Nigeria has predominately been an economy that relied on its oil reserves to earn revenue. However, the recent fall in global oil price over recent years, have affected the economy as a whole.
Nigeria has a population of 170 million, mobile penetration of 75% percent and IT contribution of 10% to the GDP, Nigeria is becoming Africa’s go to economy for new tech startups to step into. A lot of opportunities can be found in every sector, but there are several industries where tech startups can really thrive nowadays.
As Africa transitions from the margins to the mainstream of the global economy, technology is playing an increasingly significant role.
In an effort to jump away from oil dependency and overhaul its economy, the Nigerian government has been taking steps, small as they may be so far but steps nonetheless, to an economy that’s driven by innovation and technology.
Nigeria is a hotbed for start-up activity. Facebook, Netflix and SAP have recently expanded in Africa. And Silicon Valley investment is funneling into ventures from Nigeria, South Africa to Kenya.
Nigeria is working hard to close the gap between technology and the population, there is a tremendous untapped potential, in every niche, for tech startups to take advantage of. That being said here are the industries whose problems have yet to be solved efficiently (through technology) and thus, are a perfect market for tech startups to enter:
1) Agriculture : In 1999, Nigeria produced 145,000 tons of cocoa beans, but has the potential for over 300,000 per year, but since then the numbers has reduced drastically and all focus was directed to the Oil & Gas Industry that has experienced tough time in recent years.
We all know most of the farmers in Northern Nigeria are peasant farmers who can’t implement irrigation methods and depend mainly on rainfall. With the rainfall becoming increasingly irregular due to harsh climate changes, the farmers are facing unpredictable yields which erode their already minor profits.
To solve this problem the Buhari’s Administration is trying to introduce precision farming. Precision farming is a technology dependent method which relies on GPS, remote sensors, geographic information systems and yield monitors.
2) Education : Only 53% of those who sat for the May/June West African Senior School Certificate Exams (WASSCE), managed to pass with a credit grade or above. The Education sector needs a lot of improvement and Nigeria’s Technology Industry can assist with that.
The high percentage of failure does not mean that Nigeria’s or Africa’s students are not intelligent; it shows the lack of learning avenues, where the students can prepare for their exams.
But neither are full tech solutions. Virtual classrooms complete with online assignments and tests have the potential to be even more successful than home tutors and online tests.
Any startup willing to take up the virtual learning mantle is sure to find huge success in Nigeria.
Health : According to the latest WHO data published in 2015 life expectancy in Nigeria is: Male 53.4, female 55.6 and total life expectancy is 54.5 which gives Nigeria a World Life Expectancy ranking of 171.
You can see the top 5 causes of death data and rankings for Nigeria by clicking on the links below.
|1.||Influenza and Pneumonia|
|4.||Coronary Heart Disease|
Advancements in medical technology in Nigeria would allow physicians to better diagnose and treat their patients better rather than flying emergencies abroad to countries like India thereby increasing the cost of Good Health.
By providing new machines, medicines, and treatments that save lives we indirectly save millions of life in the country.
Not only do sophisticated medical practices help patients heal directly; new technology has also improved research so experts can make healthcare even more effective.
This moving story of how new technology changed the life of someone who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is only one example of how lives are being changed in practical, every-day terms.