Facebook today released its “2020 Year in Review: Highlights” an infographic showcasing some of its key investments and work across Africa in 2020. Supported by an animated video celebrating and showcasing a few people across the continent rising against the challenges of this unexpected year, the campaign aims to highlight the successes, strength and resilience of its users, whilst reinforcing Facebook’s ongoing commitment to the region.
Commenting, Kojo Boakye, Director of Public Policy, Africa said: “We know this year has brought many unexpected challenges around the world, including here in Africa. The COVID pandemic has changed the way we work, come together, and impacted many economies and local businesses. Despite this, we continue to see and hear so many stories of resilience, strength and growth. As Facebook, we remain committed to the continent, and our 2020 highlights reinforce just some of these investments and the impact we’ve been able to have by supporting the growing ecosystems of developers, SMBs, creatives, and many other communities.”
Some of the key 2020 Year in Review: Highlights include:
- 2Africa: Announced 2Africa, alongside eight global and local partners - one of the largest subsea cable projects in the world at 37,000kms it will circle the African continent, connecting 16 countries in Africa, aiming to deliver increased internet capacity and enable greater 4G/5G access
- Supporting COVID-19 efforts: Partnered with over 40 local health authorities enabling them to run coronavirus education campaigns on Facebook, developed educational pop-ups on Facebook and Instagram, and worked with a number of countries to launch a WhatsApp-based helpline developed to deliver accurate health information
- Economic Impact Trainings: Trained over 55,200 SMBs across 14 countries through our economic impact programmes, including; Boost with Facebook and SheMeansBusiness, and graduated 229 young people through the Digify Pro programme, with 183 placed in jobs
- Developer Circles: Grew our Developer Circles Programme to over 76k people, from 45 cities across 17 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Digital Literacy Trainings: Undertook digital literacy training, focused on online safety, privacy, news, media literacy and digital citizenship, across six countries training 26,562 people
- Supporting SMBs: Created a Business Resource Hub to support local SMBs and rolled out a $1.8million SMB grant programme for SMBs in Nigeria and South Africa to help cushion some of the effects against COVID-19
- Facebook Journalism Project (FJP): In collaboration with the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), announced $140,000 in grants to South African publishers and a $250,000 video training programme for 10,000 journalists across Africa covering COVID-19
- Facebook Nigeria Office: Announced plans to open our 2nd office in Africa, in Lagos, Nigeria. Serving the entire SSA region it will be the first office on the continent to house a team of expert engineers building for the future of Africa and beyond
- Blood Donations: Partnered with local Blood Donation banks and health authorities to roll out the blood donation feature in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Chad, Namibia, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, Zimbabwe and Niger, with over 2.6 million Facebook users signed up to receive blood donation notifications from blood donation centres.