Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg who arrived Nigeria Tuesday unannounced, Wednesday, had a town hall meeting with Nigerian technology application developers in Lagos, charging them to look inwards for applications that can bolster the ailing economy. Mark Zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg Zuckeberg said that the best way to predict the future was to be creative, adding that there was no problem in the world that does not have application to solve it. He confirmed that currently Nigeria hosts about 18 million Facebook users making it the largest country of Facebook users in Africa, saying that it was majorly instrumental to why he made Nigeria his first port of call in sub Saharan Africa. The Town hall meeting which held at LandMark event centre Oniru, Victoria Island was not open to the media as Vanguard gathered that Zuckerberg insisted that the meeting was strictly between him and Nigerian tech application developers and engineers. However, a viewing centre was opened in Eko Hotel and Suites where the town hall meeting was streamed live to the media.
At the meeting, Zuckerberg reminded the local developers that there were a lot of things happening in the country they could use their applications to solve. “There are a lot of things happening around you that if you think deep, you’ll use apps to solve. All I can say is that you keep open minds and keep an eye on apps. “The Eco system must keep developing. There are a few apps that are going to be built in years to come that are going to make things cheaper. That is my wish for Nigerian developers because the power to change things is in your hands. Definitely the economy of Nigeria is not going to be built by companies like facebook. The reason I am here with you today is that you are already doing it with your initiatives and businesses. Facebook can always do our bit by providing the enablement and interactions like this that can spur you to do more. I believe that the ecosystem will erupt when you continue to learn new things and consistent in building new applications. Expressing the respect he has for Nigeria as one of the countries in Africa with largest facebook users, Zuckerberg said: “There are about 18 million Facebook users in Nigeria. That is huge an enormous. It is for countries like Nigeria that we have been able to allow translation of our products in different languages and dialects. There are a lot of technicalities involved in making this translation and letting services go in different areas. But the most important thing is that we have been able to show the passion and concern we feel for our different customers around the world.
We are also planning to allow more translation of facebook contents and applications in more dialects both in Nigeria and around the world” The Nigerian event is his first developer question and answer,Q&A session in Africa and more than 100 of Nigeria’s top developers attended. The Q&A was part of a developer workshop being hosted in Lagos, to help Nigerian engineers build applications to reach local and international audiences. The workshop was one of a series to be held across Africa this past week, with others already having taken place in Johannesberg and Nairobi. During the Q&A Zuckerberg spoke to Nigerian developers about how excited he was to visit Nigeria and witness first- hand the creativity and innovation which is happening in places like Yaba. Facebook’s Director of Global Product Partnerships, Ime Archibong, who hosted the developer conference, said: “When I came to Lagos back in May this year I was really struck by the energy of the tech scene here and by how many people were building. As someone with strong links to Nigeria, I’ve been trying to expose Mark to this ecosystem for a while so I am very excited for him to be able to come here and meet some of Nigeria’s top entrepreneurs and developers today.” Top Nigerian tech talented developers Zuckerberg met included: Jobberman Jobberman was started from a dorm room at the Obafemi Awolowo University in August 2009 when owners,Opeyemi Awoyemi, Ayodeji Adewunmi and Lekan Olude, decided to do something about the high unemployment rate and started the largest catalogue of jobs in Nigeria. Fast forward to 2016, it has become Africa’s largest jobs website and one of the most recognisable start up success stories on the continent. As Nigeria’s No.1 Recruitment website, it keeps people informed about the latest jobs in Nigeria, vacancies and recruitment opportunities.
In February 2012, Jobberman was named No. 8 in Forbes Magazine Top 20 Tech Start ups in Africa . Balogunmarket.ng Balogunmarket.ng enables people to order things directly from one of West Africa’s biggest markets, Balogun Market in Lagos, using WhatsApp. The market traders, supply the goods and the ecornmerce team handle the logistics from their fulfilment hub located in the middle of the market where they provide free photography, tagging and last mile delivery services. Truppr.com Truppr is a social tool that provides sports lovers and fitness enthusiasts alike with an easy way to find local fitness partners while on business trips, holidays or in a new city. If you are visiting a city and fancy joining people for a run or a game of football you can log on, see what is happening and join people already doing sports. The app was designed by Bosun Tijani, who also runs Co Creation Hub,(CCHub, after he realised it was hard for him to find people to play football with when he visited a new city.
This article was first published on Vanguard newspaper website