Many Nigerians express joy on his coming
By Ada Anioji
Nigerians from all walks of life have been responding very positively to the visit to the country by Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg in a country where the Facebook founder is a very well-known personality.
The visit which is the iconic techpreneur’s first to sub-Saharan Africa is expected to last a few days and may also include a call on President Muhammadu Buhari.
While there is clearly a celebrity dimension to the visit, there is also a strictly underlying business feature to the trip.
This is even as statistics point to the fact that Nigeria is the largest Facebook market in Africa, with 16 million people visiting the social media platform monthly. Nigeria remains Facebook biggest market. Indeed, some sector watchers say that it is in order to further extend its control and boost its already burgeoning market share, that Facebook launched FreeBasics service in the country in May.
Zuckerberg is expected to spend a few days in Nigeria and before he leaves, he may meet with President Buhari or Vice President Osinbajo. However, authoritative sources say the prospects of that meeting holding had not really been confirmed as at press time.
Zuckerberg started his visit from Lagos, where he reportedly said “I will be meeting with developers and entrepreneurs and learning about the startup ecosystem in Nigeria.”
The Facebook founder’s first stop in Lagos was the Co-Creation Hub (Cc Hub), in Yaba, Lagos State. He also met with Rosemary Njoku at the Facebook Express Wi-Fi stand that she runs in Lagos.
“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 said.
Zuckerberg had been most upbeat about the potentials of the internet and social media in Nigeria over the past year, publicly acknowledging the work of important and notable expressions like BudgIT and Jobberman.
In a post documenting his encounter with Rosemary Njoku on uesday, Zuckerberg wrote:
‘This is Rosemary Njoku. I just met Rosemary at the Facebook Express Wi-Fi stand she runs in Lagos.
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 Internet.org initiative.
Rosemary already had a business before she also started selling Express Wi-Fi as well, but she told me she now has 3,000 customers and makes much more money from Express Wi-Fi. She’s a great example of how local entrepreneurs spread internet access around the world.
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.’