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Do Facebook’s investments in Nigeria match its market share?

Available figures have revealed that ahead of the launch of NG_Hub in Nigeria early next year, the monthly users of Facebook have risen to 22million.

Even though the Facebook team said “Giving communities in Nigeria the power to share and grow on Facebook is important to us”.

Abi Williams, Facebook’s SME Sales Manager, EMEA said: “Small businesses form the backbone of most of the thriving economies in the world, driving sustainable growth and creating jobs, and those in Nigeria are no different”.

“That’s why we are investing in local initiatives to promote innovation, job readiness and digital literacy to ensure Facebook has a positive impact on Nigeria’s economy and society”.

At $2 billion, the Lagos startup ecosystem is the most valuable in Africa, Facebook, said, adding that NG-Hub is part of its ongoing commitment to grow a community of digitally empowered entrepreneurs, business leaders and people.

Facebook Public Policy Director, Africa Ebele Okobi, said in an interview that “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 will open early next year in Lagos in partnership with the Co Creation Hub. This multi-faceted space will bring together developers, start-ups, entrepreneurs and the wider community to collaborate, learn and exchange ideas.

Nearly 1 in 2 small businesses on Facebook in Nigeria built their business on the platform.

87% of small businesses in Nigeria say digital skills are important when thinking about hiring a new employee, more important than where an applicant went to school.

Small businesses are the foundation of the Nigerian economy and an important part of the Facebook community.

“That’s why we are working with leading NGOs and training organisations to help small businesses in Nigeria to connect, share and grow online”.

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.”

On Facebook Nigeria Skills Programmes, the company said it 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.

It said 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; Jobs for Youth; Boost your Business; Creative Entrepreneurship Training; Online Safety + Digital Literacy Training in Schools and Universities.