2012 is/was (depending on when you are reading you this) a wonderful year as regards the local tech space. So wonderful in fact, that I decided to defer admission for an overseas Masters Program program. I blog tech at OTEKBITS, so I do have an eye for whats is happening in the local ecosystem, and 2012 happens to be a warm up period and for 2013 – not to undermine any strides that were made.
As part of the YNaija #2012Review series, here are my Top 10 moments:
This initiative did make my year, as Nokia and the Co-Creation Hub joined forces to accelerate project ideas that have a good backing from a skilled team, turning them into businesses in a 3 month period. The maiden edition saw the in-take of 10 teams, and 8 made graduation day including tiketmobile, a startup looking to disrupt the transportation industry in Nigeria, and already gaining traction. The second edition is on and will go into 2013, and I can’t wait to see startups that make the cut.
This makes the top of my list as regards tech events in 2012. Africa’s web presence is on the rise and 80% of this can be credited to mobile. Perhaps why this event made its way to the top, as it attracted major players from local content managers like iROKO Partners, Eskimi, Mxit, Bozza, Spinlet, etc; OEMs like BlackBerry, and Nokia, Samsung, and even Etisalat stood in for the telecoms, and broadband Internet service providers. The developer community was also well represented. The monthly Mobile Monday and Deevelopers Parapo come in just behind.
From Sabunta and Kasuwa consolidating into Jumia, and DealDey launching its online megastore Konga, and acquiring the online fashion retail, 3Stitches, not forgetting BuyLikeMagic, Huntella Gadgets, MobiGadgets, Giddimint, 3AL, and more than 20 other e-commerce platform, one can’t but recognise 2012 as a year of the e-commerce spring. The next spring Social Commerce? Maybe, not, I just see more adaptive e-commerce to the realities like ‘trust’, hence cash-on-delivery, and ‘access’, and hence m-commerce, yes, mobile. 2013 may also see the rise of a subscription economy, lets see how that goes.
I blog tech at OTEKBITS, and while I reported the e-commerce spring; I decided to get in on the action, but instead of clothes, gadgets, and books, I took the food route. I joined a team of developers, and entrepreneurs, to startup up an online takeaway site for users to order, experience and recommend meals from various restaurant. Not to cross the line of shameful advertising in this report, I’d just say go check it out and feel free to share any feedback you may have via Twitter @lazyappetite or our Facebook page http://facebook.com/lazyappetite. Okay. I’m saying no more. *lip sealed*
Perhaps the most anticipated event for me in 2012. For the first time since its inception 8 years ago, I was finally going to attend awards. Right from the pre-award events: town hall meeting and reception nominee party, it was obvious it was time for youth doing great stuff in the Nigerian tech space to be recognised, and that did happen with nominees and winners like BudgIT – the budget app, Efiko app, the Nigerian constitution app, Beni American – the hybrid university, and of course Social Media mavens, and based solutions e.g. @Gidi_Traffic, @Omojuwa, and maybe Linda Ikeji.
Just when I thought Social Media in Nigeria was going to be business as usual for 2012, Wema bank took a leap and joined forced with Maliyo Games to make the first Advergame – Sharp Sule that currently runs on the bank’s Facebook page, allowing fans play the game, win coins that can translated to up to N100,000. Earlier in the year, Nokia introduced a mobile game Danfo from Pledge 51 and gave out the same cash prize to winners. More of that to be found seen in 2013 – social gaming and advergaming to be driven on Facebook and mobile phones.
7. OEMs love Nigeria: BlackBerry, Nokia, Microsoft, Apple (iTune store);
For so long, Nigeria did not make the list of countries to get product and services of most OEMs such as BlackBerry, Nokia, Microsoft, talk less of Apple, but 2012, things began to change. Nigeria made the list of launch countries for some major devices and products like the Nokia Lumia, and Asha series, Windows 8, and apple just opened the iTunes store for Nigeria, and yes, that’s a big deal. RIM also publicy admitted to loving Nigeria, as we do seem to love their star product – the BlackBerry phones. I await amazon, PayPal, and others to follow suit in 2013.
If you have not bought anything online with your card or phone this year, then you are missing out, add to your to-do list or just do it now. 2012 say a rise in the culture of buying online whether locally with your MasterCard, Visa, or Verve card or your mobile via Quickteller, Paga, QuiQui, and even Mimo. True, a good number of Nigerians are still skeptical putting up their PIN for online transaction, but there’s a 1% of such people and it can only grow. I am pretty sure I must have down up to 100 online transactions in 2012. A you have to do is do it the first time, and then you get the hang of it.
9. Tech Entrepreneurs, Startups, and Ventures
2012 saw a good number of bloggers, developer turn tech entrepreneur, including myself. With the growth academy came the tiketmobile duo – Constance and Celestine, the tech-in series also saw the birth of iWatch‘s Segun Fodeke, and Desiree with the Efiko App. Shaheed Adepoju took the encipher Inye tablet to the next level with the 2nd iteration, and StartUps like Maliyo Games, Kuluya, we’re birthed too. All of these are a few of tech entrepreneurs, Startups, and ventures that came with the year, but as Mukoshy Ahmad of Gigalyer – a web hosting company mentioned, it’s all a start for a bigger and riskier 2013.
You read that right. Although this may be consider futuristic, but it is a certain one as Guaranty Trust bank announced in 2012 that it would be launching its social banking services come January 15, 2013 and it entails opening and managing accounts among other things via Facebook; making inquiries and staying updated via its twitter channels, and something about YouTube. Hope you are as excited as me about 2013 after reading all of these.
Missed anything? Share with me your own top tech moments for 2012 and expectations for 2013!
Nubi Kayode is a self claimed social media maven, artistic entrepreneur, and expressive guitarist. Perhaps all visible in his ventures: @WildRipples, @LazyAppetite, @OTEKBITS, @KulGyst, among others. He’s a tweet away at @NubiKay
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.