Facebook announced the names of nearly a dozen African community leaders selected to participate in its global community leadership programme. File Image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - Social media company Facebook on Tuesday announced the names of nearly a dozen African community leaders selected to participate in its global community leadership programme.

In line with its focus on bringing people together and supporting the development of connected communities, the company has selected 116 people worldwide to join the programme.

“Many community leaders worldwide and in Africa turn to Facebook to create connections through Facebook groups, WhatsApp or Messenger," regional director for Facebook Africa Nunu Ntshingila said.

"This programme is all about empowering them with the tools, support and funding they need to advance their causes and build their communities."

After announcing the programme in February, Facebook received more than 6 000 applications from all over the world and selected leaders with a "strong, clear and committed vision for their community".

Five participants have been selected globally as community leaders in residence and each will be awarded up to $1 000 000 to fund their community initiative. 

Kenya’s Noah Nasiali, the selected leader in residence for Africa, has brought together more than 100 000 farmers across Africa through a Facebook group in less than a year which helps them obtain and share critical information.

“Africa Farmers Club was formed to help farmers come together to access credible, reliable and applicable farming information that will help them develop their skills and most importantly help them to get a market for their produce and in the end get returns for their hard work," Nasiali said.

"Our community aims to contribute to the (United Nations) Sustainable Development Goal which is to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.”

The Facebook programme will also host more than 100 fellows and youth participants who will receive up to $50 000 each to be used for their community initiative. Fellows from Africa are from Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.

“Our group of African fellows and our resident represent diverse perspectives from different parts of the continent, but they share a common goal of helping their communities thrive. We know they will do great things over the next year and we're excited to get them started,” said Ime Archibong, Vice President, Product Partnerships at Facebook. 

- African News Agency (ANA)