By Nep Journal Correspondent:
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has arrived in the Country today and announced on his Facebook page that his mission was to meet with Kenyan entrepreneurs and developers and learn about mobile money.
The 32-year-old Internet entrepreneur and philanthropist hailed Kenya as the world leader in Mobile Money.
“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.” he posted Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg was also spotted at Mama Oliech’s eatery in Yaya, accompanied by ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and PS Victor Kyalo.
“I had lunch in Nairobi with Joseph Mucheru, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of Information and Communications. We talked about internet access and his ambitious plans for connecting everyone in Kenya.”
The American billionaire posted he enjoyed Kenyan delicacy Ugali with the restaurant getting a rare mention on his Facebook page.
“We ate at MAMA Oliech Restaurant. — a local place everyone recommended. One of my favorite 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!”
Zuckerberg’s surprise visit to Kenya comes after the one in Nigeria where he staged a surprise visit to the country’s economic capital Lagos on Tuesday.
His message while in Nigeria had glaring similarities to the one he posted on his Facebook page when he landed in Kenya on Thursday.
He said: “This is my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa. I’ll be meeting with developers and entrepreneurs, and learning about the startup ecosystem in Nigeria. The energy here is amazing and I’m excited to learn as much as I can.”
Nailab founder Sam Gichuru responded to Zuckerberg’s surprise visit to his company with a simple Facebook message that read, “Surprise visit by @Mark Zuckerberg to the Kenyan tech ecosystem. In Kenya.”
In June, his foundation the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative made a multi-million dollar investment in Andela, a two-year-old startup that trains African software developers and gives them full-time roles at international companies.
Andela works out of headquarters in Lagos and Nairobi, Kenya.
Zuckerberg has also put his weight behind an initiative called “Free Basics,” which provides free Internet access to cellphone users in under-served countries, including Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya.
Late last year, Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan pledged to donate billions of Facebook shares to fund projects and charities that advance human potential and promote equality though their Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Additional reporting by the Star.