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How Facebook’s Africa expansion could help foster new hubs like Nigeria’s ‘Silicon Valley’

 

Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg met with developers in Lagos, pushing startup enthusiasm and sparking new interest in innovative companies in the region.

Facebook also unveiled more details on its expansion plans to tap into Africa’s 1.2-billion-person market, including new tech hubs for startup development and the construction of 37,000 kilometers of underwater internet cable, which will encircle the entire continent.

Now, four years later, the social media giant recently announced that the first Facebook office will open in the second quarter of 2021 in Lagos, further solidifying the area’s reputation as “Nigeria’s Silicon Valley.”

Facebook’s regional director for Africa, Nunu Ntshingila, when interviewed by a CNN reporter,¬† to break down how the company has been fostering a growing audience and what the expectations are for the platform on the African continent.

She said,

“I think we have seen ups and downs, and I think right at the beginning we saw a lot of people were quite excited about working from home. We’ve also started to see the unintended consequences. And this is a global phenomenon. How do we make sure that this is not a sprint? This is a marathon. This is something that Mark Zuckerberg has spoken a lot about¬† the idea that actually we could look into many areas of the world for talent and I think that is a very positive outcome of the period that we’ve just gone through.”

According to the regional director, she stated that, “In sub-Saharan Africa alone, we’ve grown by over 50 million over time. These are new users that are coming to use our platform very differently. These are businesses that are now coming on to our platform to grow their own businesses and finding new customers.

So yes, we have seen an exponential growth in terms of users, just across our entire set of platforms, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.

” She continued further saying, “we believe that Africa will continue to play a significant role for Facebook into the future. This is one of the youngest continents in the world. If you just think about it, there’s 1.2 billion people in this region, there’s a lot of people that we continue to serve. we are excited to see how Facebook is going to develop going forward. I’ve been very lucky to work in this region and begin to develop what Facebook will look like into the future. And up until now, it’s been an incredible ride.”

Source : CNN

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