Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Zuckerberg, is currently in Nigeria to see how Facebook can better support technology development and entrepreneurship in the country and other African nations.
The Facebook CEO visited a ‘Summer of Code Camp’ at the Co-Creation Hub in Yaba, otherwise known as the Silicon Valley of Nigeria, as one of his first stops on the trip.
CcHub opened in 2011 and at the time did not have an office. Five years later, they have occupied three floors and the roof of a building. At the CcHub, people can learn how to code; developers can get help, launching their first products, and find mentors and funding. At CcHub, Zuckerberg met with developers such as Temi Giwa, who runs a platform called Life Bank that makes blood available when and where it is needed in Nigeria. Life Bank saves lives by mobilising blood donations, taking inventory of all blood available in the country, and delivering blood in the right condition to where it is needed.
After visiting CcHub, Zuckerberg said, “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.
“The first place I got to visit was the CcHuB in Yaba. I got to talk to kids at a summer coding camp and entrepreneurs who came to the CcHub to build and launch their apps. I’m looking forward to meeting more people in Nigeria.”
He then went to Andela, an engineering organisation that is building the next generation of developers and technical leaders in Africa.
Andela is a business that recruits the most talented technologists in Africa and shapes them into world-class developers through a four-year technical leadership programme. In the two years since it was founded, Andela has accepted just over 200 engineers from a pool of more than 40,000 applicants.
Andela developers spend six months mastering a technical stack and contributing to open source projects before being placed with global technology companies as full-time, distributed teammates, working out of Andela headquarters in Lagos and Nairobi.
Responding, the Director, Andela Lagos, Seni Sulyman, said, “We are excited and honoured to welcome 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.”