Reports from The Big Deal indicates that out of the $4b funding raised through 754 deals by African startups, Nigeria took the largest chunk amounting to $1.4b from 215 deals, making the most populous black nation top the likes of South Africa and Egypt with the most raised funds in 2021.
In the same year, Nigeria had moved up five positions, while ranking 63rd on the global startup ecosystem, falling behind Kenya and South Africa as third on the African continent.
This notable rise was driven by the country’s number of active startups and its huge consumer market.
This rise also saw significant changes to the Nigerian tech ecosystem as some certain cities also shot up the global startup ranking.
Seven Nigerian cities rose to significant positions with Lagos leading the pack as the biggest startup city in Nigeria and on the African continent.
Other notable cities that made the list in ascending order after Lagos are Ibadan, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Benin City and Kano.
Lagos undoubtedly continues to lead the pack in Nigeria as it has seen massive use cases of e-commerce, transportation, retail and educational technology.
Being the economic capital and the most suited place for tech-related activities has seen the centre of excellence lead the African race.
While we celebrate the success of the growing Nigerian ecosystem we know there still remains a lot of unexploited potential within the states.
Take for example Anambra state which is located in the southeast region of Nigeria. Is home to over 6 million inhabitants, +50% youths, home to one of the largest physical markets in West Africa and an average trade volume of $3bn annually.
Contestable, Anambra could be named one of the top 10 richest states in Nigeria. Despite this, the startup and tech ecosystem in the state is still its infantry.
The newly elected Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo selected an 80 man Transition Committee to ensure a seamless change from the current administration.
The committee headed by Dr Oby Ezekwesili has two notable inclusion from Nigeria’s tech community; Uche Onwuamaegbu Chukwuemeka and Fred Agabata Jnr (CFA), both of who are leaders in the tech and startup ecosystem.
If we are to go by this inclusion, does it mean anything for Anambra’s tech ecosystem?
It is notable to mention that Dr Oby who heads the Transition Committee appears to have an interest in the development of the tech space as she shared her thoughts while delivering her opening remarks at AfriLabs 10th annual gathering.
She emphasized that notwithstanding her professional background she is a big enthusiast and supporter of Africa’s tech ecosystem.
Prior to the elections, the newly elected governor in his manifesto titled, ‘The Soludo Solution’ identified key strengths and opportunities for Anambra state and the number one on his list reads.
“Digitization and the consequent Fourth Industrial Revolution present both threats to the existing
production structures and employment but also enormous opportunities to leapfrog and create new
From artificial intelligence, robotics to augmented reality and block chain technology, there
are opportunities to immerse our youths into the stream and redefine their future.”
In his proposed plan he listed four major pillars and yet again what appears first on the list is “Economic Transformation”, a plan that may see Anambra become Nigeria’s next industrial-tech hub or better still Leapfrogging Anambra as an Industrial Hub.
The former CBN Governor also plans to make Anambra the digital and creative capital of Nigeria.
This will be achieved by investing in relevant infrastructure, facilitating programmes for digital skill development to boost innovation, create jobs, encourage entrepreneurship, enhance social development, and achieve economic transformation by fostering growth in the technology and creative ecosystem.
According to Soludo, this will be achieved by;
Embark on an ambitious digital skills acquisition and empowerment program that will train and support up to 10,000 youths annually. With high intensive short term training, thousands of Ndi Anambra youths can start working and earning income across borders from the comfort of their homes in Anambra.
Establish a business incubation hub and a N5 billion Venture Capital Fund to incubate and provide additional growth capital for the most promising start-ups and ventures, either by way of grants or direct investments.
Funding shall be focused (mainly but not exclusively) on youths with technology and innovation-driven enterprises, mentoring and coaching. The target is to create a DIGITAL TRIBE of Problem Solvers, Innovators, Inventors and Job creators whilst facilitating early-stage entrepreneurship.
From these indications, Anambra state might just be ready for a tech boom.
Daniel Chinagozi, Founder of IGHub and a stakeholder in Anambra’s tech ecosystem shared his thoughts on the inclusion of the duo in the transition committee.
According to him, the outgoing administration in the state has made some progress, thus the inclusion of the duo can only mean that the incoming government is set to strengthen the current progress.
Daniel explained how CFA and Uche as important ecosystem voices participated at the launch of IG Hub in Onitsha, this indicating that the duo doesn’t just understand but also knows the need of Anambra’s technology ecosystem.
Further expressing his thoughts, Daniel mentioned how he, Uche and other stakeholders in the state held a technical session with Anambra Technology Development Agency on what the state needs to grow technology.
“Including them in this in this transition committee means that the tech ecosystems voice has started growing out there.
Soludo is prepared to make sure technology is enshrined in what he’s doing and people that have been consistent in this technology ecosystem have started getting the level of recognition deserved across the political divide”
Politicians now have an understanding of the place of technology, and how technology hubs help to grow the economy”, he added.
Beyond the transition committee, there is a high expectation that the inclusion of the duo will drive the required change in Anambra’s tech ecosystem state in the long run.
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