In recent times, there was the general belief that Nigeria is not keeping up with the rest of the world in terms of innovation and technology. But not anymore. A good number of technology startups have emerged and continue to grow stronger in at least the last half-decade, up to 2023. Here below is a glimpse into Nigeria’s emerging tech scene.
The Nairametrics site reports that an estimated 1.3 Billion US Dollars in funding was collectively raised by Nigerian tech startups in 2022. Additionally, the ICT sector alone, according to the National Bureau of Statics, contributed 20.32% to Nigeria’s GDP in Quarter 3 of 2022. This is the highest contribution so far in the past 5 years.
These tech startups have also consolidated efforts to comply with industry regulations. This is apparent in areas relating to social media media and internet platform regulations, data protection and privacy, as well as digital advertising.
It is our collective hope that Nigeria’s emerging tech scene will advance significantly in 2023. Thankfully, the tech sector continues to attract keen interest from investors who are following closely on new technological trends.
Nigeria’s Emerging Tech Scene: Trends to Note This 2023
Big thanks to the advancing telecommunications and internet industries in Nigeria. These two ICT sectors have taken the leading role in the advancement of technology in Nigeria for more than a decade now. Indeed, Nigeria’s emerging tech scene owes a lot to both of these ICT sectors in terms of providing necessary communication infrastructure.
The NCC (National Telecommunications Commission) declared a total revenue of 2 Trillion Naira in 2020, for both internet service providers and telecommunications companies. With the assurance of increased investment in the two aforementioned ICT sectors, e-commerce and software companies are gradually climbing on their shoulders to rise up to the challenge.
It is also noteworthy that most of the tech startups in the last decade of Nigeria’s emerging tech scene are e-commerce and software companies. We can openly attest to the success of Nigerian e-commerce giants namely Konga, Jumia and Jiji. The fintech companies have also been particularly active. Notable fintech entities such as Opay, Palmpay, Quickteller, Chipper cash and Fairmoney have been prominent players in the Nigerian marketplace.
Glad also to observe that the Nigerian government are now more willing to support the growth of the tech industry. The setting up of PEBEC (Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council) and the NITDA (National Information Technology Development Agency) are evidence of this move. They have worked to ensure that more Nigerians are technically and financially empowered to contribute to the ICT sector in the last few years.
And that Nigeria’s emerging tech scene will no longer be badly undersupplied with creatives and problem-solvers. This had been the case before now, due to lack of funding and needed infrastructural support for individuals and tech business start-ups.
Nigeria’s Emerging Tech Scene: Key Innovations Shaping the Future
Online banks or fintechs have been rigorously serving the huge number of Nigerians out there, who have restricted or no access to physical banking services. We have seen how efficient the likes of Flutterwave, Opay, Piggyvest and many others have become. These fintechs now lead the pack in providing efficient online banking to the masses.
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
Artificoal intelligence and machine learning are now eager tools in the hand of tech companies. They are being used to create solutions in agriculture, healthcare, finance, and education sectors to mention a few needy markets.
An ever-increasing number of mobile apps and mobile payment channels continue to flood the market. This is in direct response to the increased numbers of mobile phones users in Nigeria. Well over 173 million mobile phones users are in Nigeria as we speak.
So there is ready market for the proliferation and use of mobile apps to solve every imaginable problem. From payment processing to learning, video editing, graphic design, healthcare, content management and more, the market for mobile apps in Nigeria is booming. It may not slow down anytime soon.
The drive for more renewable energy to complement the national grid supply is enormous. One of the biggest problems ever to besiege the private sector businesses is sporadic or too little electricity supply. Leading renewable energy tech startups like Arnegy and Rensource (amongst others) have offered to provide trusted solar energy solutions to homes and businesses more than ever.
Upcoming Trends in Nigeria’s Emerging Tech Space
It would be rather short-sighted to limit the developments in Nigeria’s emerging tech space to merely the four categories mentioned above. There has been an increase in the number of tech startups servicing other key sectors of the economy. They include education, e-commerce, and healthcare.
In education for instance, remote learning, learning management, and information database and systems need more assistance from tech startups.
E-commerce platforms are still not abundant enough. And the existing ones sometimes do not have all the critical tools needed to ensure the best customer experience.
Finally, the healthcare industry can also make good use of modern technology to advance their work, with the help of tech startups. For instance, speech recognition and artificial intelligence for diagnosing ailments is very much needed by doctors. That would reduce the long hours and effort invested in attending to patients in person.
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