Social media giant Facebook has announced plans to open an operational office in Lagos, Nigeria.
Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Head of New Product Experimentation in a statement said the office will be home to several teams including sales, partnerships, policy and communications as part of the company’s ongoing investments in Africa.
“It will also be the first office on the continent with a team of engineers,” Archibong said. “The office will support the Sub-Saharan region and is expected to become operational in H2 2021.
“The opening of our new office in Lagos, Nigeria presents new and exciting opportunities in digital innovations to be developed from the continent and taken to the rest of the world.”
Archibong disclosed that Facebook through the Lagos will be building products for the future of Africa, and the rest of the world, with Africans at the helm.
“We look forward to contributing further to the African tech ecosystem,” Archibong said.
The new Lagos office follows the 2018 opening of NG_Hub, Facebook’s first community hub space in Africa in partnership with CcHub, and the 2019 opening of our Small Business Group (SBG) Operations Centre in Lagos, in partnership with Teleperformance.
The SBG office supports small and medium businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa through community programs as well as marketing training programs, all aimed at enabling SMBs to accelerate the growth and development of their businesses.
Since the opening of its first Africa office in 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Facebook said it has made a number of investments across the continent to support the tech ecosystem, provide reliable connectivity infrastructures and help businesses grow locally, regionally and globally.
In 2016, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg visited Nigeria – his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa.
The influence of the Nigerian social space market is an underlying factor for Zukerberg’s visit to Lagos – four years ago.
However, the need for proximity to it’s rapidly growing market space in Nigeria could be identified as the major factor for the soon-to-be Facebook office in Lagos.
Currently, Google and Microsoft have grown their local presence in Nigeria in recent years with Microsoft injecting a $100 million commitment to build software development centres and employ close to 500 African developers by 2023.
Facebook’s decision to open the Lagos office will result in a stronger hold of the African business space over rival Twitter – whose CEO Jack Dorsey visited the continent in 2019.
Jack said Twitter intends to be much closer to the African people – but not than Facebook who is already expanding their reach in Africa.
“The office in Lagos will also be key in helping to expand how we service our clients across the continent Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa said.
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