From high-end funding to record-breaking acquisitions, rebrands, scandals, expansions and so many paradigm shifts, 2022 has been full of exciting events and opportunities.
In all the excitement, a few of these events have stood out as the dawn of a new era for the tech ecosystem in Nigeria.
So, as we prepare to draw close the curtains of the month, we will take you through three of the biggest wins in the Nigerian tech space this year.
Nigeria tops up her AI exploration
In December 2022, the Uniccon Group of companies officially launched the first indigenous humanoid robotics and AI development in Africa.
The 6-foot-tall human-like robot is a highly sophisticated AI, powered by algorithms that enable it to understand African culture, speak up to 8 African languages, as well as emulate the behavioural patterns of the African people.
According to the company, Omeife was created to bridge the productivity gap evident in the absence of adequate and reliable data and infrastructure and capable human resources in the affairs of the AI landscape in Nigeria and Africa at large.
Omeife is said to become a technology for Nigerians.
Flutterwave procures a switching and processing license
Despite the scandals that surrounded Flutterwave this year, the company rose to the challenge by procuring one of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) most valuable licenses in September 2022.
The switching and processing license allows the Fintech giant to operate independently in enabling interbank transactions as well as transactions with other Fintech companies and financial institutions across borders without the help of intermediaries.
For customers and users of the payment platform, this means improved financial security, faster transactions, a better payment experience as well as new and improved products and features.
CBN-AFF eNaira Hackathon
Following the launch of the CBN’s eNaira in October 2021, the apex bank announced in August 2022 that the digital currency had amassed a volume of over 200,000 transactions on its mobile wallet platform which brought its total worth to an estimated N4 billion.
To promote its awareness and widespread adoption, the Central Bank hosted a hackathon in collaboration with African Fintech Foundry (AFF) where it challenged innovators, coders, developers and entrepreneurs to solve problems and create innovative ideas around the eNaira.
This was one of the biggest hackathons for the year with over 4,000 applicants turning up to participate in the competition and the top 10 selected to join AFF’s accelerator programme where they would subsequently receive funding for their businesses.
The Nigerian Startup Bill Signed into Law
The Nigerian Startup Bill which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2022, is a product of the collective effort of over 30 leaders in the Nigerian tech ecosystem. Its major objectives are:
- The provision of a legal and institutional framework for the establishment, development and operation of startups in Nigeria.
- The facilitation and fostering of the development and growth of technology-related talent and;
- The positioning of Nigeria’s startup ecosystem as the leading digital technology hub in Africa.
So far, Kaduna, Lagos, Ekiti, Edo, Anambra and Yobe states are at the forefront of the adoption process.
Starlink comes to Nigeria
The latest development on this end has been the announcement by the federal government that Starlink will commence broadband internet service distribution in Nigeria before the end of this month. This is coming 7 months after the deal was sealed between the service’s parent company, SpaceX and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
In May 2022, Elon Musk tweeted that regulatory approvals had been granted by Nigerian telecommunication regulators for the expansion of the service into the country. Hence, after months of regulatory review and administrative deliberation, Nigerians have been promised better internet at their disposal.
What Nigerians can expect in the future
Each of the above developments is defining game-changers in their respective industries, with the potential to have long-lasting and transformative effects on the digital economy in general.
In the same vein, the deeper exploration of AI technology will open the doors to further progress in every sector of the Nigerian economy as predicted by McKinsey and co in their study of technology trends for 2022.
As we head into 2023, we can only expect that the successes of this ending year will lead to an even more prolific year filled with more record-breaking moments.