BlackBerry mulls Apps Lab in Lagos

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

The Lagos State Government and Blackberry  have sealed a deal that will lead to the siting of BlackBerry Apps Laboratory in Lagos.The deal was signed between BlackBerry and the Lagos State Government Innovation Advisory Council.

BlackBerry Managing Director for West, East and Central Africa, Waldi Wepener, who disclosed this at Oriental Hotel, Lagos, venue of the official presentation of BlackBerry Z10 in the country, said the project will allow the software development industry to flourish to boost employment and creation of wealth in the country.

Reacting to the initiative, Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said innovation is the cornerstone of the administration’s efforts at transforming state into a mega-city.

“Innovation is at the heart of our approach to developing Lagos into a Mega City. We are very pleased BlackBerry has chosen Lagos State as a partner and is committed to establishing an apps lab that will further Lagos as a centre for excellence in Africa,” the governor was quoted as saying in a statement.

According to Wepener, report has shown that the country is fastest growing mobile phone market, adding that social messaging and internet are two factors that are driving smartphone adoption in the country.

Waldi said as a mark of the commitment of the mobile phone manufacturer to get the project implemented, a  letter of intent outlining the intention to build a BlackBerry Apps Lab in Lagos, has already been endorsed by the two parties.

Speaking on the development, Wepener said: “With over 250 Nigerian developed applications already available on the next-generation BlackBerry 10 platform, Nigeria’s software development community is clearly demonstrating impressive growth and innovation.  Following a series of BlackBerry developer events and local partnerships in Nigeria, our commitment to build an Apps Lab in Lagos is a clear demonstration of our long term approach to support the development of a sustainable ecosystem in Nigeria.

“We are delighted to find such a progressive partner as the Lagos State Government, committed to building a culture of innovation as a core contributor to future development and we look forward to working closely with them to identify the most appropriate location for the lab.”



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