Totally unannounced, Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, arrived in Lagos yesterday on his first tour of Sub-Saharan Africa, where over 100 million Facebook users reside, of which over 15 million are in Nigeria.
I am very excited about this visit, which I think sends very important messages about Nigeria and Nigerians.
Mark Zuckerberg commented on the vibrancy, energy and entrepreneurship that he witnessed. From the moment he set foot at Lagos airport, it was palpable, he said. This validation underscores the resilience of Nigerians who inspite of an ongoing economic recession, are at the forefront of leading edge technology and innovation. As Oby Ezekwesili tweeted, “note how the YOUNG redefine Nigeria through IT”
Nigeria’s “Silicon Valley”
For the 6th richest man to visit Nigeria inspite without fan fare is noteworthy. Clearly Nigeria presents an incredible business opportunity for Facebook but there are also other interesting lessons for us. This visit was not to Abuja and government; it was instead to Yaba, the centre of the tech industry in Nigeria, or Nigeria’s Silicon Valley. Indeed it is through the private sector’s technology and innovation drive that our economy can and will thrive and create the millions of jobs and economic growth that we so badly need.
I hope that prospective investor looking for investment opportunities, will look right here in our technology market and support some of these entrepreneurs. It would be useful for some structure to be put in place so that tech entrepreneurs can easily connect with investors.
This visit underscores the fact that in the midst of an economic downturn, and all the tales of doom and gloom, there are incredible opportunities that abound for those who seek them out. “Opportunity favours the prepared.” Don’t be caught napping. Get plugged in to the future!
Leave a Reply