Despite the official announcement that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is facing an economic downturn, industry analysts believe that Nigeria still has the potential to attract foreign direct investment, especially in the technology industry.
However, the recent visit of Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg visit to Nigeria has raised the hopes of many Nigerians, as there are expectations that the seventieth richest man would pump in more money into the Nigerian economy.
Currently, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a program run by Zuckerberg and his wife already have an investment worth $24 million in Nigeria. The $24 million investment led to the establishment of Andela is a software oriented company created in 2014 to train Nigerians in software development.
With Nigeria leading the forefront in Africa regarding technology and 16 million active users visiting the social media platform monthly, Nigeria remains Facebook’s biggest market in Africa.
“Yes, Nigeria is facing severe economic recession which can take about three years for us to recoup but there are still potential investors, even if there are not let us find them. We have seen the recent visit of Zuckerberg in Nigeria, what does that portray? It means, there are things they are seeing that we need to start seeing”, a reliable industry source spoke to Techsmart.ng on a condition of anonymity.
He said the technology industry in Nigeria looks bright, and Nigeria has been stepping up its commitment towards technology. The issue we have is that the Nigerian economic system is not just right, but I believe that with much attention on technology to drive the agricultural sector, he added.
“Mark’s visit to Nigeria will not be limited to his support for Andela, but also believed that indeed the next generation of great technology leaders would come out from Nigeria, Nigeria and cities across Africa,” said Seni Suleyman, Director of Andela.
The Facebook founder had already commended the efforts of Andela is to unlock the potentials in Nigeria by finding and training top tech talent. After a six-month software development program, Andela fellows work remotely for 500 companies and start-ups around the world.
“There is potential in Nigeria. I just want to walk around and meet folks,” Zuckerberg said to CNN.
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