At one point, the idea of developing a startup in Africa was unfamiliar and far-fetched. However, new major tech labs in Ghana or Nigeria are looking to emulate the success of their counterparts in Silicon Valley.
The “Vibranium Valley” project , which is located in Yaba, Nigeria, was commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The project aims to deliver an elaborate, state-of-the-art space specifically for tech startups.
In May, Google and Facebook also lauched their own tech initiatives in Nigeria, according to a report from Phys.org.
Vice-President Osinbajo recently traveled to California to discuss with tech investors the future of Africa’s tech industry and what he deems could be a “fourth industrial revolution.”
“We may not have the kind of classrooms as we have today considering the growth of Nigeria’s population, so technology may become the way out to take education and learning forward,” he said, according to Africa-online.com.
Aside from Nigeria and its tech push, other countries, such as Ghana have directed their attention towards furthering technological involvement in Africa.
According to its “Around The World” blog, Google announced last month that it will be launching Africa’s first artificial intelligence research center later this year in Accra, Ghana.
Another major driving factor for this initiative is Africa’s abundant population. According to The UN Population Division, Africa’s population is estimated to be 1.2 billion. By 2050, the U.N. estimates the population will double to 2.4 billion.
“There’s clear opportunity for companies like Facebook and Google to really go in and put a pole in the sand,” said Daniel Ives, a technology researcher at GBH Insights in New York, according to Phys.org.
On May 22, Facebook opened the NG_Hub in Nigeria, "its first flagship community hub space in Africa, in partnership with Cchub," according to The Guardian. During the opening of NG_Hub, Facebook's head of public policy in Africa Ebele Okobi said that the goal was to “cultivate the nascent technology community.”
“The social network has pledged to train 50,000 people across the country to give them the digital skills they need to succeed,” she added, according to Phys.org.