Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Facebook, visited the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, Ghana today to meet with Ghanaian entrepreneurs and see how they are working to build sustainable technology businesses.
The visit is part of a week-long trip to Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal where Chris is keen to understand how creatives, developers and entrepreneurs are using mobile technology to create services, content and businesses that address local needs.
The MEST Training Program and the MEST Incubator program provide training, investment and mentoring for aspiring technology entrepreneurs with the goal of creating globally successful companies that create wealth and jobs locally in Africa. Each year top graduates from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa are selected to receive comprehensive training across the spectrum of skills required to build successful tech businesses, including computer programming, software development and product management.
Some examples of the start-ups from the programme that met with Cox are:
- Asoriba, a web and mobile app which lets church leaders communicate with their congregations
- Kudobuzz, a service which helps small businesses collect their web reviews from around the internet
- DevLess, a platform that makes it easier for developers to build web and mobile back-ends for their apps.
Cox says: “Africa is at the forefront of mobile technology and ranks among the fastest-growing regions in the world. The level of energy I have seen in Ghana is amazing and inspiring. I’m excited to learn from innovators here who are creating culture using technology in new ways.”
Says Jorn Lyseggen, CEO of Meltwater and Founder of MEST, says: “We’re excited to host Facebook at MEST and to share how we can work together to drive innovation in Africa.Mobile technology is giving people in Africa new opportunities to become entrepreneurs and content creators – and we were proud to show the Facebook team how young companies and entrepreneurs on our programme are making a difference.”
Nana Opoku Agyeman-Prempeh, CEO, Asoriba, says: “Churches are one of the oldest and most powerful forms of social networking. Platforms such as Asoriba and Facebook help them give their congregations access to more information and stay in touch with churches and congregation members worldwide, especially in the diaspora.”
Kena Amoah, CEO, Kudobuzz: “For our clients, Facebook and Instagram are powerful tools for building user generated content, social proof, finding new customers and telling the world their stories. They are an essential part of the marketing mix.”
Edwin Tsatsu Selormey, CEO, Devless, says: “Thanks to the cloud, African start-ups can get to market with solutions tailored to the needs of their own territories as well as target a global customer base. We are pleased that companies such as Facebook are investing in and supporting Africa’s growing technology industry.”
Later today Chris will host a panel with top local talent from the music, fashion, food and art scene before heading to Senegal which is the final stop on his trip.
Photo Credit – Grahl Photography