Menlo Park-based social networking firm, Facebook Inc. celebrated the achievements and products of its growing African developers and partner ecosystem at its recent ended annual F8 Developer Conference.
African developers shared the stage with Facebook and developers from around the world, showcasing innovative products and services they have created for their local communities and the global market.
This year Facebook brought F8 to developers around the world through F8 Meetups hosted with tech hubs around the world. In Africa, it hosted F8 Meetups in Nairobi (Kenya), Lagos (Nigeria), and Cape Town (South Africa), where participants watched live streams of the sessions in San Francisco.
“We’re partnering with many African developers to launch products that not only meet the needs of their local markets, but which are also ready for the world stage,” says Emeka Afigbo; Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships for the Middle East and Africa said in a press statement.
In attendance, Facebook invited two representatives each from the winning teams in the previous Internet’s Innovation Challenge in Africa. In addition, also invited four graduate students from Carnegie Melon University Africa in Rwanda to attend after they won the CMU-Africa Messenger Bot Hackathon.
University’s Aimable Rwema and Lenah Chacha developed BiasharaBot, which provides an innovative platform for merchants and buyers to connect.
“The Hackathon showed me the importance of building a business or idea on a social media platform. Facebook is used by over a billion people worldwide, offering developers a huge market,” Rwema said.
At F8, Facebook also announced a new program dubbed Developer Circles; a community-driven program that’s free to join and open developers all over the world to connect, learn, and collaborate with other local developers.
Each Developer Circle is led by members of the local community who act as leads for the circle, organizing events offline and managing a local online Facebook community.
Nigeria was the first place in Africa that Facebook piloted this global program.