By Cyril Ilayah
Nigerian Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is presently in the United States of America, where he held talks with global technology firms as part of the US Investment Road Show to drag investment in the areas of technology in Nigeria.
Specifically, the Vice President met with Google CEO Sundar Pichai at Googleplex, the corporate headquarters of Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc., located in California.
In clear terms, Osinbajo expressed Nigeria’s government support for the Google’s Next Billion users plan intended to ensure greater digital access in Nigeria and around the world, saying it is in line with Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, especially its strategy to diversify the economy by making technology an enabler for forex revenue earnings.
The Google’s Next Billion users plan will afford millions of Nigerians access to the Internet and particularly support content distribution.
Nigeria has been identified as one of the major countries where the latest generation of Internet users will come from, and the next billion users were said to be already changing the Internet in three key ways: the prominent use of smartphones to access the Internet, an instinct for universal computing, and a demand for localised content.
The future of the internet is in the hands of the next billion users, as the global technology company has noted, and it is reckoned that the latest generation of internet users will come online on smartphones in places like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria.
For Nigeria, the Google Next Billion Users plan is expected to provoke innovation on an unprecedented scale.
In the same vein, the VP and Google executives also discussed localization of content and content creation to make content cheaper and more accessible to Nigerians.
Other areas discussed include the expansion of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Program in Africa. Google has also indicated interest in the policy environment in Nigeria and formulation of policy to encourage partnerships and investments from Google with companies in Nigeria’s technology space.
Meanwhile, the Vice President has revealed fact sheet of global opportunities in Nigeria’s technology hub.
Find below the highlights of the growth of technology, creative industry in Nigeria
- Lagos is one of Africa’s largest markets, with a GDP of over $136 billion and significant young population
- Lagos startups are also building to serve the entire African market, with high quality and relatively lower cost talent
- Startups like Andela, NESA, and Data Science Nigeria are training developers and Data Scientists
- Strong CC hub space in Lagos
- GE operates a Gy”Several startups leveraging alternative data sources and data science toy and increasing access to healthcare for the mass market e.g. Lifebank, which raised over $80 million from several investors including Chan Zuckerberg initiative.