2011 was a great year in the advancement of technology in Nigeria. These advancements include the number of blackberry users hitting 2.4 million, launch of mobile money payment platforms, increase in social media activity, internet becoming more accessible and so on.
Based on these advancements, I believe the following predictions will come to pass in the year 2012.
1) Mobile money (here to stay)
With the seriousness of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the actualization of its cashless policy, a number of companies including Paga have been given the permission to act as intermediaries between financial institutions and their customers. These companies provide cash-in-transit services amongst other services via electronic channels including the internet and Short Messaging Service (SMS). There are already lots of innovations in this space including the introduction of SMS as an electronic medium. A lot of questions skeptical minds will ask will include “Can this work in Nigeria?”, I’ll say yes to that if given enough time. With the ubiquitousness of mobile phones and innovations in e-payment, this should be a success.
2) Slight shift from laptops to tablet PCs
With the increase in variety and the cheaper prices of tablet PCs, a lot of Nigerians will be thinking of substituting their laptops for tablet PCs. This is a good trade-off considering the easier mobility of tablet PCs over laptops and also because most people don’t really need the heavier processing power advantage that laptops have over tablet PCs. Tablet PCs will fulfil most of a typical Nigerian’s computing needs which include social networking, photos, audio and videos sharing, word processing, games, movies and so on. Smartphones (including Blackberry, Andriod phones) purchases still be on the rise though.
3) More successful indigenous tech startups
With the help of newly established technology incubators like Co-Creation Hub, there will be more tech startups equipped to do the right thing in Nigeria. Technology entrepreneurs (technopreneurs) could use this medium to polish and develop their ideas while still in the startup stage. This is interesting because there are so many problems in Nigeria to be solved and now technopreneurs would be helped in the achieving their dreams. Hopefully these start-ups will become economically viable, successful and get the attention of venture capitalists which will grow these startups into successful businesses.
4) More indigenous amateur videos (might disrupt Nollywood)
Due to the ubiquitousness of video recording devices and the recent launch of Youtube in Nigeria, it is easier for amateur videos (including home-made music videos, movies and so on) to be created and shared virally on Youtbe and also with the aid of other social media sites including Facebook and Twitter. Although before the recent launch of Youtube in Nigeria, there had been video shared by Nigerians on Youtube, the launch of Youtube in Nigeria will increase the awareness of Youtube in Nigeria. Depending on the quality and quantity of these videos, they might cost Nollywood producers the attention of their viewers who might prefer those videos freely distributed online.