Facebook launches a 'community hub' and training program in its biggest market in Africa, Nigeria, called NG_HUB.
The community hub is a collaboration between Facebook and Nigeria's Co-Creation Hub (CCHub), hosting an 'incubator' program that will offer support to tech startups and will train 50,000 young adults and SME's in digital skills with training being held in cities across Africa: Abuja, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Ibadan, Enugu, Kaduna and Lagos.
Emeka Afigbo, 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."
Due to open in 2018, it will be Facebook's first tech space in Africa, and Nigeria is the perfect place for it. Within Nigeria, 10 million users log in to Facebook daily, solely on mobile devices, and there are 22 million monthly Facebook users!
Afigbo added that "Everybody knows about the country's entrepreneurial drive, it's creativity, large population, and that a lot of this population is young people,"
Africa's large populace of young adults makes it a perfect place for US technology companies to expand their user base, and they are doing so more and more.
In July, Google launched an enthusiastic new enterprise to train 10 million young adults in online skills in the space of five years, and this move from Facebook sees the social media giant hot on Google's heels, as it were, to bring out and utilise Africa's potential.
Facebooks founder, Mark Zuckerberg, visited Nigeria and Kenya in August and dropped in on the Co-Creation Hub, he said: " I'll be meeting with developers and entrepreneurs, and learning about the startup ecosystem in Nigeria. The energy here is amazing and I'm excited to learn as much as I can."
Zuckerberg's visit was a surprise and his first to sub-Saharan Africa. He stopped at a local innovation centre & tech hub in Yaba, known as Nigeria's Silicon Valley. During his visit, Zuckerberg also made an announcement that his Chan-Zuckerberg initiative would make an investment of 24 million dollars in a tech startup that trains software developers in Africa, called Andela.
With all of this investment in Nigeria, it is hoped that it will spread and have a positive impact on not just Nigeria, but several African countries.