Facebook has said it will open a “community hub space” in Nigeria by 2018 which will be an “incubator programme” to help develop technology start-ups, while it will also train 50,000 Nigerians in digital skills.
It said the centre aims at encouraging software developers and technology entrepreneurs and become the latest technology giant to pursue a training programme in Africa.
Africa’s rapid population growth, falling data costs and heavy adoption of mobile phones rather than PCs is attracting technology firms looking to attract more users.
Facebook did not provide details of the period over which its planned training would take place in Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous country with 180 million inhabitants.
Its Regional Head, Platform Partnership, Emeka Afigbo said: “We understand the important role Facebook plays here in Nigeria with developers and start-ups and are invested in helping these communities.”
In a statement in Lagos, Facebook said the training – aimed at software developers, entrepreneurs and students – would be offered in cities including the capital, Abuja, Port Harcourt in the Nouth, Calabar in the Southeast and Kaduna in the North.
Last year Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visited technology companies in Lagos and his charitable foundation provided $24 million to Andela, which trains developers.
Google’s chief executive in a July visit to Lagos said the company aimed to train 10 million people across the continent in online skills over the next five years. He also said it hoped to train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.