Social media giant Facebook announced Friday a new office in Lagos, Nigeria, meant to support operations in sub-Saharan Africa. It is expected to be operational next year.
The office will be home to several teams for sales, partnerships and communication, as well as becoming the first Facebook office on the African continent to staff a team of engineers.
“Nigeria presents new and exciting opportunities in digital innovations to be developed from the continent and taken to the rest of the world,” says Ime Archibong, the company’s Head of New Product Experimentation. “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.”
The new office builds on Facebook’s existing interests in Nigeria and adds to its investments across the African continent. These investments include 2Africa, the world’s largest subsea cable project, and a COVID-19 assistance grant program that’s supporting more than 900 small businesses in Nigeria and South Africa. Facebook has had an office in Johannesburg for five years.
Facebook continues to see global challenges over the content it allows on its platform, as well as concerns over how user data is accessed and manipulated. That’s been true for Africans too, and in 2019 the company added new language capacities and fact-checking measures to better control political messages and issue-related content.