Since Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg silently came into Lagos Nigeria unannounced few days ago, the spotlight has been beamed on the Nigeria tech and internet industry and the implication the visit holds for young developers in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
According to Quartz, a leading online digitally news publication, one of the possible offshoots of the visit could be an uptick in start-up funding by foreign investors. This is good news considering the current drive in the country to diversify away from its current oil-based economy to a broader resource and information-based one. A view echoed by Mark himself when he addressed a number of local developers and entrepreneurs at a town hall meeting held during his visit.
Benefit of Zuckerberg’s Visit to Consumers
The question though for many consumers is how this celebrated visit will eventually benefit them as end users of whatever product or service the industry will start pushing out in days to come. According to Zuckerberg himself, one of such ways could be through the expansion of its Facebook Express Wi-Fi, a solution that is part of Facebook Internet.org initiative.
Improved Internet Access and Quality
Express Wi-Fi is a technology developed by Facebook to empower entrepreneurs build their businesses by providing their community with access to the internet in partnership with local internet providers.
He also revealed that later in the week, Facebook will be launching a satellite into space to enable more entrepreneurs across Africa sell Express Wi-Fi and more people to access reliable internet. This initiative when effectively deployed should further increase the quality and drive down the cost of internet service in the country.
This move is also intended to address and facilitates internet connectivity to currently unreached rural areas in Nigeria and Africa. “We built these solar-powered drones that are basically like a cellphone tower in the sky. They can go over really remote rural locations and beam down connectivity to make sure networks spread and reach everyone,” Zuckerberg said during the town hall presentation.
He was also quick to reassure that such service would affordable since according to him, it will not do much good having the infrastructure if people cannot afford to use it.
Quality and Affordable Tech Services
If Zuckerberg ’s visit to Nigeria opens up new frontiers in foreign investment to the sector as may industry watchers have predicted, then it means the quality, accessibility and affordability of technological and internet services by consumers is bound to improve over time.
Let us hope our local tech industry would take advantage of this strategic visit and the leverage it brings to expand and build up itself and ultimately improve on its services and value to consumers across the nation.