It is no longer news that internet/tech giants Facebook, will be partnering with Co-Creation hub Nigeria, (CcHUB), to have a better physical presence in Africa’s most populous country of over 180 million people. They intend to set up a tech hub in Nigeria in early 2018, the very first in the continent. I mean if you didn’t know before, now you know…
Asides the official launch, the first time I would have a hint about the news was a post I saw on Ime Archibong’s (Facebook’s VP Partnership) wall. According to Ime’s post, Facebook will be partnering with CcHuB Nigeria to open a creative community space for start-ups and developers alike to collaborate in Lagos. The purpose of Facebook’s incursion into the Nigerian tech hub space, is to encourage software developers, technology entrepreneurs and their likes to do what they know how to do best. It’s been described as part of a mission to give people the power to build communities and bring the world closer.
Ime’s post outlines what the program includes as;
*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
So, what does this really mean for the tech and start up space in Nigeria?
- First, it means whatever we are doing down here, we are getting noticed on an international level.
- Nothing beats the sense of community for startup founders. I call it the “home effect”. Being alone trying to achieve tasks like building a company that would affect lives around us is quite an uphill task. This partnership has further created a space where like minds can meet, share insights, stay motivated and be inspired in achieving what they’ve set out to achieve.
- It is also giving techies and start-ups better support, the opportunity to further enhance their skills and in turn give better value to their communities.
Some people have dubbed it an African tech space ‘land grab’ by Facebook and its fellow internet giant, Google, which opened its Launchpad in Nigeria this year. Whatever be the case, we need to maximise on the opportunities while encouraging local tech hubs to grow as well.
Aima Atigari is a fitness junkie who loves music and seeks to find a relationship between music and mental health. He is a partner at Rapt Creative Studio, a marketing and brand awareness company.in Port-harcourt