Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is visiting Lagos, Nigeria, on his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa, and it looks as if he’s having a blast.
So far he’s visited a camp that teaches kids how to code, gone on a run through the city, and hosted a Q&A with local entrepreneurs.
He even crashed a Nigerian hip-hop music video.
Here’s everything Zuckerberg has been up to in Lagos:
Zuckerberg landed in Lagos on Tuesday and visited a kids coding camp called CcHub in Yaba, a suburb of Lagos that’s considered to be the city’s tech hub.
“The energy here is amazing and I’m excited to learn as much as I can,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
When Zuckerberg visits another country, he always makes sure to go for a run. Here he is jogging across the Ikoyi Bridge in Lagos:
The Facebook cofounder paid a visit to a woman named Rosemary Njoku who sells Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi stations to locals.
These stations are part of Facebook’s Internet.org program and provide cheap internet access.
“Rosemary already had a business before she also started selling Express Wi-Fi as well, but she told me she now has 3,000 customers and makes much more money from Express Wi-Fi,” according to Zuckerberg. “She’s a great example of how local entrepreneurs spread internet access around the world.”
Zuckerberg also visited the Lagos office of Andela, a two-year-old Nigerian startup he invested $24 million into through his personal Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Courtesy of Jeremy Johnson
Andela pays young people in Afria to learn how to code. Here’s a short summary from our profile of the startup:
The concept behind Andela is pretty straightforward, CEO Jeremy Johnson explains.
There is a shortage of software developers in the US. That’s created a boom in coding “bootcamps,” which charge tens of thousands of dollars for a few months of training, and it has increased outsourcing to developers all over the world (especially Eastern Europe and India). Demand for coders, in other words, is huge.
There are also a lot of smart young people in Africa who don’t get the opportunity to become programmers. Obiora explains it like this: parents in Nigeria want their talented kids to become doctors, or engineers, or something established. That’s fine, he says, but software development should be on the table too. There’s an untapped supply.
He held an hour-long Q&A with local entrepreneurs.
“The thing that’s striking [about Nigeria] is the entrepreneurial energy,” he told the crowd.
During the talk, Zuckerberg touched on the business of WhatsApp, which recently announced that it would start sharing data with Facebook to let people message businesses. Zuckerberg said the goal for WhatsApp right now is to grow its user base, not monetization.
He also talked about the idea of augmented-reality glasses that let you place virtual objects over the real world — which sounds a lot like what Magic Leap is working on.
“That’s gonna happen,” he said. “Think about all the things in your life today that could actually just be an app in that world … How many of the things in your life don’t have to actually be physical?”
He ate authentic Nigerian food for the first time and loved it.
During the Q&A, Zuckerberg said he tried Nigerian jollof rice with shrimp, which he said was “delicious.”
He also tried snail for the first time, even though some of his team members advised against it.
“I don’t come to Nigeria often,” he recounted telling his team. “We’re eating the snail.”
On Wednesday, Zuckerberg visited Nollywood, the country’s film-industry epicenter. “Visited Nollywood, crashed a hip hop music video, and met some of Nigeria’s biggest stars,” he said.
We’ve asked Facebook which shoot Zuckerberg crashed and if he would be making a cameo in the finished video.