By Prince Osuagwu & Emeka Aginam
LAGOS—Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, yesterday, arrived Nigeria unannounced. The 32-year-old tech enterpreneur surprisingly made a sudden visit and inspection of activities at the Co-Creation Hub, Yaba Lagos.
His arrival to Nigeria is not unconnected to the ‘Facebook for developers’ workshop’ for Nigerian engineers, product managers and partners holding today in Lagos.
The event is expected to help the engineers build better applications and monetise 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
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.
However, Vanguard gathered that it was for security reasons that Zuckerberg’s plan to visit Nigeria and his eventual arrival was kept top secret.
A close source who spoke to Vanguard said: “It was a top secret and nobody was meant to know before his arrival. It was actually for security reasons but now that he is here, he would be able to interact with tech professionals and other Nigerians today in a press conference at Eko Hotel and Suites tomorrow (today).”
Being his first trip to Africa, Zuckerberg on arrival met with developers and partners, and also explored Nollywood.
One of his first stops on the trip was to visit a ‘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 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.”