In a piece I wrote on my blog, I made the point that the visit by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to Nigeria is a big deal. He drew attention to the importance of technology startups, helped validate the country's technology ecosystem, and held high-level meetings with the Nigerian government. Zuckerberg also controls the largest pool of private data in the world of 1.71 billion active users and 1.5 billion mobile users - which is more than the entire population of China or India. His visit has important lessons that must not be lost.
Internet penetration in Africa is the lowest on the planet at 28 percent, but internet growth is at seven thousand 400 percent. Broadband penetration requires terrestrial infrastructure and Nigeria still has a lot to do to reach it's target of 30% penetration. Another lesson is to create an environment that allows youth to fulfill their potential. You can't pull down buildings occupied by small businesses one day and the next talk about creating an environment friendly for business. Lastly, to produce tech stars, more people must invest in schools. If they start before 13, they're more likely to hit rockstart mode before 30.
If we learn these lessons, Nigeria can go from hosting rockstars to exporting the same.