Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder and CEO of Facebook, today visited Kenya on his surprise African tour that kicked off in Nigeria. While in Nairobi, the young dollar billionaire surprised many by having lunch at an ordinary sub-urban outlet run by the mother of Dennis Oliech, one of Kenya’s football stars.
Zuckerberg had lunch with the Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and Technology Joe Mucheru and ICT and Innovation Principal Secretary Eng Victor Kyalo at Mama Oliech Restaurant, in Hurlingham, Nairobi.
“I had lunch in Nairobi with Joseph Mucheru, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of Information and Communications. We talked about internet access and his ambitious plans for connecting everyone in Kenya,” Mr Zuckerberg, who started Facebook in college then dropped out as it gained ground, said after the lunch.
“We ate at Mama Oliech Restaurant – a local place everyone recommended. One of my favourite parts of traveling to a new country is trying the food. I enjoyed ugali and a whole fried tilapia for the first time and loved them both!”
Isn’t it interesting that on his fishing mission for business, he ate fish?
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg arrived in Africa on Tuesday in Lagos, where he inspected activities at the Co-Creation Hub, Yaba Lagos. His visit is expected to help the engineers build better applications and monetize them more effectively. He met with local businesses and developers in an effort to understand how Facebook (could “better support tech development and entrepreneurship across Africa.
His visit included a trip to a Yaba, known as the Silicon Valley of Nigeria, where he toured a coding camp for kids and met with about 50 local startup founders and developers at CcHub, a local innovation center.
Africa is a big deal for Facebook. Facebook last year opened its first office in Africa, seeking to boost its ad revenue by connecting businesses with its users. The team in Africa will focus initially on Kenya (East Africa), Nigeria (West Africa), and South Africa (Southern Africa).
Growing active users in Africa
In October last year the social site announced that active users in Africa had grown 20 per cent to 120 million in June 2015 from 100 million in September 2014. More than 80 per cent of these people access Facebook from their mobile phones.
According to the same research, up to 2.2 million Kenyans log on to their Facebook accounts every day while about 4.5 million use the site per month, while in Nigeria Daily Facebook users stand at 7.1 million, while 15 million log on every month.
The company had taken most of the digital advertising revenues in Kenya and his trip is seen as a move to firm up relations with governments, telecoms operators, agencies and other stakeholders to deliver localised advertising options as consumption of programmed ads catches on.
He also had similar meetings in Nigeria. Thrilled by level of technology development at the CcHub in Lagos, Mark Zuckerberg, said: “This is my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa. I’ll be meeting with developers and entrepreneurs, and learning about the startup ecosystem in Nigeria. The energy here is amazing and I’m excited to learn as much as I can.” As Zuckerberg walked down the street, he drew loud cheers from passersby.
Zuckerberg has been increasingly involved in African initiatives this year. In June, his foundation – the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – made a multi-million dollar investment in Andela, a two-year-old startup that trains African software developers and gives them full-time roles at international companies. Andela works out of headquarters in Lagos and Nairobi, Kenya.
Zuckerberg has also put his weight behind an initiative called “Free Basics,” which provides free Internet access to cellphone users in under-served countries, including Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya.