Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in Nairobi to learn about Mobile Money

(DailyNewsUg) In Summary

  • Through a post on his Facebook page, Mr Zuckerberg said he wants to “learn more about mobile money, where Kenya is the world leader.”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg landed in Nairobi on Thursday on what he says is a visit to meet with entrepreneurs and developers.

Through a post on his Facebook page, Mr Zuckerberg said he wants to “learn more about mobile money, where Kenya is the world leader.”

The social media billionaire’s first stop was at the iHub, Nairobi’s innovation hub for technology, an open-space centre for technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers.

“I’m starting at a place called iHub, where entrepreneurs can build and prototype their ideas. Two of the engineers I met, Fausto and Mark, designed a system to help people use mobile payments to buy small amounts of cooking gas, which is a lot safer and better for the environment than charcoal or kerosene.

“It’s inspiring to see how engineers here are using mobile money to build businesses and help their community,” read Mr Zuckerberg’s post.

Mr Zuckerberg slipped into Kenya much the same way he did in Nigeria on Tuesday, where he landed without much fanfare or media publicity.

In Nairobi, the social media mogul, who is planning to launch a programme to beam free Internet from the sky to unconnected areas, was pictured eating lunch with the Kenya’s Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru where he says they discussed his ambitious plan to connect all Kenyans to Internet.

The billionaire was pictured at a local eatery called Mama Oliech Restaurant in Hurlingham, Nairobi, enjoying a local delicacy of ugali and sautéed tilapia with government officials.

“One of my [favourite] parts of traveling to a new country is trying the food. I enjoyed ugali and a whole fried tilapia for the first time and loved them both!” wrote Mr Zuckerberg on Facebook.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg having ugali and sautéed tilapia at Mama Oliech Restaurant in Hurlingham, Nairobi, with Kenya government officials. PHOTO | MARK ZUCKERBERG

INTERNET.ORG

Last year in October, Facebook begun taking steps to beam free high-speed Internet to the remote parts of Kenya in a move likely to scare local telecommunications firms.

Together with French-based satellite provider Eutelsat, the two firms plan to accelerate data connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on Kenya and Nigeria.

“I am excited to announce our first project to deliver Internet from space as part of our internet.org programme to connect the world,” said Facebook chief executive officer last year.

The satellite programme will rely on Facebook’s internet.org platform, which has sparked controversy for not reaching its target audience worldwide.

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