" ITREALMS: Nigeria, hub for innovation in West Africa says Facebook CPO, Chris Cox

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Nigeria, hub for innovation in West Africa says Facebook CPO, Chris Cox

The Chief Product Officer at Facebook, Chris Cox has concluded its official visit to West African countries with some take homes, including feedbacks and inspiration from the developer and content creator communities, reports ITRealms.

Cox, who had since returned to California base, followed his visits to Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal, describing Nigeria as a hub for innovation and creativity.

His mission to West Africa was to find out how the region’s creatives, developers and entrepreneurs are using Facebook and Instagram to bring their passions to life.

“It’s been an inspiring week meeting with some of the top artists, publishers, entrepreneurs, developers, and social media stars across the region. This is a region that creates some of the most interesting cultures in the world; from food, to fashion, to music, to art. They are at the leading edge of using mobile technology to build communities in their cities, countries, and around the region, and in solving local problems with local solutions. We left inspired, and with insights on the real challenges we have to improve our services, from internet connectivity to more regional support and tools” he said.

Cox started his trip on a high by seeing Femi Kuti live on stage at the New Afrika Shrine in Lagos. Chris, who is an accomplished pianist, was invited to play live on stage with Femi, an experience he will never forget.

“It was an honor to play live with one of my musical heroes. The Shrine is one of the great institutions in music history and in the political history of the region. It was also the first time a concert has been live broadcast on Facebook from The Shrine. Femi’s team was inspired by how many folks around the city, the region, and the world wanted to tune in, and we were too. We were surprised by how many Nigerians told us how exciting it was to see a concert from there. We think there’s a great opportunity for Live to give the whole world a window into some of these gems of local culture,” he said.

ITRealms gathered that whilst Cox was in Nigeria he spoke at Social Media Week Lagos, the region’s premier new media and social media conference, highlighting Nigeria’s status as a hub for innovation and creativity because of its fast-growing mobile technology sector and its vibrant film and music industries.

He focused on how the world is moving to digital video, with formats such as virtual reality, Live video broadcast and 360 video giving people new ways to tell their stories.

Cox also had a stopover in Ghana where he visited the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra and met the team from Asoriba, an already hugely successful software for church communities and is extremely important and central in Ghana and Nigeria.

The CPO later headed to Senegal in continuation with his official visit to meet with some stakeholders at 'Stories of Senegal' event and session with local technology entrepreneurs where he took part in a discussion, before jetting back to California.

Remmy Nweke with additional report by APO/ED, Ops
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