Nigeria at vanguard of African tech
Nigeria has long been a hotbed of business start-ups in the African technology sector and the “Yabacon Valley” in Lagos has emerged as a tech hub that rivals other key African tech locations in Nairobi (Kenya) and Cape Town (South Africa). Lagos is among the leading recipients of start-up funding in Africa, plays host e-commerce heavyweights, such as Jumia and Konga, and has given a platform for some of Africa’s best known tech start-ups to flourish (including the software company Andela, the internet and entertainment company iROKO and the digital payment technology provider Flutterwave). All of these technology companies are attracting global investor interest, while some major international players are looking to set up operations in Nigeria. Google intends to open a Google Launchpad Space and paved the way for greater interaction with the Nigeria software community by hosting a Google Developers Launchpad boot-camp in Lagos in November. Facebook intends to open a tech hub to provide incubation and training programs for start-ups and developers in Lagos in early 2018 in collaboration with Co-Creation Hub (one of Nigeria’s most prominent tech start-up hubs). These developments are unsurprising given the size and potential of the Nigerian population and economy, as well as government initiatives to encourage technology clustering in Lagos. The future looks bright for the dynamic and competitive ICT sector in Nigeria.