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Tech SMEs divide opinion at Nigeria Com

By Olufemi Omotayo - Founder and Managing Editor, EntrepreNews
With recent events putting Nigeria on the world map for it's positive contribution to technological innovation, there's a widely held assumption that everybody is in agreement that the industry has reached a turning point in its development.
However, this is not the case, as tech and telco professionals have widely divergent perspectives on digital development in the region. While some believe it is a major boon for Nigeria, others have thrown in a cautious word or two.
During a heated panel discussion at this year's Nigeria Com in Lagos, entrepreneurs and journalists explored strategies for creating a culture of digital innovation and a more inclusive business environment for online SMEs in Nigeria.

The panel on: "How to create a culture for digital innovation and a more inclusive business environment for online SMEs in Nigeria"
Moderated by Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata of Tech Trends on Channels TV, participants gave insights into the technology ecosystem in Nigeria.
While discussing the challenges Nigerian tech SMEs face, Wole Odetayo of Wennovation Hub wants investors to look more at early stage start-ups.
“We need more local and global players,” he says in reference to the recent visit to Nigeria by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
“Innovation is a global concept and everyone is welcome to the Nigerian tech space.”

The panelists from left to right: Paul Adepoju, Olawale Rotimi, Olatorera Oniru, Opeyemi Okunoren and moderator Chukwuemeka Afred Agbata Jnr.

But, Paul Adepoju, Executive Editor of African Entrepreneur Magazine disagreed. He would rather Nigerians hold controlling stakes in their business ideas.
Also in the panel were Olatorera Oniru of Dressmeoutlet and Opeyemi Okunoren of Silicon Habour Investment who gave experiential information as entrepreneurs.
About the author:

Olufemi Omotayo is a social entrepreneur and multiple award-winning journalist/blogger with expertise in technology and entrepreneurship writing. He is the founder and managing editor of EntrepreNEWS, Nigeria’s foremost entrepreneurship medium. He is a seasoned speaker, mentor, facilitator and coordinator for many youth initiatives in Nigeria.

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AfricaCom 2020 Digital Symposium - Day 2

Session One

Mobile Money 2.0: the Bright Future of Mobile Financial Service Innovation
Date: 08/20/20 @ 11:00 A.M. SAST

Speaker: Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Africa was the birthplace of Mobile Money and while it continues to rise in popularity, the industry is quickly evolving and launching more mobile-based financial services every day. In this Connecting Africa online event, local analysts and industry stakeholders will discuss how telcos are disrupting the financial services space and what the rise of Mobile Money 2.0 will look like for Africa.

  • From cash to mobile: heading towards a cashless society
  • Expanding MFS offerings beyond mobile money transfers
  • MNOs vs banks vs fintechs: an evolving competitive landscape
  • Unconnected and unbanked: fintech to improve financial inclusion
  • The rise of micro-loans and insurance through mobile platforms

12:15 P.M. - 12:30 P.M. BREAK

Session Two

Connecting the Next Billion: Strategies for Getting Africa On-Grid
Date 08/20/20 @ 12:30 P.M. SAST

Speaker: Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Africa has the fastest growing population in the world and also the youngest, with 60% of Africans under the age of 25. It is clear that the next billion connected are going to be the mobile-only generation. This digital symposium will bring industry experts together to discuss Africa’s digital divide and how to get devices into the hands of young Africans and empower them to join the digital revolution.

  • Who’s Driving? The role of government & regulator, private tech companies, and public-private partnerships
  • Device affordability: are we reaching a tipping point?
  • Status check: Satellite vs Fiber and the enduring infrastructure gap
  • Exploring the wider societal and economic benefits of a connected, digitally literate continent


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