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What Facebook map tells us about Afropreneurship

Michael Oluwagbemi's picture

Photo: This photo taken December 14, 2010 shows a map on a page from Facebook. The map displays friendships as lights on a deep blue background. The eastern half of the U.S. and Europe shine the brightest, while China, Russia and central Africa, where Facebook has little presence, are mainly dark. Source: The Wall Street Journal

Just when Mark Zuckenberg was being crowned the king of the world by Time Magazine, he contributes an invaluable insight to African entrepreneurship. A review of the map of Facebook relationships reveals some interesting pointers to where the drivers of Africa 2.0 will be coming from. Can anyone say ECOWAS, SADC and EAC?

Facebook is pointing discerning brands, companies, minds and entrepreneurs to the path of regional growth and integration within Africa. The coast of Atlantic West Africa, Eastern coast outlying the Indian Ocean and the southern edges of the South seem to show brightest. These areas definitely correlate with youthful vigor, energy and rise of a new brand of making runaway entrepreneurs that we call “Afropreneurship.” Is anyone looking?

Recommended Read:
Africa Rising: How 900 Million African Consumers Offer More Than You Think by Vijay Mahajan


Submitted by Jeanette on
I couldn't agree more with you on the huge potential here in Africa at the moment, which is evident in African cities from Accra, to Nairobi and Cape Town, where young, dynamic entrepreneurs are making their mark in ICT and spinoff businesses. However, as a resident of this great continent, the message I get from the map is about the power of fiber, bandwidth and access to the Internet to transform lives and create business opportunities. The areas that glow the brightest on Facebook's map are the areas that are the best covered by fiber-optic cable. The high cost of internet services in Africa has traditionally been a huge obstacle to innovation in ICT. In South Africa, for instance, people spend hundreds of dollars a month for Internet connections that charge them by the MB for their usage. You can imagine what a damper that puts on innovation and opportunity. As the price of bandwidth drops and more consumers have robust Internet access, such as that enjoyed by most Europeans and Americans, I believe you can expect an explosion of Afropreneurship!

Submitted by guy mullin on
I find the reading inaccurate. What has facebook to do with business? Maybe something, but surely the map tells us more about migration. Families split up, some are now in Europe and US from Africa - they communicate a lot by facebook! "Check out the new baby!" Footballers and fans, carry-on the list ... And - If its business I would expect that it is more about drugs and mafia-type crime, look at the map!