Facebook’s Chief Product Officer visits Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal to learn from its tech sector

Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Facebook has undertaken a week-long trip to Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal, to understand how creatives, developers and entrepreneurs are using mobile technology to create services, content and businesses that address local needs.

Cox visited the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, Ghana to meet with Ghanaian entrepreneurs and see how they are working to build sustainable technology businesses. Later, he witnessed the force of Ghana’s creative talent in an event at ANO Gallery.

“With Facebook and its family of apps, we aim to give people around the world the ability to connect with each other, grow their businesses and tell their own stories,” Cox said. “I am excited to see how Ghana’s entrepreneurs are using mobile, video and other technologies to build products and services that empower the community and that address local needs or solve local problems in innovative ways”

Software development training for top graduates

The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology and the MEST Incubator program provide training, investment and mentoring for aspiring technology entrepreneurs with the goal of creating globally successful companies that create wealth and jobs locally in Africa. Each year top graduates from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa are selected to receive comprehensive training across the spectrum of skills required to build successful tech businesses, including computer programming, software development and product management.

Jorn Lyseggen, CEO of Meltwater and Founder of MEST, commented: “We’re excited to host Facebook at MEST and to share how we can work together to drive innovation in Africa. Mobile technology is giving people in Africa new opportunities to become entrepreneurs and content creators – and we were proud to show the Facebook team how young companies and entrepreneurs on our programme are making a difference.”

Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer Facebook; Ime Archibong, Director Strategic Partnerships Facebook; Emeka Afigbo; Jorn Lyseggen, CEO of Meltwater and Founder of MEST and Kate Sarro, Managing Director of Meltwater.

Supporting Nigeria’s small business owners to leverage digital platforms for growth

Cox also spoke about the future of media at Social Media Week in Lagos, where he highlighted Nigeria’s status as a hub for innovation and creativity because of its fast-growing mobile technology sector and its vibrant film and music industries.

Chris Cox is the most senior Facebook executive to visit Nigeria since Mark Zuckerberg visited Lagos in September 2016.

“I’m looking forward to hearing more about how Nigerian creatives, developers and entrepreneurs are using mobile technology, video and Facebook platforms to create inspiring applications and services for their customers and communities,” says Cox. “The level of innovation we see in this market is amazing. As Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria is an important market for us.”

Starting on 8 March, Facebook will kick off Boost Your Business, a series of free training sessions designed to help thousands of Nigerian small business owners understand how to leverage digital platforms for growth. The sessions will be facilitated by trainers led by She Leads Africa in key cities including Lagos, Kaduna, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan.


Edited from press release by Cecilia Rehn.