NORTH TUSTIN, California — Technology in Nigeria remains one of the most promising and innovative industries that improves people’s lives. At the beginning of 2022, technology startup companies in Nigeria received one-third of the money fundraised in the entire continent of Africa. Notable achievements in recent years include PiggyVest, co-founded by Odunayo Eweniyi. The technology company allows users to save or invest portions of their paychecks. Bosun Tijani established the Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) in 2016, which is simply a space for Nigerians to experiment with technology together. He even began the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Cafe to inspire Nigerian youth.
Oladiwura Oladepo and Tech4Dev
Oladiwura Oladepo and her company, Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative (Tech4Dev), rank among these forward-looking organizations that influence the industry of technology in Nigeria. Proof of its innovation, Oladepo received $50,000 as the winner of the 2022 Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award, Global Citizen reports.
The Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen award prize goes to people making an impact in decreasing poverty. Past winners include an individual who helped construct environmentally-conscious homes in Nepal, a youth education company and a stove company that hopes to eliminate pollution in African homes.
Oladepo grew up in Ibadan in Oyo State, Nigeria with a large family. Encouraged by her parents to embody strength and resilience, her childhood inspired her to make a positive impact in the world. Her initial entrance into the world of technology occurred during the Ebola epidemic when she collaborated on a public health information website in 2014. Shortly after, in 2016, she co-founded Tech4Dev, according to Global Citizen. Within a couple of years, the company decided to focus on education in expanding digital literacy in Nigeria.
Oladiwura Oladepo is passionate about making sure women attain access and success in the field of technology in Nigeria. Women Techsters is a program to encourage female participation in the technology sector, with a goal to educate 5 million women across Africa by 2030. Tech4Dev hopes the eventual outcome is more female technology startups, female business owners and a decrease in poverty among women.
Another project is the Emerging Market Model Initiative (EMMI) which partners with Microsoft to train Nigerians between the ages of 16 to 35 in the digital sphere. Tech4Dev implements this initiative with the help of four Federal Government Ministries and several state governments. The goal of this program is to increase employment in the technology sector.
Finally, the Basic Digital Education Education Initiative focuses on educating youth in public schools and introducing them to the field of technology. Through the encouragement of entry into the field, inequalities in these communities will decrease and prepare children for the future. The goal is to train 500,000 students.
The Future of Technology in Nigeria
As of August 2022, Tech4Dev programs reached 41,079 people in 36 states and 15 countries in Africa.
In recent years, the technology sector remained only second as a contribution to Nigeria’s GDP behind agriculture. While the sector featured an increase of 18% in three years at the end of 2019, lack of digital education, inaccessible technology training courses and lack of funding persist. According to the Center for Global Development, a “managed migration” program where European countries train Nigerians and assist in relocating them to where jobs are available within Europe may assist in developing innovative technology everywhere.
While this remains a viable solution, Tech4Dev hopes to make an impact within the country by empowering Nigerians to educate and improve their own economic prospects.
– Kaylee Messick
Photo: Wikimedia Commons