JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, April 21, 2017/ — “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,” Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships for the Middle East and Africa said at this years Facebook F8 developers conference.
“Events like F8 are a perfect opportunity for us to talk about how we will work with partners to do more with our platforms. As importantly, they are a forum for us to get feedback from our ecosystem and to showcase our partners’ work to the world.”
Facebook (www.Facebook.com) celebrated the achievements and products of its growing African developer and partner ecosystem at its annual F8 developer conference (www.FBF8.com), held in San Jose, California, on 18 and 19 April. 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.
F8 hosts more than 4000 people in person and hundreds of thousands of people watching via Facebook Live for two days of new products, tools, interactive demos and speakers to help developers build, grow and monetise their apps.
African students and developers showcase their talent
In attendance were two representatives each from the winners of Internet.org’s (http://APO.af/9rOHBY) Innovation Challenge in Africa awards. These awards from Facebook’s Internet[dot]org recognised leading examples of ideas, apps, websites and/or online services that provide real value in the categories of education and economic empowerment.
Economic Empowerment Innovation Challenge Award Winner: Ghana’s Esoko (www.Esoko.com) makes it easier for businesses, governments, NGOs and others to connect with farmers through its web and mobile apps.
Economic Empowerment Impact Award Winner: mPedigree Goldkeys (http://mPedigree.net) from Ghana is an anti-counterfeiting, tracking and tracing solution that uses consumers’ mobile phones as a verification tool.
Economic Empowerment Impact Award Winner: Nigeria’s SaferMom (https://SaferMom.com) provides pregnant and new mothers with simple tools to help make informed health decisions via sms, voice services and its mobile app.
Education Innovation Challenge Award Winner: Founded in South Africa, Hyperion Development (https://HyperionDev.com) is a social enterprise that has built the first online course platform for computer science education.
Education Impact Award Winner: Launched in Ghana, Mutti by mPharma (www.mPharma.com) is a drug affordability service that enables patients to access high quality medicine at lower prices with flexible payment terms through micro-payments.
Education Impact Award Winner: Nigeria’s Tuteria (www.Tuteria.com) connects people seeking to learn with people around them who can teach.
Facebook also invited four graduate students from Carnegie Melon University Africa in Rwanda to attend after they won the CMU-Africa Messenger Bot Hackathon.
The 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,” says Rwema.
Their fellow students, Joshua Ocero and Davy Uwizera created a farmbot that connects farmers (or cooperatives) with produce buyers. “Attending F8 is a great opportunity to mingle with Facebook developers from around the world. It is an opportunity to visit Silicon Valley, where people’s dreams become reality,” says Ocero.