Facebook launches Nigeria initiative

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Facebook has announced a new nationwide initiative in Nigeria to
further cement its commitment and investment in the country, and across the
continent. Incorporating a series of high profile partnerships, training programmes
and a physical space that will serve as a center for learning and skills development,
this set of initiatives is aimed at helping to develop and nurture communities,
including small businesses, the tech and start-up ecosystem, youths and creatives.

“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,’ commented
Ebele Okobi, Facebook’s Public Policy director, Africa. “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.’’

NG_HUB from Facebook
In partnership with CC Hub, Facebook will be opening the doors to its first community
Hub space in the heart of Lagos, scheduled to open early next year. “NG_HUB from
Facebook’ will be a multi-faceted creative space, which will connect and bring together
developers, start-ups and the wider community to collaborate, learn and exchange
ideas. The NG_HUB will also host a start-up incubator programme, as well as bespoke
trainings, guest speakers and a dedicated event space, all aimed at attracting the best
talent and driving innovation in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem.

Additionally, across Nigeria, Facebook will be supporting a number of existing tech
Hubs to serve the communities outside Lagos. The hubs will function as learning
centres for local communities, providing multiple opportunities for training and access.

Commenting on the announcement of NG_HUB in partnership with CC Hub, and
Facebook’s further support of local hubs across Nigeria, Emeka Afigbo, 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 Nigeria Skills Programmes
Facebook is committed to working with Nigerian small businesses, tech entrepreneurs
and the next generation of leaders to better understand and utilise the power of
digital tools for economic growth. Launching a series of learning-based programmes
facilitated by local training partners, these have been designed to provide skills that
lead to employment and to support the growth of small businesses. The goal is to
train and support over 50 000 students, small businesses and creative entrepreneurs
across the country through a series of scaled digital skills trainings, as well as long-
term impact programmes.

The training programmes will include:

• 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

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 one in two small businesses on Facebook say they built their business on the
platform, and 62 per cent stated they have been able to use Facebook to help find
employees for their business, whilst over half (58 per cent) of small businesses on the
platform say they have been able to hire more employees’ due to growth since joining
Facebook.

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