entrepreneurs and spent time learning about the startup ecosystem in Nigeria.

During that visit, Zuckerberg announced an investment of $24 million dollars through his Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in Andela, a tech startup that trains software developers in Africa and gives them full-time roles in international companies.

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