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Top seven things leading CEOs say about Nigeria’s tech industry in 2020

Over the last few years, we have seen a major disruption in Nigeria largely due to the role that technology has played (and is still…

Over the last few years, we have seen a major disruption in Nigeria largely due to the role that technology has played (and is still playing) in modernising the nation’s economy as well as driving products and service innovations across various sectors.

As the African continent is expected to witness a major digital disruption in the next decade, beginning from this year, top chief executives in Nigeria’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry share their thoughts on what to expect this year.

It ranges from likely technology innovations, tools, devices and tech-related services that may dominate the industry this very year.

Below are the top 7 predictions for Nigeria’s tech space in 2020:

Ngozi Dozie, Co-founder of Carbon (a full digital financial service platform operated by One Finance & Investments Ltd)

Ngozi Dozie, Co-founder of Carbon
Ngozi Dozie, Co-founder of Carbon.
  1. The re-emergence of QR codes – QR codes are not necessarily new but we have seen a few financial institutions driving merchant adoption in recent months. All the banks already have it as a channel but adoption among merchants has not traditionally been great. However, if banks and fintechs can drive significant adoption among merchants and educate the market on the benefits, the opportunity could be huge.
Payment via QR Code.
  1. Cryptocurrencies – This is another one that has been here for a while but as volatility reduces, we envisage significant growth in the coming year. Less for speculation for FX trading and more for use cases like cross-border payments for traders/merchants and payments for things like school fees and medical bills.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra.
  1. APIs and FinTech collaboration – APIs make it easier to develop products more collaboratively. As the technology landscape across the continent matures, fintechs will have to collaborate and leverage off one another’s strengths to survive the onslaught of well-capitalized and resourced competition.

 

  1. The rise of healthtech/insurtech – With a growing middle class and better access goods and services, we can expect industries that make it easier for us to secure and protect the things that are important to us to grow. Emerging industries such as healthtech and insurtech (insurance-tech firms) have a great opportunity to address some of the challenges facing us as a nation and there is also great demand for these services

 

Uzoma Dozie, CEO, Sparkle (a full lifestyle/financial platform for digital natives)

Uzoma Dozie, CEO, Sparkle
Uzoma Dozie, CEO, Sparkle.

5. Near Field Communication (NFC) – In 2020, NFC is going to be transformative. Tap and Go is the future, and effective of 2020, all cards must be NFC-enabled in Nigeria. It means that the Oyster initiative that really transformed electronic payments for transport in London and commerce, especially in retail in the UK, will be seen here.

What does that mean for consumers? Quite a lot, especially with the advent/coming (for those that are atheist) of the Cashless Nigeria policy, which will put burdens on Corporate Businesses to play a greater and more innovative role in digitizing their value chain.

NFC cards with common standards effectively means that smartphones with NFC capabilities and with virtual card apps installed can also be used in touch and go payments. This also means that users can pay one another by touching their mobile phones too.

Innovations such as these, once normalised and given the infrastructure they need to grow in terms of usage, will facilitate a huge rise of electronic person-to-person payments, the last bastion where cash sways strong.

 

Obi Ozor, CEO/Co-founder, Kobo360 (Africa’s leading global logistics firm)

Obi Ozor, CEO/Co-founder, Kobo360
Obi Ozor, CEO/Co-founder, Kobo360.

6. More investments in transport infrastructure and trade data capture – With Nigeria signed up to the Africa Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which should come into effect later this year, the wider adoption of technology will ensure the agreement reaches its full potential.

Facilitating the AfCFTA’s goal to integrate Africa will require a higher acceptance of technology from all the elements in the supply chain, which will not only help to reduce the cost of moving goods and increase efficiency, but also help boost the economy in Nigeria and beyond.

Businesses, from SMEs to large corporations, will now be able to expand their customer base to other markets outside of Nigeria like never before. This will in turn increase investments in transport infrastructure and trade data capture, which will assist government bodies to improve the infrastructure that will aid the success of the AfCFTA across key African markets, including Nigeria.

 

7. Blockchain – Also, this year I believe a lot more forward-looking companies in Nigeria will use emerging technology to transform the way they do business, most especially blockchain.

Blockchain technology

From a logistics perspective, this will be very important for trading across the continent, and for this reason, Kobo360 is building a blockchain-enabled platform – called Global Logistics Operating System (G-LOS) – which will combine all activities in the lifecycle of the Supply Chain ecosystem into one robust system and connect logistics across Africa.

 

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