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Facebook Seeks To Help Nigerian Start-Ups Become Big Businesses

Software developer and Head, Platform Partnerships, Middle East and Africa, Facebook, Chukwuemeka Afigbo plays a very unique role at the company’s Menlo Park, California, United States headquarters, as he is charged with using local communities to drive the platform’s developer ecosystem across the two regions. His passion for technology has seen him work on driving Facebook’s global developer partnerships in Middle East and Africa. He spoke with ADEYEMI ADEPETUN about how Facebook is impacting the tech space in Nigeria, proper regulations and sundry issues. Excerpts:
How would you describe the impact of Facebook on Nigeria and Africa?
Our mission gives people the power to build communities in order to bring the world closer together. And that permeates all our platforms. From Facebook to WhatsApp, Instagram and all that. I know that currently, in Africa, we have about 67 million people who are active every day on the platform. And these people are doing different things. They are running their businesses; they are getting in touch with families, all sorts of things. That has built that layer of communication in the continent that people are leveraging across different platforms; bringing people together. That has also had impact on the economy, on education, on even normal wellbeing, being in touch with family and things like that.

Can you be specific about Nigeria?
In Nigeria, I think we currently have about 14 million daily active users and about 27 million active users monthly. Coming to Nigeria, again the platform has been very useful. A lot of people have built their careers on the platform on the entertainment space and even now, on the tech space. Talking about partnerships with the developers’ ecosystem, if you come to Nigeria, we have the NG_Hub project that we launched earlier this year. Then we have a number of initiatives for small businesses, for creatives, for tech entrepreneurs and all sorts.

We currently kicked off an acceleration programme for tech entrepreneurs at NG_Hub. This programme is not just in Lagos, but also spans the whole country through coollaborations with about seven tech hubs across the country, in Kano, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Jos and a number of other cities. On the SME side, we recently concluded a training of some people who are interested in leveraging digital marketing to drive their business and we graduated a whole lot of people who are able to do that. Sothere are a number of initiatives that we have here in Nigeria.

Is Facebook in any partnership with the Nigerian government at any level?



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