- Title: NIGERIA: Global gathering in Lagos seeks to leverage social media phenomenon
- Date: 21st February 2014
- Summary: CLOSE OF WEBSITE
- Embargoed: 8th March 2014 12:00
- Location: Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Communications,International Relations,People,Technology
- Reuters ID: LVA1LMSJXT8LK4YAVYM363P9VNN6
- Story Text: Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos was one of the hosts of this year's Social Media Week - a global platform that examines one of history's biggest shifts in communication.
Speakers and participants discussed various issues from development, politics and government, science and technology, business and entrepreneurship, advertising and marketing as well as entertainment and education.
This is the second time it is being held in Nigeria. The event brought together entrepreneurs, bloggers and web experts from around the world.
One of the speakers was Eryca Freemantle, a leading consultant in the beauty and makeup industry as well as the ambassador for global campaign, Women of Color.
She spoke to makeup and beauty entrepreneurs about how social media can grow their businesses. She said the experience of finding out the best fit for how social media works best should be a personal one.
"Being a bit afraid of it myself to begin with, not knowing what way to go, not knowing which of the right platforms for me, and enablement to do what I want to do. So what I did was I learnt to step back, I learnt to be educated by experts, look at people that I know that are using relevant platforms for their businesses and pick the right one for me," she said.
Social Media Week is part of a global franchise in 23 cities with Lagos being the first African city to ever host the event on the continent.
Africans spending time on the Internet could add 300 billion US dollars to the continent's economy by 2025, a study by consulting firm, McKinsey & Co showed last year.
Obi Asika, Chairman, social media week and creative industries entrepreneur who has produced over 250 major events, says the aim is to promote the effective use of social media.
"It's really about discussing the implications of what happens when a billion Africans are connected online through mobile devices primarily, and have access to the internet, and what does that mean for Africa? How is Africa going to leverage off these new technologies, off social media? And how does that affect our daily lives, our government administration, businesses and socio-economic life?" the social entrepreneur said.
Alenkhe Tega, co-founder, "Kampke.com" - an online fashion retailer that features top brands for its customers says he is learning not to limit the possibilities of social media, although there should be boundaries in how it is used, other participants said.
"You can actually use social media to....... social media has no limits, it's just how you see it, your perception on how you see it. They have given us examples of people who have used it and they have gone far, and the people who have blogged about it, stars, it's a tool that when used properly, you have no limits, the sky is just the beginning," said Tega.
"At that point where people are not able to differentiate that there is a huge difference between hate speech and freedom of expression, that's the point that I become scared you know of the real power that social media is currently weighing, yeah," said blogger, Blossom Nnodim.
Popular social media users believe that a better broadband internet service in Nigeria and other parts of Africa will enable more people to better leverage on the opportunities of social platforms.
Only 16 percent of the one billion people in Africa - buoyed by mobile telephony, are on the Internet.
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