Thursday, October 06, 2016

Zuckerberg in Africa (Backchannel)

Final paragraphs from a Steven Levy profile

"Nigeria won’t forget him soon. A few weeks after the trip I run into Ime Archibong at a San Francisco event where Zuckerberg and Chan announced a $3 billion investment to “stop disease in our children’s lifespan.” Archibong points me to a Facebook post from an entrepreneur who proclaimed that hereafter, the Nigerian tech scene will be bifurcated into two eras: Before Zuckerberg and anno Zuckerberg.
It isn’t the Free Basics program or the Messenger platform or whether or not a Facebook satellite rains internet on Africa from outer space that matters to the engineers and entrepreneurs that Zuckerberg visited. It’s the fact that he came. In Silicon Valley, founders learn to think big; to take risks; to use grit and coding skills and a sense of the marketplace so they can chase the unicorn’s horn. They want to do that here in Nigeria, too. But first, they need validation.
Mark Zuckerberg said he believed in them. But he could have said anything. From the moment he strolled into Yaba unannounced, his trip was a success."
Zuckerberg in Africa

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