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How Nigerian Youths are Driving the Startup Ecosystem in Nigeria (Part 1)

Written by Kenneth Omeruo Friday, 18 October 2013.

Kenneth Omeruo Shares His Views on the Nigerian Startup Ecosystem

The backbone of every economy is hinged on Technology with entrepreneurship driving the growth of the entire system. We see Technology powering every facet of human endeavor, enabling effective governance, empowering security, driving economic and social changes. No nation, especially the developing countries can afford to neglect the importance of technology if they want to be relevant in future.

131106 nigeriapartoneGoing by the projections from Gartner, Information Technology spending will nearly hit $4 trillion threshold by the end of this year and then Software spending will be $158 billion in 2016. The positive economic indexes coming from Nigeria as an emerging market shows we are certainly a center of global attraction and investors’ haven.

I have often times stated that for a country like Nigeria, the realities of achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) within the given time will still be an illusion if we do not quickly channel the strength of the young population into exploring ways of creating wealth and opportunities through the use of Technology. It is obvious that Nigerian youths when given the right technology tools and support can create products and services that will impact on the economy of the country positively; perhaps this could be the panacea to unemployment.

Just as a recent report released from the research done by Omidyar Network on Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa, shows that despite the challenges entrepreneurs in Nigeria face like lack of easy access to capital and funding, infrastructural and power deficiencies etc., there is a positive and strong entrepreneurial culture in Nigeria driven by the young population. This shows that many young Nigerians are eager to become entrepreneurs if given the needed support in an enabling environment!

As a startup founder, observing, facilitating and following the Tech trends in Nigeria and Africa over the years, this is one of the most interesting times in terms of the realities and possibilities of technology entrepreneurship amongst young people. In that spirit, many young Nigerians despite the daunting challenges are working so hard to build tech Start-Ups that will be globally competitive. These young Techpreneurs are continuously placing Nigeria in the eyes of global media attracting investment and re-branding the image of the nation.

The Mobile Web West Africa 2013 conference held in Lagos – a leading mobile-focused conference which tracks the development and trends in the Mobile ecosystem in the region, and x-rays the impact and economic potentials of mobile devices and applications – saw delegates from leading Mobile business all over the world participate. The most amazing thing at that conference was seeing a lot of young Nigerians who have started their own Tech Startups as Software and Application developersThe passion and drive seen in these young people can only be likened to what our Super Eagles football team did at the last African Cup of Nation - #winning!

A good number of these young people who also live in Nigeria are making headlines and grabbing attention internationally. Talk about Iroko PartnersJumiaKongaJobberman, Kaymu, PagaThe Inye TabletVeda Computers etc are a few of tech businesses attracting great funding from international organizations and corporations.

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About the Author

Kenneth Omeruo

Kenneth Omeruo

Omeruo Kenneth is the CEO of Emerging Media, a new media company. He is the Founder of Kenneth is a syndicated columnist with the following Newspapers in Nigeria: Daily Independent, Financial Standard, PUNCH, BusinessDay, and Sun. Kenneth organizes the EduNet Africa Conference for Higher Education Community. Kenneth is a member of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) and a member of ISPON’s Roundtable for Capacity Development in Nigeria, a member of the pre-selection committee for Nigeria at the UN World Summit Awards, a Panelist for Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWIN) - a Federal government initiative, created by the Ministry of Finance, supported by ministries of Communications Technology and Youth Development, the World Bank, and DFID. He is a contributing editor of Nigeria Communications Week, Africa Telecom and IT Business Magazine, ICT Today Magazine, M2 Magazine. Kenneth Can be reached at [email protected].

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