Mark Zuckerberg’s visited Nigeria and Kenya to get a better understanding of the technological businesses there and learn more about their ecosystems.
During his visit to Nigeria, Zuckerberg passed through Lagos where he came across an innovation center and tech hub in Yaba. The employees at the Co-Creation Hub where surprised at Zuckerberg’s visit as they had heard no word of his visitation prior.
“This is my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa. 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”, he said.
At the CcHub, Zuckerberg talked to a number of children at a summer coding camp and some of the entrepreneurs there.
To the surprise of the locals, the Facebook founder was not escorted by heavy security as he walked around the streets of Lagos. He looked so at home jogging on the Lekki Bridge last Wednesday morning.
While in Lagos, Zuckerberg got to meet some of the Nollywood stars and talked about how the industry could drive the country’s revenue.
“One of the things I am most excited about my trip to Lagos is going to check out Nollywood. Nollywood sounds like a national treasure and the ability to produce video content that is moving and emotional transcends boundaries and will help tell stories of the amazing innovation, engineering and culture to the whole world”, he said.
Nigeria is currently the largest market for Facebook in Africa, with as many as 16 million users. 7 million of users log into the site everyday, while 97% log on via their mobile.
Zuckerberg also passed through Nairobi in Kenya where he met with entrepreneurs and developers. While there, he stopped by Nairobi’s technology innovation hub, namely, iHub, an open space for technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers.
“I’m starting at a place called iHub, where entrepreneurs can build and prototype their ideas. Two of the engineers I met, Fausto and Mark, designed a system to help people use mobile payments to buy small amounts of cooking gas, which is a lot safer and better for the environment than charcoal or kerosene”, said the billionaire. “It’s inspiring to see how engineers here are using mobile money to build businesses and help their community,” he added on his Facebook post.
Zuckerberg rounded up his experience by sharing memorable picture of his trip on Facebook and captioning:
“Thanks to everyone I met in Rome, Nigeria and Kenya for being so welcoming! The work being done by developers and entrepreneurs in Europe and Africa right now is really exciting, and I can’t wait to go back. Here are some of my favorite behind the scenes pictures from the trip.”
You can see some of the pictures below: