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From The Editors Technology

Mark Zuckerberg’s African Sojourn

Mark Zuckerberg, internet entrepreneur, computer programmer par excellence, philanthropist, better known the world over as the co-founder, chairman and CEO of the social networking website Facebook, has recently generated a lot of media and public interest over his first ever African trip.

A lot has been written and said about his sub-Saharan sojourn which, if nothing else, has provided the much-needed impetus to Africa’s nascent IT ecosystem.

It is supposed to have been a staged surprise visit and there is a lot of speculation flying around over the surprise element. It was just an unannounced visit thereby generating the surprise talk. However, it is left to the readers’ conjecture as to the importance and purpose of the bolt from the blue.

Mark Zuckerberg in Ngeria
Mark Zuckerberg in Nigeria

The logical reason behind the secrecy could be a pleasant surprise to the young engineers, technicians, entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs, children who are learning computer programming and many others who were much more than just pleasantly shocked.

What is important to analyze and understand is the multifaceted purpose of the visit and how it is going to benefit Africa as a continent and not just the countries he visited there; what would America get out of this and, last but not the least, how the world would benefit from this.

His African endeavor began with a visit to Lagos, the most populous city, not only in Nigeria but the entire continent and, moreover, the country still remains Facebook’s biggest market. It was the smart entrepreneurial strategy on his part to start his itinerary with a trip to the Co–Creation HUB (Cc HUB) in Yaba, Nigeria’s own Silicon Valley.

Zuckerberg with-Andela Lagos-team
Zuckerberg with Andela Lagos-team

Here, he interacted with kids between 5 and 18 in a coding camp, who are completing a “Summer of Code”, learning to program and maybe one day reach the goals they have set out to achieve; met with developers, startup founders and entrepreneurs as he anticipates great potential in the IT community of the country and the continent as a whole. In Zuckerberg’s own words to CNN “There’s so much energy and so much potential here. I just want to walk around and meet folks.”

It is reported that Mark Zuckerberg was particularly impressed with the work of a woman by the name of Temie Giwa-Tubosun who has created LifeBank, a blood tracking system which basically spans from potential donor to recipient. She is confident and claims with conviction that LifeBank would be a faster and cheaper way of blood transfusion.

Zuckerberg had a plethora of questions for her after which he used the term “awesome’ to describe her innovative system. After his visit to CcHub, this is what Zuckerberg had to say on his Facebook Page, which in itself is an authentication of the importance he has attached to this trip:

“This is my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa. I’ll be meeting with developers and entrepreneurs, and learning about the startup ecosystem in Nigeria. The energy here is amazing and I’m excited to learn as much as I can.

The first place I got to visit was the Co-creation Hub Nigeria (CcHUB) in Yaba. I got to talk to kids at a summer coding camp and entrepreneurs who come to CcHub to build and launch their apps. I’m looking forward to meeting more people in Nigeria.”

He continued on to visit Andela, a company sponsored by entities including the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Susa Ventures, Steve Case, Founder Collective, Learn Capital and more. Among other things, Seni Suleyman, Director, Andela Lagos had this to say about Mark’s visit:

Mark Zuckerberg had blast in Nigeria
Mark Zuckerberg had blast in Nigeria

‘Mark’s visit demonstrates to all Nigerian developers and entrepreneurs that they’ve caught the attention of the tech world and they are capable of succeeding on a truly global level.”

The visit has definitely generated a lot of interest the world over; a lot of likely positives have emerged from this trip; however, there will always be the odd detractor.

To sum it up, considering the fact that The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, created by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, arranged a $24 million funding in Andela, is certainly a precursor of good things to come, hopefully, not only for Africa and Facebook but the entire web community.

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From The Editors Health

Zuckerberg’s are Saviours of Humanity

There are many people in this world who have made a lot of money in life, not to the tune of millions but billions and have contributed a major portion of their wealth to the cause of noble and worthy deeds.

These people have a heart of gold and god has blessed them with an untold bounty for their foremost interest has always been for the good of mankind.

They have donated money to education, scientific research, charitable causes, eradication of diseases, housing, tackling famine, Floods, earthquakes and other natural calamities.

A case in point is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which has contributed a 100 million dollars for the eradication of polio in the world.

Warren Buffet, the third-richest person in the world has recently given away 2.90 billion dollars to the Gates foundation in the form of stock shares .

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has donated another roughly $2.86 billion of his holdings in the company’s stock to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four family charities, as part of his plan to give away nearly his entire fortune.

Buffet has since 2006 contributed a total of 24.3 billion dollars to charity.

The Gates Foundation focuses on improving education and health received 14.96 million shares of the company.

Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, has known Buffett for a quarter century and counts him as a close friend. He is also a Berkshire director.

Buffett typically makes his donations in July, reducing the number of shares by 5% from the prior year.

In yet another development with regard to charitable causes and what can be described as one of the greatest and noblest deeds ever, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife Priscilla Chan have pledged $ 3 billion dollars to rid the world of all diseases by the end of the century.

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan aim to cure all diseases
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan aim to cure all diseases

The couple has set up the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative to “cure, prevent or manage all disease” by the end of the century which was announced at a news conference at UCSF Mission Bay in San Francisco.

So the question is how do they intend to go about it? How does one get rid of all the malaise in the world?

The 3 billion dollars will go into scientific research to initiate a medical revolution, creating scientific tools based on traditional science and engineering on which all researchers can develop a map of all cell types, a way to monitor blood constantly to detect any signs of early disease.

The Noble couple envisions that all diseases are eradicated by the turn of the century.

The money will also help fund what they referred to as 10 to 15 “virtual institutes” that will bring together investigators from around the world to focus on individual diseases or other goals — an idea that has the potential to upend biomedical science.

Presently being a scientist in academia today can often be a solitary endeavor as the system is set up to encourage colleagues to keep data exclusive in the hopes that this strategy helps them be more competitive at getting publications and grants.

But now the trend will change, and with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs like Zuckerberg who are seeking to make their mark in the biological sciences, the power of collaboration and openness is being encouraged.

A “Biohub” will be created in an effort call Chan-Zuckerberg Science at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) Mission Bay campus that will bring together scientists from Stanford, the University of California at Berkeley and UCSF.

The long-term vision of Zuckerberg and Chan, ranked among the world’s 10 wealthiest couples, with a net worth of $55.2 billion, is truly commendable and the world should rise to salute this couple.

Advising patients, the young husband, and wife are well aware that their effort does not mean that all diseases will be eradicated in the world but it will certainly ensure that there is a considerably less sickness in the world.

The Zuckerbergs are not alone in their effort in such a worthy cause. Sean Parker, a Napster co-founder has also donated some 250 million dollars to band together a team of top researchers from around the country to focus on immunotherapy for cancer.

Microsoft’s Paul Allen has already invested $100 million in a cell biology institute to try to create models of the fundamental building blocks of life.

It was unclear how those efforts would collaborate with Chan-Zuckerberg Science, if at all.

Zuckerberg in a magnanimous gesture gave credit to his wife Chan for having guided him on this route. Chan who is a pediatrician, by profession who stole the limelight.

It was a public debut for Chan as she was first and last on stage and in sharp contrast to the robotic presentations there was a human touch to the presentation at such announcements she was moved to tears when talking about the soul-searching that led to the project.

She poignantly recounted what it was like to tell a parent that a child has the devastating diagnosis of leukemia or tell a family that doctors had not been able to resuscitate their child which moved the audience and herself to tears.

“In those moments and at many others, we are at the limit of what we understand about the human body and disease, the limit of our ability to alleviate suffering. We want to push back that boundary,” Chan said.

Chan, who met Zuckerberg when they were students at Harvard and married him in 2012, is a very private and reclusive person for she keeps to herself.

Despite being a billionaire’s wife who could go globetrotting and spend lavishly on the good things in life she shuns media appearances, launch events, and other public and social engagements.

Instead, she preferred to attain her medical degree in 2012, do her residency at UCSF and continues to work as a Pediatrician at San Francisco General. It is no easy sailing to become a doctor in the U.S.A and Chan could have given it all up after marriage but being a strong and humane person she has chosen her path in life.

Philanthropy comes naturally to the Zuckerbergs, During those years, the couple began to ramp up their philanthropy with a mix of traditional grants — $5 million to UCSF Children’s Hospital, $75 million for San Francisco General Hospital, $25 million to the CDC Foundation to fight Ebola — along with a few less conventional projects.

They contributed 100 million dollars to reform the struggling Newark school system but the money was squandered by local politicians’ mismanagement. However, this did not deter the couple but rather motivated them as a lesson and later they gave away 120 million dollars to the San Francisco Bay area and said that they looked at the failures in New Jersey as a learning opportunity.

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla-chan with their daughter max
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan with their daughter Max

Max Chan-Zuckerberg is held by her parents, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife announced the birth of their daughter, Max, as well as plans to donate most of their wealth to a new organization that will tackle a broad range of the world’s ills.

The couple is more than human as they are serving humanity in such a way they could be best described as god’s angels on earth for their purpose is do good and nothing but good in this world pledging another 45 billion to the world. The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative makes their previous grants pale in comparison.

She is now an integral part off of the billionaire spouses philanthropic society or sorority along with Melinda Gates, Microsoft’s Bill Gates wife, for her work with global and women’s health issues. Cari Tuna, a former journalist for the Wall Street Journal and wife of another Facebook co-founder, Dustin Moskovitz, has taken the lead on the couple’s philanthropy.

And Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs of Apple, has recently started to make inroads with efforts in education as well as global conservation and immigration policy.

It is a well-known fact that most people die from five things — heart disease, cancer, stroke, neurodegenerative and infectious diseases — and we can make faster progress on these and other problems.

Once we recognize that your generation and your children’s generation may not have to suffer from the disease, we collectively have a responsibility to tilt our investments a bit more towards the future to make this reality. Your mother and I want to do our part.

In formulating their plan for Chan-Zuckerberg Science, the couple said they consulted with numerous scientists and philanthropists, including Gates, who appeared on stage Wednesday to praise the couple’s “risk-taking,” and National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, whom Zuckerberg credited with pushing them to view the problem through the lens of computer science.

Cori Bargmann, a neuroscientist, was named a president of science at the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative.

The new effort will be led by Cori Bargmann, a neuroscientist at Rockefeller University who was co-chair of President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative and is expected to eventually include thousands of researchers throughout the world.

Bargmann said in an interview that the list of target projects is still being worked out but that one major effort will involve infectious diseases.

Zika, Ebola, and other fatal diseases will be tackled on a war footing . Medical Research will be conducted from all over the world.

All one can say that the world should rise and salute the Zuckerberg for they given a whole new meaning to humanity and philanthropy.

The world is indeed blessed to have people like them n the planet.