Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and seventh richest man in the world, quietly came into Nigeria yesterday. The 32-year-old tech entrepreneur surprisingly made a sudden visit and inspection of activities at the Co-Creation Hub, Yaba Lagos.
Mr. Zuckerberg and his wife came in from visiting Pope Francis in Rome, Italy earlier this week where he enjoyed some local tourist attractions. From Italy, it is now known, he traveled to Nigeria.
There is going to be a Facebook Developer’s event today in Lagos and his arrival to Nigeria is not unconnected to the event. The workshop is organized to bring together Nigerian engineers, product managers, and partners. The event is expected to help the engineers build better applications and monetize them more effectively.
Before his arrival, it was earlier announced that the company’s Director of Global product Partnerships, Nigeria’s Ime Archibong was to lead speakers to the event where Facebook would unveil a ten-year roadmap that can help improve Nigeria’s economy
The first photos to emerge from this unannounced visit are of him meeting with tech entrepreneurs and youth in ‘Summer of Code Camp’ at the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) in Yaba, known as the Silicon Valley of Nigeria where young developers learn how to code and develop their solutions while looking for mentors and angel investors.
At CcHub, Zuckerberg met with developers like 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 mobilizing blood donations, taking inventory of all blood available in the country, and delivering blood in the right condition to where it is needed.
Thrilled by the level of technology development at the CcHub, Mark 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 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.”
Facebook is an online social networking service based in Menlo Park, California, United States, which Zuckerberg and his fellow Harvard College students and roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes formed on February 4, 2004.
After its initial public offering, IPO in February 2012, Facebook began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching an original peak market capitalization of $104 billion. On July 13, 2015, it became the fastest company in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to reach a market cap of $250 billion.
As of March this year, Facebook had hit over 1.65 billion monthly active users out of which 7.1 million people are daily users from Nigeria. This makes the country Africa’s biggest user of the social media platform.
Welcome Mark Zuckerberg to Nigeria! Looking forward to the event tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/cUzUKNG3BU
— Tayo Oviosu (@oviosu) August 30, 2016
It will be recalled that Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg’s own philanthropy has increasingly focused its attention to the continent of Africa. The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative invested heavily in Andela, a tech and coding company providing training to young tech engineers has generated a lot of buzz in Nigeria and Africa more generally. Facebook is also holding workshops for tech developers this month in Kenya and South Africa.
However, Rubiztech gathered that it was for security reasons that Zuckerberg’s plan to visit Nigeria and his eventual arrival was kept top secret.