Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is in Lagos, and as expected, his first stop was Nigeria’s Silicon Valley, Yaba (often called Yabacon Valley), an area which is growing as Nigeria’s technology hub and cluster of hundreds of banking institutions, educational institutions, technology and startup companies. He visited CcHUB, the country’s first open living lab and pre-incubation space where he met with developers. The entrepreneur also met with partners. He will also explore Nollywood, the world’s third largest movie industry in his first visit to Africa.
“This is my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa,” said Zuckerberg after visiting CcHUB. “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.”
“The first place I got to visit was the Co-creation Hub Nigeria (CcHUB) in Yaba. I got to talk to kids at a summer coding camp and entrepreneurs who come to CcHub to build and launch their apps. I’m looking forward to meeting more people in Nigeria.”
Zuckerberg also went to Andela, an engineering organization that is building the next generation of technical leaders in Africa. The Facebook founder and his wife, Priscilla Chan’s social issues-minded fund Chan Zuckerberg Initiative led a $24 million Series B round of funding into Andela earlier in the year.
Seni Sulyman, Director, Andela Lagos, said: “We are excited and honored to welcome Mark Zuckerberg to Lagos. His visit reinforces not only his support of Andela’s mission, but his belief that indeed the next generation of great technology leaders will come out of Lagos, Nigeria and cities across Africa. Andela has created a platform for passionate, driven software developers and engineers to break into the global tech ecosystem, but the barriers to entry are still very high. Mark’s visit demonstrates to all Nigerian developers and entrepreneurs that they’ve caught the attention of the tech world, and they are capable of succeeding on a truly global level.”
At the end of the day Zuckerberg stopped by an Express WiFi stand in Lagos owned by Rosemary Njoku. Facebook’s Express WiFi lets entrepreneurs like Rosemary set up a hot spot to help their community access apps and services built by local developers.
Zuckerberg is in Nigeria to listen and learn and take ideas back to California on how Facebook can better support tech development and entrepreneurship across Africa.