South Africa
June 13, 2019
June 13, 2019

Rise in innovative technology

“Lagos, like other major cities such as Nairobi and Accra, is at the height of this exciting expansion in innovation across tech, with Yaba quickly finding itself at the centre,” says Chimdindu Aneke, programme manager of platform partnerships for sub-Saharan Africa at Facebook, which in 2018 launched a hub space in the neighbourhood. Fola Olatunji-David, the head of startup success services for Google Launchpad Africa that started a development boot camp in Yaba in 2017, said Lagos has a “buoyant, characteristic ‘anything-can-happen’ feel,” fed by budding entrepreneurs seeking to address socio economic gaps with Google technology. Yaba’s path into the spotlight started from the bottom up, bolstered by a grassroots movement that lobbied for support from a government not immediately sold on economic benefits of technology. The group’s first success came in 2013 when, anchored by the Co-Creation Hub, which now manages a space for Facebook and partners with Google to run programmes, it convinced the authorities to waive taxes for a company, MainOne, that agreed to lay Yaba’s internet infrastructure.

By: Gwen ackerman & Yinka Ibukun