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Zuckerberg inspiration for Nigeria's startups

Nigeria , 01 Sep 2016

Zuckerberg inspiration for Nigeria's startups

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg yesterday visited Lagos and actively engaged with the country's startup ecosystem, and developers in particular.

Zuckerberg's first stop was Nigeria's most prominent incubation center – the Yaba-based Co-Creation Hub, where he interacted with kids participating at the center's Summer of Code training programme. He also spoke to individual developers working on various projects at the hub.

Local startup founder Abiodun Tope said the Facebook exec was more interested in ideas that Nigerian developers are working on. "Two things I learnt while studying Mark Zuckerberg today. Fact was a lot of people were trying to get his attention, from guys trying to take selfies to ladies trying to shake/touch him and his host telling him about the schedule. He was more interested in the developer community for ideas. Three things he asked people, what (are) you working on? how long have you been working on it? and what challenges are you having with it? His ultra-focus on every responder was amazing."

Zuckerberg networked with, among others, Mark Essien, founder of, and Tayo Oviosu, founder of payment company Paga.

Developers were given insight into Facebook products, especially Messenger and WhatsApp and how local entrepreneurs can leverage on them to boost their businesses.

He also drew attention to Facebook's express Wi-Fi service in Lagos and the service's satellite space launch scheduled for this week.

"Express Wi-Fi empowers entrepreneurs to build a business by providing their community with access to the internet. Facebook designed the technology, and local internet providers add the connectivity. Express Wi-Fi is part of our initiative. This week, we're launching a satellite into space to enable more entrepreneurs across Africa to sell Express Wi-Fi and more people to access reliable internet. That means more connectivity and more opportunity for entrepreneurs like Rosemary everywhere," Zuckerberg posted on Facebook.

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