When we look back in time around ten years ago, we see a rather bleak picture of Africa’s technology industry. There was little innovation, constant internet connectivity issues, and limited access to technology as a whole. Fast forward to the present day, the continent has become a hub for development in mobile phone technology and speedy internet connection with the mobile industry alone contributing a whopping $155 billion to the continent’s GDP by 2025, this is highlighted with 2021 transactions on mobile money platforms reaching $490 billion as researched by the Global Systems for Mobile Communications Association (GSMC). To add to this, Africa has created a vast pool of talented innovators and business people who are employing technology in creative ways to solve our routine problems.
The continent’s most populated region, Nigeria, has ninety tech hubs and has raised approximately $400 million from startups as of 2019. With online marketplaces like Jumia and Andela, the nation has further strengthened its base of startups by providing these businesses with a functional and reliable platform to operate from. The result of these measures is the creation of our modern-day ‘techpreneur,’ i.e., tech entrepreneurs who are improving the lives of countless people with their inventions.
In this article, we’re focusing on three such startup founders and how their contributions assist in forming the country’s technology system
Bosun Tijani, co-founder, and CEO of Co-Creation Hub
Co-Creation Hub, often stylized as Cc-HUB, is a technology-focused center that aims to help technology enthusiasts forward their ideas to solve the problems present in Nigerian society. The operations of this business extend to Kenya and Rwanda as well. Some of the fields that Cc-HUB focuses on are innovation support, education, health care, governance, and digital security.
Bosun Tijani is one of the masterminds behind this startup. By gathering a team of motivated and like-minded people, this techpreneur managed to create Nigeria’s first-ever pre-incubation lab where all sorts of technical and creative ventures could occur. Through the resources provided by this lab, other startups have been able to grow into sustainable businesses over time.
Odunayo Eweniyi, co-founder and CEO of PiggyVest
PiggyVest is the first online savings and investment application in West Africa. It originally launched as Piggybank.ng, offering only savings services to its clients. However, after three years, the business expanded into the investment market and rebranded itself as PiggyVest. Since then, the brand has continued to grow and evolve by providing its customers with top-tier savings and investment services. As the company’s official website states, it has helped over three million customers achieve their financial goals.
The main target of this company remains young adults with an adequate level of income who have access to smartphones and have existing bank accounts, as explained by Eweniyi in an interview with CNN. The idea for the brand originated when one of the company’s co-founders, Joshua Chibueze, encountered a tweet of a woman who saved a thousand naira in a wooden box for every single day throughout the entire year. This inspirational story of intentionally saving the money you have earned sparked an idea of a platform to help users save, which ultimately led to where PiggyVest is now.
One of the factors contributing to PiggyVest’s unique status is that it is a women-led technological startup. It is common knowledge that male-led tech startups worldwide widely outnumber female-led ones. This is particularly true in Africa, where sources from 2016 state that only 9% of startups have women in high authority and leadership positions. Faced with these challenges, Odunayo Eweniyi proved to be a true inspiration as she refused to be intimidated by the numerous obstacles that barred her path to success. She remained focused on her job, educating the young generation on the importance of saving and how they can easily do that using valuable online sources such as PiggyVest.
Chika Madubuko, founder of Greymate Care
Greymate Care is a health care agency situated in Nigeria that emphasizes providing efficient and effective care for vulnerable members of society. These include the elderly, differently-abled, and mentally and physically challenged. The company’s mission is to provide these health care services to the comfort of the customers’ own homes.
Such a unique idea was surely shaped by personal experience. Chika Madubuko relates that this business model was birthed with the pain of caring for a family member who fell so sick that she and the rest of her family had a hard time caring for her properly and trying to find a trustworthy caregiver. In addition to this, Madubuko also did her share of volunteer work at a hospital in England as a caregiver. This meant that she had a thorough and in-depth understanding of what it’s like to be on both ends of health care, giving and receiving.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Greymate Care has proven to be a valuable addition to Nigeria’s technology and health care industry. Round the clock services, high-quality health care, and well-trained staff that is regularly monitored with detailed background checks to ensure that customers are in safe hands—this tech startup has pretty much all that you need to take care of any loved one who has unfortunately fallen ill and requires extra care. Along with a caregiver, Greymate Care also assigns you a Care Assessor, Care Coordinator, and Registered Nurse who seamlessly collaborate to provide you the best possible experience with the company.
A final word
What we’ve mentioned in this article is merely the tip of the iceberg; there are dozens of brilliant technology entrepreneurs in today’s world that are constantly working on finding creative, unique solutions to our everyday problems. Life in the future is dominated by technology and innovation, and the techpreneurs in Nigeria understand that better than anyone else. To remain relevant, succeed in our careers, and solve the pressing issues in our society, investing our time, energy, and resources into technology and innovation is the way to go.