Facebook brings first African tech hub to Nigeria

•Begins digital training for 50,000 youths
Social media platform, Facebook has opened its first African technology hub in Nigeria.Located at Mongomery, Yaba, a suburb of Lagos, it is named NG_Hub. The hub, which is equipped with modern technologies, also boasts of several work spaces.

In the likes of the CCHUBs, NG_Hub,  was established to further deepen advance technology, including Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, among others in the country.

At the unveiling, Facebook also disclosed that it planned to empower about 50,000 young Nigerians with digital training, which had started.

Facebook, which claimed that there are 26 million daily active users of the plaftorm in Nigeria, explained that it was keen on enabling a robust technology ecosystem in the country.

According to the Vice President, Product Partnership, Facebook, Ime Archibong, the launch was about what the platform can do to enhance the great development in the ICT sphere of the country.

Archibong revealed that so much investment went into the project, which started seven months ago.

He said the NG_Hub would service the entire ICT ecosystem, including, SMEs.

From his perspective, Facebook’s Manager, Developers Programme, Emeka Afigbo, the hub would provide opportunities for businesses to be formed and developed.

Afigbo, who revealed that lots of SMEs rely on Facebook to drive their businesses, noted that most businesses thriving today were built through the social media platform.

According to him, as part of drive to develop the ecosystem, Facebook has started the process of training 50,000 young people in digital skills so as to be able to leverage technology to stimulate economic growth.

At a post-event interview with The Guardian, Facebook’s Director, Public Policy, Africa, Ebele Okobi, the choice of Nigeria to be first destination in Africa was because of the strategic importance of the country in Africa to the technology company.

Besides, Okobi said there has been a very strong technology ecosystem, which is fast emerging from Nigeria, “which must be nurtured and supported adequately.”

She revealed that Facebook will be working with some partners, including CCHUB, Digify, APCON, She Leads Africa, Tripple A, among others to drive the initiative and makes it more beneficial to the country and Africa as a whole.

From the Office of the Vice President, the Special Assistant on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to the VP, Ife Adebayo, the hub should further enhance ICT development in Nigeria.

Adebayo revealed that the VP, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, is committed to the advancement of technology in the country, “reason he personally toured about 10 tech hubs recently so as to have first hand information about them and to know areas of challenges.”

He urged the tech ecosystem to come together as a body in order to be able to influence government policies adequately.

For the Bosun Tijani, Co-Founder, CCHUB, by the launch, the next 10 years would be great for the country because of the enormous development that would come thereafter through the hub.

According to him, tech keeps evolving but requires an ecosystem that encourages, allows developments.

“Today is another level of development. Technology gives us the chance to build new solutions for the country. Technology in the last 20 years has enabled several industries, even governments,” he stressed.

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