Facebook (www.facebook.com) brought together over 400 developers, startups and businesses from across Sub-Saharan Africa in a first of its kind conference dubbed “Facebook iD8 Nairobi”. As part of its effort to create opportunities for innovation, community building and education throughout the continent, “Facebook iD8 Nairobi” created a space for developers and startups to showcase and celebrate talent from across the continent, while sharing their developer journey.
Highlights from the conference and activities included:
- A keynote speech from Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Global Head of Developer Programmes – highlighted Facebook’s plan in partnership with Andela to train and equip thousands of developers from its Developer Circles across 10 countries in Africa with technical and non-technical skills in 2020. This follows Facebook’s successful three-month training programme with Andela across Nigeria and Kenya in 2019.
- A career fair – aimed at connecting this year’s top developers from Facebook’s and Andela’s three-month training programme in Nigeria and Kenya with employment opportunities through meet ups with potential employers.
- The 2019 Facebook SSA Developer Circle Leads Summit, bought together 60 Developer Circle leaders, who represented 45 circles in 17 countries across the continent in a two-day networking event.
Facebook iD8 Nairobi also highlighted the latest insights from Facebook, with new technologies and products for attendees to build and experiment with, and programmes to help them at any stage of their journey. There were hands-on demonstrations and discussions with Facebook product experts who provided guidance and help to unlock challenges developers face in their development process. The conference also provided an opportunity for developers and startups to learn how technology such as AR/VR, Messaging and Open Source can offer tangible solutions for businesses in Africa.
Speaking at the conference Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Global Head of Developer Programs said, “We look forward to reconnecting with the ecosystem to share the latest technology , product and program updates. Facebook iD8 is a two-way dialogue where we also have a chance to hear from our developer and startup community’ about their experiences and roadblocks as well as provide an opportunity for members of our community to connect with others who share their challenges and aspirations.”
Fatma Ali a Developer Lead for a Facebook Developer Circle in Eldoret stated, “This opportunity has enabled me to connect and get mentorship to build my career while equipping me with leadership skills to work with the developer community. Through my Facebook Developer Circle I have gotten exposure and recognition in the Developer ecosystem. The experience has been enlightening and I am confident that I will have a successful career in technology.“
Sewagodimo Matlapeng a Developer Lead for a Facebook Developer Circle in Cape town concluded, “My experience leading a Developer Circle in Cape town has enabled me to advocate for the inclusion of women in the developer community in Cape town with my circle having the highest female members in Africa. Through Facebook iD8, I gained insights on how we as developers, male and female can seize opportunities and curb challenges in the developer community.”