By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos – Facebook has said it will train and support over 50,000 students, small businesses and creative entrepreneurs across Nigeria in 2018.
Facebook’s Public Policy Director, Africa, Ms Ebele Okobi, during a news briefing on Wednesday in Lagos, said that the training would be through a series of digital skills, as well as long-term impact programmes.
Okobi said that the training and support was Facebook’s initiative in its ambition to drive innovation, skills development and economic impact in Nigeria.
She said that the training and support was Facebook’s new nationwide initiative to further cement its commitment and investment in Nigeria, and across the continent.
According to her, Facebook would be incorporating a series of high profile partnerships, training programmes and a physical space that will serve as a center for learning and skills development.
”This set of initiatives is aimed at helping to develop and nurture communities, including small businesses, the tech and start-up ecosystem, youths and creatives.
”In Nigeria, more than 22 million people use Facebook every month and 87 per cent of SMEs say that when they hire, digital skills are more important than where an applicant went to school.
”This demonstrates that the power of digital skills to aid economic growth and development has never been more important
”At Facebook, our mission is clear: To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
”Our investments and commitments announced in Lagos today further reflect our intent to partner with Nigeria’s policy makers and its vibrant tech and entrepreneurial eco-system to create economic opportunity and independence in Nigeria and across Africa,” she said.
Okobi said that Facebook was committed to working with Nigerian small businesses, tech entrepreneurs and the next generation of leaders to better understand and utilise the power of digital tools for economic growth.
She said that Facebook would be launching a series of learning-based programmes facilitated by local training partners, to accomplish its mission.
Okobi said that the learning-based programmes had been designed to provide skills that would lead to employment and support the growth of small businesses.
She said that the learning-based programmes include: Aspiring Entrepreneurs, Jobs for Youth, Boost your Business, Creative Entrepreneurship Training, and Online Safety + Digital Literacy Training in Schools and Universities.
According to her, Facebook undertook a detailed ‘Economic Impact Study’ to further understand how communities like small businesses and consumers in Nigeria use the platform, and the effectiveness of social media as a growth tool.
”Nearly 1 in 2 small businesses on Facebook say they built their business on the platform.
”Sixty-two per cent stated they have been able to use Facebook to help find employees for their business.
”Over half (58 per cent) of small businesses on the platform say they have been able to hire more employees due to growth since joining Facebook,” she said.
Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what is going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
Facebook has 1.37 billion daily active users on average worldwide and 7.2 million daily visitors from Nigeria.