Tech giant Facebook celebrated the achievements of the developers it partners with to create tailor-made products in Africa at its annual F8 Developer Conference.
“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 Platinum Partnerships for the Middle East and Asia said.
The Conference is a forum for the company to get feedback from its developer and partner ecosystem, including its growing African creators, and an opportunity to showcase the innovative products and services they have created for their local communities to the world.
African developers shared the stage with Facebook executives and developers from around the world.
The two-day F8 Developer Conference hosts over 4, 000 participants while many more watch follow via Facebook Live for new products, tools, interactive demos and speakers to help developers build, grow and monetize their apps.
This year, F8 Meetups which hosted tech hubs around the world were introduced where participants watched live streams of the sessions. In Africa, F8 Meetups were hosted in Nairobi, Lagos and Cape Town.
African developers who featured in F8 sessions include from Ghana, Asoriba, a start-up that develops software for church use; and mobile solutions company Rancard which has a social recommendation system.
Pass NG, an education start-up; Truppr, for social fitness; Nollywood content app Afrinolly; online quiz platform Quiz.ng; Kudi.ai, a Messenger Bot to transfer money; and health service Kangpe represented Nigeria.
And Kenya’s Eneza Education, an education app and Refunite, a service that helps refugees unite with their loved ones.
Four graduate students from Carnegie Melon University Africa in Rwanda were also in attendance, on invitation after winning the CMU-Africa Messenger Bot Hackahon.
Representatives from the winners of Internet.org’s Innovation Challenge in Africa Awards which recognize leading examples of ideas, apps, websites and/or online services that provide real value in education and economic empowerment also attended the Conference.
At F8, Facebook launched Developer Circles, a new program for global developers to connect, learn and collaborate with each other with each Developer Circle led by members of the local community who act as leads for the circle, organizing offline events and managing a local online Facebook community.
The global program which is free and open for any developer to join was piloted in Lagos, Nigeria.