Startups

Nigeria startups: A to Z

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Not many people know that before 8,500 BC the bow and arrow was invented independently in West Africa. Not many people know that West Africans invented face masks, built boats from wood, had inheritance laws, hire purchase systems (such as the iwofa system) and town planning. Not many people know that fishing by hook and line was invented in the Niger Congo. From this you get phrases like “hook, line & sinker”. An innovation from 8,500 BC travelled across time, Greek, Latin, French and into English, 10,500 years later. (Christoper Ehret, 2002).

Africans sailed across the atlantic with Sir Francis Drake and were some of his crew members when he circum-navigated the globe. One of the friends of Sir Francis Drake is considered Diego.

Chronometric age estimates and environmental information suggest West Africans were innovators of stone based tools. This is what the archaeology term ‘Stone Age’ relates to.

The talking drum could be used (before the invention of the telegraph, use of radio waves and fibre optic cables) to transmit messages 100km in 2 hours, through networks of villages.

Before 1500, Nigeria had roads, international trade, social organisation, military posts, henotheism, non-theism, polytheism, civil servants, aristocrats, work specialisation, international travel, innovation, science, technology, medicine, music, many languages and culture. Nothing has changed.

Sometimes we joke about African time or Nigerian time, but not many people know that Africa invented the solar calendar, lunar calendar, Sothic (astronomic) calendar based on the 1461 year cycle of Sirius, the Igbo calendar, Yoruba calendar, and Akan calendar. Although Nigeria uses 99% less electricity than the United States, its people are industrious, creative and you can already see that the world has benefitted from West African innovations.

Nothing has changed.

This article contains an A to Z of some impressive Nigerian startups and established businesses with information about their headquarters, business brief, and founder(s). This list of innovative businesses may interest investors, suppliers and job-seekers. We hope this article will prove to be helpful for our readers. Writing on these companies led us to a realization that the future is bright for Nigeria and that there are opportunities for other entrepreneurs to emerge.

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