Facebook To Launch A Hub In Lagos Early Next Year

Posted on November 22, 2017

FUNSHO AROGUNDADE

Facebook on Wednesday announced a new nationwide initiative in Nigeria to further cement its commitment and investment in the country, and across the continent.

According to Facebook, the initiatives aim to further drive innovation, skills development, create economic impact across communities in Nigeria, including small businesses, the tech and startup ecosystem.

The company plans to achieve this through various partnerships, training programmes and an innovation hub — NG_HUB — that will serve as a centre for learning and skill development.

“In Nigeria, more than 22 million people use Facebook every month and 87 per cent of SMEs say that when they hire, digital skills are more important than where an applicant went to school. This demonstrates that the power of digital skills to aid economic growth and development has never been more important,” said Ebele Okobi, Facebook Public Policy Director, Africa.

He added, “At Facebook, our mission is clear: To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Our investments and commitments announced in Lagos today further reflect our intent to partner with Nigeria’s policy makers and its vibrant tech and entrepreneurial eco-system to create economic opportunity and independence in Nigeria and across Africa.”

Facebook plans to train and support 50,000 students, SMEs and entrepreneurs across Nigeria through a series of digital skills trainings.

These trainings, which will be facilitated by local training partners are designed to provide skills that lead to employment and to support the growth of small businesses.

Facebook is partnering with CCHub to launch NG_HUB in Lagos which will bring together the Nigerian tech community including developers and startups to enable them collaborate, learn and exchange ideas.

Outside Lagos, the company will be supporting a number of existing tech hubs to serve the communities; Ventures Platform in Abuja, CoLab in Kaduna and Roar Nigeria in Enugu.

The hubs will function as learning centres for local communities, providing multiple opportunities for training and access.

Speaking on the NG_HUB, Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships, Middle East & Africa said: “Nigeria is producing a new generation of exciting start-ups that have incredible potential. We understand the important role Facebook plays here in Nigeria with developers and start-ups and are invested in helping these communities build for the next billion.

“One of our key passions at Facebook is nurturing and helping to develop the tech and start-up community, and I’m excited to announce our partnership with the Nigerian tech hub ecosystem especially the NG_HUB space, here in Lagos. Facebook hopes to attract the best talent and drive innovation in the Nigerian tech ecosystem.”

Ahead of the programme launch, Facebook undertook a detailed ‘Economic Impact Study’ to further understand how communities like small businesses and consumers in Nigeria use the platform, and the effectiveness of social media as a growth tool. Nearly 1 in 2 small businesses on Facebook say they built their business on the platform, and 62% stated they have been able to use Facebook to help find employees for their business, whilst over half (58%) of small businesses on the platform say they have been able to hire more employees’ due to growth since joining Facebook.

Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Digital (in partnership with the Fate Foundation) – a four-week intensive programme for entrepreneurs across Nigeria. This will be offered throughout the year in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Ibadan, Kaduna and Enugu

Jobs for Youth: Coding for Employment – a training programme to develop Nigeria’s next generation of coders – designed to upskill developers and prepare them for employment

Boost your Business – designed for small, medium sized businesses owners, teaching the fundamentals of digital marketing for business growth, with the goal to help business owners better understand their brand, audience and how to best reach and service them online

Creative Entrepreneurship Training – specialised training designed specifically for creatives, including photographers, filmmakers, musicians, artists, bloggers and other creative content creators

Online Safety + Digital Literacy Training in Schools and Universities – featuring a series of online safety and digital literacy courses for secondary school and university students.

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