In a move which seemed like a direct response to Google’s launch of an accelerator in the continent, Facebook has announced that they would be building an African community hub in Lagos, Nigeria. This would be in partnership with ccHub which could be said to be the leading tech hub in the country at present.
According to Facebook, “As part of our ongoing commitment to grow a community of digitally empowered entrepreneurs, business leaders and people, NG_Hub will open early next year in Lagos in partnership with the Co Creation Hub. This multi-faceted space will bring together developers, start-ups, entrepreneurs and the wider community to collaborate, learn and exchange ideas.”
The Head of platform partnerships for Middle East and Africa at Facebook, Emeka Afigbo made mention that Nigeria is producing startups that have lots of potentials and pointed out that Facebook is committed to help them “build for the next billion”.
He went further to say that “One of our key passions at Facebook is nurturing and helping to develop the tech and startup community, and I’m excited to announce our partnership with the Nigerian tech hub ecosystem especially the NG_HUB space, here in Lagos,”
“Of the 91M Nigerians online, 22M of them are on Facebook every month. Giving communities in Nigeria the power to share and grow on Facebook is important to us. That’s why we are investing in local initiatives to promote innovation, job readiness and digital literacy to ensure Facebook has a positive impact on Nigeria’s economy and society.”
Before now, Facebook has had the goal to train and support over 50 000 students, entrepreneurs and small businesses in Nigeria with digital training and with the help of long term impact programmes. The creation of a hub such as this would go a long way to achieve this goal.
“87% of small businesses in Nigeria say digital skills are important when thinking about hiring a new employee, more important than where an applicant went to school.”
“Small businesses are the foundation of the Nigerian economy and an important part of the Facebook community. That’s why we are working with leading NGOs and training organisations to help small businesses in Nigeria to connect, share and grow online.”