Let’s be real about this Yaba Tech cluster - there is none. Let’s stop pretending, really. If we want to make it, let’s make it.
a few days ago.
Then I happened on this, Nigeria Tech: Not Just Yaba, There Was Surulere.
(https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/nigeria-tech-just-yaba-surulere-collins-onuegbu) this morning.
When recently Lagos tech industry was valued at $2B, above any other city in Africa, the fingers pointed at Yaba. Yaba’s journey to tech stardom started about 6years ago with the opening of new tech hubs in the Hebert Macaulay Road axis, spurning a small group of startups and an ecosystem that has grown beyond the wildest dreams of the original movers. Yaba is getting all the right attention as the tech hub of Nigeria. I love the energy and the promise that this stretch of the bigger Lagos metropolis holds for the African tech story.
The ecosystem that has grown out of this Yaba experiment now includes startups, developers, venture capital companies, private equity and a loud tech press that creates the narratives of the new Yaba valley.
But let’s take a step backwards. To two decades ago. 90s and 2000. To another town within the metropolis, where a cluster of tech startups grew and created a booming industry that influenced the rise of Lagos just after it lost its position as the political capital of Nigeria. This town was Surulere. The story of Surulere and its place in the journey of the Nigerian tech has not really been told. And should be told. Especially to the generation of new entrepreneurs who think that before Yaba, there was no Nigerian tech startup story. What Yaba is turning out to be today, Surulere was in the 90/2000. Perhaps even more. Because, Surulere spawned a tech startup community of another era that was the forerunner of the present story. What has happened in Yaba is a natural evolution of things that started perhaps even before Surulere
It’s a good read.