Nigeria has a vibrant technology sector and is home to a number of successful tech companies. The sector includes a diverse range of companies and startups. It includes fields like software development, e-commerce, mobile apps, fintech, edtech, health tech, agritech, and digital media. The general predictions for the Nigerian tech ecosystem are that it will continue to grow and evolve in the coming year. The reasons are not far-fetched.
The ecosystem is relatively young, thanks to the catch-up game most African countries play with the rest of the world, but it has grown rapidly in recent years. The increased access to the internet and a large youth population drive this growth. The country’s large and growing population also presents a significant market opportunity for tech firms.
Looking back and judging by the unfolding policies released by the regulating bodies, we can see and hope for some directions.
The Present State of the Nigerian Tech Ecosystem
The country has a vibrant startup scene. Many young entrepreneurs are looking to leverage technology to solve problems and create new opportunities away from oil and gas. There is potential for growth in the domestic market. There is also the potential to expand into other markets in Africa and the rest of the world. A number of venture capital firms and angel investors provide funding to startups and early-stage companies.
One enabling trend that has supported the growth of the Nigerian tech space is the widespread use of mobile phones and the internet, particularly in urban areas. However, the space has evident challenges. There are a variety of setbacks that reduce the potential of Nigeria’s tech sector, ranging from erratic electricity supply to weak and poor internet connection and penetration.
Despite this sad reality, many tech companies and entrepreneurs are finding ways to work around these challenges. Many investors still see worthy potential in the Nigerian tech sphere. This growth potential will likely remain, and technology will slowly become a major contributor to the country’s economy in the future. Talking about the future, let’s see three things we think the future holds for the Nigerian tech space.
3 Predictions for the Nigerian Tech Ecosystem in 2023
Technology is constantly evolving, and there will be many advances and changes in the tech industry in 2023. However, if there is anything that 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic taught us, it is the reality that no one completely knows the future; one can only predict using data and observed trends.
The following are three predictions for the Nigerian tech ecosystem in 2023, based on data and evident trends:
- Greater gravitation and migration towards tech as an income source. Tech supports innovations. The future of work is tech. As earlier said, many young Nigerians are deviating from careers in Oil and Gas sectors. They are now innovating other sectors into more desirable settings like remote working. This influx of people into the tech space should also lead to more innovation and exploration. One such innovation will be “do-everything” apps.
- Increase of “do-everything” apps. Tech blurs the lines between sectors as many companies offer different services. As seen in the concluding section of this article, “do-everything” apps will “enable businesses to deploy vertical integration to enhance their optionality, increase multi-cycle revenue streams and reduce development costs” for businesses. However, for the customers, it gives an all-in-one experience which will increase ease of use and save time. The CBN’s recent withdrawal limit and currency note redesigning and circulation policies will also drive the development of such apps. If, for instance, all saving, buying, selling, earning, withdrawal, and spending are done on one platform, it eliminates the need to worry about exceeding the withdrawal limit, helps promote a more digital economy, and reduces the citizen’s need to worry about counterfeit notes in circulation. This option will probably be explored by many tech firms, but that is not all that they will focus on.
- More attention and focus on Artificial Intelligence. Technology aims to make processes easier. The emergence of automation through AI and Machine Learning has forever changed the scenes of the workforce. In 2023 the ability to use automation tools and platforms might be the deciding factor in job interviews and the like. Developers will discover more areas that can be automated and develop systems, platforms, and apps to make this happen. By the end of 2023, the future of work might see successful people as those who know how to efficiently use tools and products.
The prediction for the Nigerian tech ecosystem cannot be written in stone, as many things can shift focus swiftly. From the upcoming general elections to unknown tomorrows, a lot can happen. However, two things that remain sure are the gravitation towards tech careers and the development of solutions to tackle unappreciated policies by the governing bodies or unexpected developments.