Nigeria's 'techpreneurs' are using technology to provide life-changing solutions to everyday problems

Lagos, Nigerië As recently as 10 jare terug, Africa’s technology industry was sparse. But as a result of advancements in mobile phone technology as well as better internet connections, the continent has transformedunearthing countless innovators and entrepreneurs who make use of tech to solve everyday problems.

Out of 1.3 billion Africans, daar is 477 miljoen unique mobile subscribers, with the mobile industry contributing $ 155 billion to the continent’s GDP in 2019, according to data from the Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSMA).
Nigerië, Africa’s most populous country, het 90 tech hubsthe most on the continent. In 2019, one report found startups in Nigeria raised nearly $ 400 miljoen, more than double the amount from the previous year.
In onlangse jare, the West African nation has become an incubator for some of the continent’s biggest startupsincluding online marketplace place Jumia en Andela, a talent accelerator.
    The result is a generation of tech entrepreneurs ortechpreneurswhose startups and innovations are helping to improve the lives of people in Nigeria and beyond.
    CNN spoke to three startup founders to understand how they are shaping the country’s technology ecosystem.

    The innovation pioneer

    Bosun Tijani, Co-Creation Hub founder & hoof uitvoerende beampte
    Bosun Tijani founded CcHUB in 2010.

    Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) is one of Africa’s largest networks of tech talent, with a presence in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda.
    Bosun Tijani, founder of the innovation center, told CNN that he started CcHUB to create a space for Africans to develop life-changing tech. Since its creation in 2010, it has served as a meeting place for innovators and entrepreneurs to share their plans and execute ideas, especially in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial center.
    Science and technology can leapfrog development across Africathere are so many smart people on this continent, we just need to build a platform that will enable them to create,” Tijani said.
    Through CcHUB, the entrepreneur has been able to provide tech startups with resources needed to grow their ideas into sustainable businesses.
    Beginning in 2016, byvoorbeeld, through its 18-month incubation program, the hub helped provide the founder of Lifebank, a health logistics company in Nigeria, with a workspace, expert advice on how to incorporate tech into her business, and funding.
    But for Tijani, it is not just about supporting other techpreneurs. He recently launched STEM Cafe, a learning center in Lagos, where kids can dream up big ideas through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STAM).
    Daar, children engage in a series of activities and informal sessions including coding challenges, computer games and prototyping with 3D printers.
    I want to build a generation of people in Africa with strong belief in science, people that are comfortable in science that can apply science to change things,” Tijani said.
    The cafe, hy het gesê, does not use regular school curriculums — in plaas daarvan, it applies a non-linear way of teaching that encourages kids to be creative and to innovate.
    It’s a free space, we don’t judgewhat we want to achieve here is to build creative confidence in kids.

    The savings trailblazer

    Odunayo Eweniyi, PiggyVest co-founder
    Odunayo Eweniyi is one of the co-founders of fintech company PiggyVest.

    All over the world, women-led technology startups are in short supply.
    In Africa, enigste 9% of startups have women in leadership positions, according to data from 2016. But even these grim numbers can’t deter Odunayo Eweniyi, co-founder and chief operating officer of PiggyVest, a financial technology company.
    Eweniyi told CNN that despite experiencing microaggressions as a woman in a male-dominated space, she is focused on her jobteaching young people the value of their money by helping them save it.
    PiggyVest is an automated savings and investment platform that helps Nigerians put aside small amounts of money daily, weekly or monthly.
    We’re targeting people that have smartphones and already have bank accounts. The ideal user of our platform would be young adults, mid-level professionals, not earning too much, not too little,” Eweniyi explained.
    It works like a piggy bank but offers a variety of financial services, including investment options. According to Eweniyi, the company now has more than two million registered users.
    The entrepreneur was inspired to start PiggyVest in 2016 when one of her co-founders, Joshua Chibueze, came across a viral tweet of a woman who had saved 1000 naira ($ 2.62) in a wooden box every day for an entire year.
    Joshua, actually brought the tweet to our group chat, like ‘Hey guys, is there a way we can innovate around this?’ So, with some modifications, daardie nag, we came up with a working prototype of the product,” verduidelik sy.
    Nou, four years after that initial prototype, PiggyVest has helped its users save over $ 250 miljoen, according to Eweniyi.

    The health care prodigy

    Chika Madubuko, Greymate Care co-founder & hoof uitvoerende beampte
    Chika Madubuko was inspired to start her health care company after a personal experience.

    Another sector in the Nigerian startup space where techpreneurs are changing the game is health care.
    In 2016, Chika Madubuko launched her health care technology company, Greymate Care, after a member of her family fell ill. The company provides on-demand care for vulnerable patients.
    Greymate Care was born out of personal pain, which was finding a caregiver for my grandmother when she was sick. It was pretty gruesome in my family then because my mom and sister would try to balance their own lives trying to move her between both houses, jy weet, trying to find a caregiver,” Madubuko told CNN.
    According to Madubuko, Greymate Care now manages over 1,000 caregivers, all of whom are trained in food hygiene, principal care, gesondheid en veiligheid, and emergency first aid.
      It works as an online platform where patients in need of care can select the type of services they require and be matched with the appropriate caregivers.
      For Madubuko, Greymate Care’s origins are personal. While studying at university in England, she volunteered in a hospital as a caregiver. “I learned to be a passionate and a very efficient caregiver,” sy het gese. “And today I tell people that I am the best person to run Greymate Care because I have been on the supply side where I was a caregiver and demand side where I needed care.

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