Facebook is planning to open an office in Lagos Nigeria as part efforts to expand its business in Africa, the social media company announced on Friday.
The office, which will serve as a support center for the Sub-Saharan region is expected to become operational in the second half of 2021. The Silicon Valley giant said the office will be home to several teams across its business including sales, partnership, policy and communications. And it will also be the first in the continent with a team of engineers.
Facebook’s head of new product experimentation, Ime Archibong said the Lagos office will present many opportunities in digital innovations, especially for Sub-Saharan’s young talents.
“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. All across Africa we’re seeing immense talent in the tech ecosystem, and I’m proud that with the upcoming opening of our new office, we’ll 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,” he said.
The Lagos office will be the second in the African continent, after its Johannesburg, South African office was opened in 2015.
Since 2018, Facebook has been investing and promoting innovative ideas through partnership with other tech companies in Lagos. The company unveiled the NG_Hub in 2018, in partnership with CcHub, and in 2019 launched the Small Business Group (SBG) Operations Center in Lagos, in partnership with Teleperformance.
The SBG is designed to support 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.
The social media giant said it has made tremendous investment progress since 2015, when it opened its first office in Africa, which supports the continent’s tech ecosystem. The office has been responsible for providing reliable connectivity infrastructure and helping businesses to grow locally, regionally and globally.
The progress was recorded in three major programs which include the SMB Grants in Nigeria and South Africa, which provides a combination of cash and ad credits to help over 900 small business impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.
The development of 2Africa, the world’s largest subsea cable project that will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across a large part of Africa. And ongoing training programs across the continent which support students, SMBs, digital creative, female entrepreneurs, start-ups and developers.
Nunu Ntshingila, regional director, Facebook Africa said the new Lagos office will help in delivering services to the social media’s clients across the continent.
“We’re delighted to be announcing our new office in Nigeria. Five years on from opening our first office on the continent in Johannesburg, South Africa, we’re continuing to invest in and support local talent, as well as the various communities that use our platforms.
“The office in Lagos will also be key in helping to expand how we service our clients across the continent,” Nunu said.
Nigeria is a strategic location for the tech ecosystem and Lagos is at the helm. But while there has been tremendous interest in the city so far, infrastructural factors have stymied the desire of many tech companies from setting up office in Lagos. The 2020 Smart City Index report ranked Lagos 109th of 109 cities, a 7 points drop from its 102nd position in 2019. The report highlighted priority areas such as security, affordable housing, unemployment, road congestion and health services as reasons behind the significant drop.