Recently, global tech companies have started doubling down on their efforts in Africa, naturally to be honest, because a developing continent is one that will guarantee them a growth story in the long term. Google recently opened its first launchpad physical location, outside of the US, here in Lagos.
And in early 2018, Facebook will open a community hub space, NG_HUB, in Nigeria to encourage software developers and technology entrepreneurs - and of course, make themselves the latest technology giant to pursue a training program in fast-growing Africa.
In July, Google CEO, Sundar Pichai visited Lagos and said the company aimed to train 10 million people across the continent in online skills over the next five years. He also said it hoped to train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. They already trained 1 million Africans.
Facebook's hub which is being launched in partnership with Nigeria's Co-Creation Hub (CCHub) will host an incubator program to help develop technology start-ups and train 50,000 Nigerians in digital skills.
Emeka Afigbo, Facebook's Head of Platform Partnerships, Middle East & Africa, said:
"We understand the important role Facebook plays here in Nigeria with developers and start-ups and are invested in helping these communities. 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."
Emeka Afigbo, Facebook's Head of Platform Partnerships, Middle East & Africa (Photo: CNN)
The digital training – aimed at software developers, entrepreneurs and students – will be held in four cities across the country: Abuja, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Kaduna; as well as Lagos. This move makes sense: more than 22 million people in Nigeria use Facebook every month - 10 million log in daily. This is a chance to literally make more users.
Last year Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visited technology companies in Lagos and his charitable foundation provided $24 million to Andela, which trains developers. Facebook has recently come under scrutiny for its less-than-diverse board, and has taken some measures to improve, but now it looks like it is expanding its diversity push in a global way. So I guess, welcome?
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