My 14 Predictions for the Nigerian Technology Space in 2014

I think it is a fun and useful exercise doing predictions. It is a way of documenting wishful thinking and testing your perception abilities. Looking back, it would show how far along you have come.

Here is my attempt 3 years ago

For the coming year, here are my predictions it is a combination of positives and negatives. Nothing outlandish as we are predicting only one year out.

  1. Payments solved: Nigerian tech companies will have their payment problems solved (most likely NOT by a Nigerian company). i.e stored card data will enable reoccurring billing which is the lifeblood of software startups. Paypal will arrive. Finally.
  2. Major exit: There will be a massive exit for a Nigerian startup (not Rocket). Massive meaning over $80million. I have no idea of the space.
  3. Major casualty: Likewise, there will be a massive failure of a funded company. A bankrupt startup or a founder kicked out of his/her company. Lots of media startups will close their doors.
  4. Tech will go mainstream: Tech founders will get the recognition that has been missing. Red carpets and magazine covers for our sector will become commonplace.
  5. International companies will come: Facebook, Twitter et al will set up proper shop in Nigeria.  Google will go beyond their sales cubicle. Hello Deezer!
  6. Cash will flow in: There will be a lot of inbound money invested in the technology space. $100million at least will come in. The low amount is because of the uncertainty of the Nigerian elections coming up
  7. Rocket will Exit Africa: They are done with here. But they’ll be dusted as they sell off everything they have and move on to other things.
  8. Corporate venturing will take off: MTN has shown the way. We love to copy. Do not shut down that your streaming app just yet, the buyers are looking out.
  9. Incubator time: Many commercial play incubators will begin to sprout. There will be at least one foreign one that will be for Nigerian startups (as against the Rocket model)
  10. Tech + Politics: Technology and social media will dominate the political landscape. This is fairly obvious but it will be on another level far beyond SMS broadcasts
  11. Global Nigerian Startups: We’ll have our Representatives in Y Combinator, TechStars and 500 Startups. Of course we will start appearing on TechCrunch, Pando, Re/Code. #Primetime.
  12. Broadband: Everything will change with the sale of 2.3MHz spectrum.
  13. Live streaming: The plummeting of broadband costs will mean a lot of live casting will take off this year. Video will be big.
  14. Education: This is the next ecommerce for Nigeria. Everyone will do an education startup this year. At least two will have the same name 😉


Swift – Visafone:  There will be an acquisition and/or merger involving these two.

Nigerian Sex tapes: They will go mainstream. Tonto Dike mainstream 😉

What are your predictions for the Nigerian tech space in 2014?

PS: Please forgive the typos. I did not predict I wilt be typo free.

Life as a Second Class Citizen of the Web

I just bought 3 domain names from GoDaddy. No, that is not news, the news is that I had to use a US based VPN before the purchase went through. (the VPN made the godaddy server think I was browsing from the US).

The first 50 times I tried making this purchase, it kept giving me the error “unable to process”. After doing quite a lot of Googling I saw that all purchases form Nigeria are flagged automatically. (No prize for getting why). So I went and setup the VPN and the purchase went immediately.

Of course I should have used Paypal but my account has kept getting locked ever since I returned top Nigeria from the UK. Even after sending them a scanned copy of my passport, my little cheese has remained trapped. So whenever I have had to make payments on sites that take only Paypal, I ask someone in the UK to do it for me.

Essentially, any purchase made from Nigeria is deemed fraudulent until strenuously proven otherwise.

What this means is that, those lovely stories about you creating a little webapp and slamming a Paypal button is fantasy if you are doing it from here. We are not allowed to participate in global ecommerce. If you think making payments with your own money is hard, try receiving. Without  payments there is no commerce so we are left out.

I am writing this post just to let everyone know that I will kill a cute little puppy when next I hear the West give that look of pity and say lets bridge the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world.  Don’t fucking worry about bridging the digital divide, just level the playing ground!


I cannot ignore two very fair arguments.

  1. The amount of fraud from this end has necessitated these measures.
  2. Hey! That’s a gap in the market, why don’t you guys in Africa do something about it?

Fuck off.