Pursuant to Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Nigeria last August when he promised to invest more in Nigeria, having invested $24 million in a start up, Andela, a Nigerian start up that recruits talented Africans and shape them into world-class developers through a four-year technical leadership programme earlier this year through the Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan’s fund.
Facebook has officially announced Nigeria Initiatives to further drive innovation, skills development and economic impact across Nigeria. The company plans to achieve this through various partnerships, training programmes and an innovation hub — NG_HUB — that will serve as a centre for learning and skill development. TPCN was at the event.
According to Facebook, the initiatives aim to help develop and nurture communities in Nigeria, including small businesses, the tech and startup ecosystem, youths and creatives.
This further reinforces not only Facebook’s support for Andela’s mission, but the belief that indeed the next generation of great technology leaders will come out of Nigeria. Ebele Okobi, Facebook’s Head of Public Policy, Africa echoed these sentiments as she spoke about the Hub.
Facebook plans to train and support at least 50,000 students, SMEs and entrepreneurs across Nigeria through a series of digital skills trainings. These trainings, which will be facilitated by local training partners, are designed to provide skills that lead to employment and to support the growth of small businesses.
Facebook is partnering with CCHub to launch NG_HUB in Lagos which will bring together the Nigerian tech community including developers and startups to enable them collaborate, learn and exchange ideas.
Beyond Lagos, the company will be supporting a number of existing tech hubs to serve the communities; Roar Nigeria,Enugu, Ventures Platform in Abuja, Co Lab in Kaduna and nHub based in Jos ,Plateau State. The hubs will function as learning centres for local communities, providing multiple opportunities for training and access.
Speaking on the NG_HUB, Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships, and Middle East & Africa said:
“Nigeria is producing a new generation of exciting start-ups that have incredible potential. We understand the important role Facebook plays here in Nigeria with developers and start-ups and are invested in helping these communities build for the next billion. One of our key passions at Facebook is nurturing and helping to develop the tech and start-up community, and I’m excited to announce our partnership with the Nigerian tech hub ecosystem especially the NG_HUB space, here in Lagos.”
Facebook hopes to attract the best talent and drive innovation in the Nigerian tech ecosystem through its provisioning of this Hub. One of Zuckerberg’s stop point during his visit was Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) located in Yaba, the heart of Nigeria’s technology innovation ecosystem. This and many more will benefit from this HUB in 2018.
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Story By Travis Kwent.