The second edition of the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa may have come and gone, but not many will forget in a hurry the significant role Facebook played as part of its efforts to position Africa as a major player in the digital world, and its increasing role in harnessing local talents on the continent.
Throughout the week, Facebook organised series of activities that included several sessions for the developer community in Africa, a pitch competition for aspiring entrepreneurs, multiple sessions for local startups, and an Instagram Inspire Action event for women in small and medium businesses, among others.
The first of the events was the two-day Developer Circle Leads Summit for Developer Circle leads in Sub-Saharan Africa which had about 600 Developers and Startup Tech founders in attendance. The summit was convened by Facebook’s Developer Circles to give people the power to build communities and bring the world closer together.
The summit featured discussions by internal and external speakers on topics such as ‘Design Thinking’, ‘Working at Facebook – My FB Journey’ by Barbara Mbanefo, ‘Payments for Messenger: Custom Flow for African Businesses’, ‘FB Products for SSA’, ‘Predicting Growth with ML’, ‘Startups session NLP for Messenger Bot’, ‘Taking Accessibility with You’, and a host of others.
Also held during the week was the maiden edition of ‘Inspire Action’ training which was conceived to inspire, educate, and train between 70 to 80 women entrepreneurs and women working in the technology industry during.
The training which featured SMBs, women founders of brands of various categories including fashion, beauty, food & beverage, lifestyle, artists, social initiatives and a host of others, introduced participants to an overview of Instagram including local insights, branded content and influencer narrative, better ways of leveraging Instagram stories, among other important tips
Speaking on the training, Facebook’s Communications Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Kezia Anim-Addo, said; “We have come to realise that more women are keying into the tech culture, and as a result, there is a new wave of growth that cannot be neglected. This training will serve as a guide, while introducing them to new models of ensuring business growth.”
To further underscore its commitment to developing the Nigerian technological ecosystem, Facebook, in partnership with Re:Learn by CC_Hub, brought together 50 local high school students from Lagos to continue their education and participation in computer science with a Hack-a-Day and other activities that highlighted the impact developers can make in the world using computer science skills.
Expressing his satisfaction with the outcome of Facebook’s inspired activities and participation during the Africa Tech Week 2018, the Head, Platform Partnerships, Middle East and Africa, Facebook, Chukwuemeka Afigbo, restated the company’s commitment to the development of the continent’s technology ecosystem.
“We know that by them coming here, the attention of the tech world globally, not just in Africa, would be on Lagos. At Facebook, we want to leverage this to shine the light on the African ecosystem for this period. And it is not just about the country. We also had a series of activities that we lined up, basically to celebrate technology in Africa.”
He described the Startup Battlefield, organized by American online technology publication, TechCrunch as the biggest tech startup event in Africa, and expressed the belief that it has achieved its aim of highlighting how technology is optimizing supply chains, increasing access to education, strengthening farmer’s revenues, and much more.