Nigeria is home to one of Africa’s top startup ecosystems. The energy, innovation, and drive of its entrepreneurs and their teams have produced many impressive products that solve some of the country’s pressing problems.
From agriculture to finance, healthcare and education, these startups are shaking up the status quo and bringing positive change to the way traditional industries serve the public.
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Over the past few years, there’s been plenty of talk about Nigeria’s dominance of the continent’s tech landscape. And closer to the present, data has emerged to back up these claims.
For example, Nigeria boasts the biggest concentration of tech hubs in Africa. That’s according to a report jointly issued by Briter Bridges and AfriLabs. Both organizations put the number of tech hubs in the country at about 90. This is more than the 78 recorded for South Africa, which has the second-highest number of hubs on the continent.
The top five also includes Egypt, Kenya, and Tunisia, with 56, 50, and 36 tech hubs respectively.
Another report, published by GSMA, says that Lagos has the greatest number of hubs of any city in Africa, with about 40 functional hubs. This would mean that almost half of Nigeria’s hubs are located there. This isn’t surprising, given that the country’s startup ecosystem continues to be heavily dependent on the pool of talent that’s available in the state.
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Cape Town and Cairo came in at second and third place respectively.
The GSMA report notes that between 2018 and 2019, there was a 40% rise in the number of tech hubs that it counted across the continent. It attributes this strong growth to an inflow of venture funds, development finance, and the innovativeness of local tech communities.
Tech hubs are an important part of the tech ecosystem in Nigeria. Perhaps the most striking evidence of this is the role played by Co-Creation Hub in the emergence of such successful startups as BudgIT, Wecyclers, and Lifebank.
However, it hasn’t been all rosy for tech hubs in Nigeria. Some have had to close shop due to a failure to attract startups, and a lack of funding for their operations. Support from local venture capital hasn’t always been forthcoming. Challenges like poor power supply and the speed and cost of broadband also bedevil these establishments.
Still, there’s the potential for tech hubs to thrive in Nigeria. The entrepreneurial drive of the country’s largely youthful population and the desire to find innovative solutions to everyday problems are fueling a startup boom within its borders. The ventures set up by these individuals often need a suitable environment within which they can find their feet. As long as this is the case, the demand for tech hubs will only continue to grow.
Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG
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