Social media giant has selected 116 people worldwide to join its programme. Photo: Reuters

JOHANNESBURG – Facebook has 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 social media giant has selected 116 people worldwide to join its programme. 

“Many community leaders worldwide and in Africa turn to Facebook to create connections through 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.”

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 million (R14.4m) to fund their initiative. 

Kenya’s Noah Nasiali, selected as the 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 crucial information. 

“The Africa Farmers Club was formed to help farmers come together to access credible, reliable and applicable farming information to help develop skills and, most importantly, help to get a market for their produce so in the end they get returns for their hard work,” he said. 

“Our community aims to contribute to the (UN) Sustainable Development Goal to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.” 

The Facebook programme is to host 100 fellows and youth participants who will receive up to $50 000 each for their community initiative.