His arrival was without the fanfare that we have come to associate with people who have that many zeroes attached to their names. It is Mark Zuckerberg we are talking about, the world’s seventh richest man, youngest billionaire and founder of Facebook.
He was in Lagos and his first point of visit was Co-creation hub, Sabo, Yaba Lagos. He interacted with members of the Nigerian startup community in the vicinity then he visited Andela another one of Nigeria’s promising tech hub which his (Zuckerberg) foundation recently threw their weight behind.
His visit is phenomenal and while we still recover from the surprise the impact of his visit will long be felt in our hearts and in the Nigerian tech ecosystem. What does Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Lagos, Nigeria mean to Nigerians individually and as a society?
Very clearly, it suggests that even as the economy tries to find its balance, the opportunities abounding in the Nigerian tech sphere are large enough to warrant the world’s seventh richest man coming all the way to take a look for himself.
He arrived just in time to be ahead of Y Combinator’s visit to Nigeria which was supposed to be in September. Zuckerberg may have come just early enough to be able to make his mark as the first of the tech giants of this generation to make this symbolic visit. It surely will be the first of many to come.
Facebook has been trying to sell free basics to the developing world, and this could be an opportunity for Zuckerberg to personally convince Nigerians to use the service.
Whatever it is, the writings on the wall are even bolder, Nigeria is a good place to establish a start-up and now is as good a time as any.