Back in 2014, BBC reported that Nigeria’s booming economy overtook that of South Africa, replacing the latter as the country with the biggest economy all over Africa. At the end of 2013, the overall gross domestic product (GDP) of Nigeria reached around ₦80.3 trillion (around $509.9 billion), while South Africa’s GDP was only ₦5.8 trillion (around $370.3 billion).
Nigeria’s GDP rose significantly due to the outstanding performances of several industries, including film productions, airlines, music, online sales, telecommunications, and information technology. As of the present time, Nigeria remains to be one of the most developed nations in Africa. Although it is currently experiencing economic downturns, the country is still performing way better than other African countries in different economic and social markets.
But even if Nigeria’s economy is going strong, there are debates on the country’s capabilities of improving, and eventually, leading Africa in terms of technological advancements and developments. However, CFATech.ng founder Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata believes that Nigeria is capable of pushing the continent to greater heights in the field of technology through the following factors or considerations:
Its Young Population
Evidently, the generation today is exposed to so many gadgets to the point where they already know how to use such things, especially smartphones and tablets, at a very young age. Apparently, that’s somehow a good thing. The early exposure to tech devices can trigger young ones’ technological interests, which may encourage them to become innovative individuals in the future.
The better news is that Nigeria houses a lot of young people who are showing their curiosity and enthusiasm towards technology. If these advanced, young Nigerian thinkers are given the proper education and training, they may be able to improvise, and perhaps revolutionize, the face of technology in Africa.
As a matter of fact, the technological revolution has already started as some notable young Nigerians begin to taste success in creating tech devices. They have also made progress in the online market, operating digital stores that are known and patronized in other parts of the world.
A Pool of Venture Capitalists
One of the most unfortunate realities in life is having the necessary set of skills but financially incapacitated. Yes, Nigeria has so many talented and creative innovators, but they are unable to produce and market their ideas due to the expenses needed to spearhead their projects.
Because of the situation, venture capitalists come into the picture and help these young Nigerian innovators realize their technological solutions and ideas. These capitalists are ready to invest in the projects after carefully assessing the overall concept. If they find it interesting, they will provide support and everything needed to make the solution happen. Fortunately, Nigeria has a lot of venture capitalists who are ready to take on anything they think are a worthy investment.
Establishment of ICT Hubs
ICT stands for Information and Communications Technology. It basically refers to a group of communication devices, including mobile phones, radios, televisions, computer, and satellite systems, as well as applications that can be used for an effective communication. When these devices and applications come together, they form an ICT hub.
With the presence of ICT hubs, people, especially tech enthusiasts and experts, are able to generate well-thought ideas that can develop into functional technological solutions, Undeniably, that shows how important an ICT hub is. Currently, Nigeria has several networks in different parts of the country, and the government, with the cooperation of the private sector, is planning to establish more hubs in all states of Nigeria.
If the establishment of more ICT hubs continues, the generation of tech ideas, solutions, and innovations become much faster to realize, in effect, making Nigeria as the leader of Africa’s technological push and breakthroughs.
However, the country is still battling on who should fund and spearhead the creation of ICT hubs. Will it be the government or the private companies? But if everything works out well, the country will definitely achieve rise to become a major ICT hub not only in Africa but also all over the world.
There is no doubt about the potential of Nigeria of becoming Africa’s tech leader. It has the resources and qualities needed to revolutionize and enhance the face of technology on the continent. It’s not going to be easy, but if the country is able to give importance to talented individuals, the success is definitely achievable.
“This can be achieved through the setting up of mechanisms that are capable of recognizing talents early and nurturing them, mentoring them and giving them the opportunity to express themselves and innovate,” wrote Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata in his article. “This will definitely give Nigeria the edge in leading the African continent in technology.”