Given the size of the population, and the citizens’ increased tech savvy, there is a lot of interest among investors for Nigerian tech start-ups. Most start-ups are still very young, but they are growing quickly. Among the first tech start-ups to enter the country were Jumia and Konga, who are attempting to become the Amazon for Nigeria (and beyond). They not only led the way and showed the potential of the space, but also trained a number of developers. These developers either started their own firms, or new start-ups hired them away. At the same time, people began to recognise the potential for Nigeria’s tech scene and began to form a community around it; among the earliest entrants here was Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), which is Make-IT in Africa’s implementing partner for its accelerator programme in Lagos. Next, Andela started up and began to channel the interest in start-ups into a training programme for developers, connecting them with talent seekers around the world. This growth in Nigeria’s talent pool has made for a more sophisticated startup ecosystem in the country.
Along the way, a collaboration between CcHUB, MainOne, TechnoVision, and the Lagos State Government embarked on an effort to solidify a tech community in Lagos. This resulted in Yaba i-HQ, an initiative to stretch a 27km fibre optic cable around the Yaba neighbourhood in 2012. Since then, the number of start-ups has grown and they have begun to form a community.