The Impact Of Facebook Founder Mike Zuckerberg’s Visit To Nigeria – Tony Ogunlowo

mark zuckerberg visit nigeria

Sept 4, 2016 – The Impact Of Facebook Founder Mike Zuckerberg’s Visit To Nigeria

An Article By Tony Ogunlowo

According to CNN Mark Zuckerberg has just made his first visit to ‘Sub-Sahara-Africa’ to witness the impact of his Facebook social media enterprise and to promote his Express WIFI internet service.

One should point it out to the CNN journalists and researchers, probably graduates from fourth-grade American universities, that there really isn’t a place called ‘Sub-Sahara-Africa’ anymore as it’s populated with countries that have names like ‘Nigeria’.

So Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg arrives in Nigeria, incognito, wearing his trademark low-key T-shirt and jeans and casually strolls into the Yaba offices of Co-creation Hub and Andela.

mark zuckerberg visit africa

For future reference someone ought to tell him that if you’re 54 billion dollar Golden Goose you don’t go walk about in Yaba. The area boys there will jump you, mug you and kidnap you – bodyguards or not! But yet again nobody probably told him that if you’re a Tech Giant in Nigeria ( – do we have any?) you’re supposed to arrive in an entourage comprising of gun-toting policemen, bullet-proof 4X4s, a bevy of hanger-ons – and of course the full red carpet treatment.

But yet again our mentalities are different. When a Black Man has mega-money he suddenly thinks he’s the King of the Universe, struts around like a peacock on heat, reeking of ostentatious luxury and expects everyone to bow down and kiss his feet. Whereas the White Man thinks ‘well I’m stupendously rich but I still want to live my simple life’. Big difference. Money doesn’t make a person!

Whilst we might be ‘fantastically corrupt’ as ex-PM British Cameron once referred to us, the world – and tech giants – are watching us carefully, especially our youths who are a dab hand at computers, coding and social media( – not forgetting the antics of the yahoo yahoo 419 boys for which we’re infamously known worldwide!). Nigeria has the largest online social media base and its growing, perpetuating every aspect of lives. Growth is greater in Africa than it is in the rest of the world. For marketers and developers this is paradise: a vast untapped market.

The Western world is finally waking up to the fact that we’re not just a bunch of tree-climbing, monkey-chasing, goat-herding imbeciles as previously thought. We have as much raw talent as they do, hence his visit.

Zuckerberg wants to get the whole world on to social media. To do this he is interested in sponsoring the next generation of developers and start-ups. Andela recently received funding to the tune of $24 million from the Zuckerberg foundation. To get everyone online poorer nations need a reliable internet service. His organisation, Internet.org, intends to get 4.5 billion unconnected people, worldwide, as soon as possible. To achieve this he has funded research into solar-powered high-altitude mobile relay platforms and a new breed of satellites. Unfortunately his flagship satellite, Amos-6, was destroyed in the Space-X rocket explosion a couple of days ago when he was in Nigeria ( – abi you naija people don curse am?)

Kenya, Zuckerbergs next port of call, is a world leader in mobile payments and he was keen to learn all about it. Just like in Nigeria Kenya has its own silicon valley called iHub and many of the developers and start-ups are working on apps geared towards the local populace.

While we have a government and private investors who are blind to the advances being made by our tech savvy youths (- until they hack their bank accounts!) others are watching carefully and ready to invest in them. As Zuckerberg himself admits that Africa will build the future.

This is the third foreign billionaire to visit Nigeria in recent times: one,Gates, came to donate cash towards our ailing and failing health service, another, Bono of U2, came to highlight the plight of people living in deplorable IDP camps and now Zuckerberg.

Isn’t it time our own home-grown ‘billionaires’ follow suit, or haven’t they been shamed enough?

9 thoughts on “The Impact Of Facebook Founder Mike Zuckerberg’s Visit To Nigeria – Tony Ogunlowo

  1. Nice one Mr tony, you summed this article up nicely. most of our so called millionaires and billionaires are not confident enough to show their faces, the main reason being that the bulk of their wealth are ill gotten and most are looted from our common wealth. They will rather donate to church or mosque where they will be hailed and praised and turn a blind eye to the source of the wealth.In this day and age we are still importing wheat and rice these are our staple foods which should be in abundance. we need as a matter of urgency big investment in agriculture to counter the effect of dependency on foreign imports. we need to resuscitate our local economy to engage the youths and give hope for a better future.

  2. a billionaire,jst look at how simple he looks,if he is our nigerian guy,u will see attire,see swag,see fashion,see arrogant,see disrespectful,see many ill attitude dat will make u pray for his down fall.oyibo pass us.

  3. I agree that Nigeria has vast potential for marketing of products and services of”abroad people” hence the sudden interest in coming to have a look over exhibited by their money bags in recent times. The interest shown is welcome and I pray they follow through with investments. However, the security situation needs to be addressed to generate the confidence to invest and that should be priority before we lose out to other African countries when Location of projects are determined.

  4. There is no immediate impact of his visit on millions of suffering Nigerian people, he came here to promote his multi billions dollars business because of our population. There is nothing a consuming and only oil producing nation like Nigeria will achieve from such VIP visit from one of the richest man in the world. But I applaud him greatly for ignoring our politicians and talking directly to our people in Yaba, Oyingbo, and other parts of Lagos, Nigeria. What an humble, smart, and great guy. Our own self billionaires should emulate him. Great analysis from my brother-Tony Ogunlowo. Thanks.

  5. Well our home grown billionaires will not donate anything to the people because if they do you know what Africans will say.Where did he get his money he is a thief etc. We do not know that hard work pays off we think everyone steals. So I do not blame the local billionaires for not doing anything although it is their lose I think they will save themselves from unnecessary head aches.

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