Obi Asika Here's how technology will shape the Nigerian story

By taking advantage of innovation and building necessary resources, we can change how we share our unique perspectives with the world.

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In the last few decades, we have watched how speedy developments in science and technology have changed the way we communicate.

If Nigeria can acknowledge the inherent possibilities and empower those building in that field, according to Obi Asika, the opportunities are endless, so much that we can own the future.

The serial entrepreneur shared these observations in a piece which appeared in a recent issue of Nigerian tabloid, The Guardian.

Obi Asika is most known for his role in the growth of the Nigerian music industry; he founded Storm Records, the label which launched the careers of some of the most notable musicians including Naeto C, Ikechukwu, Darey and Sasha P.

play The iPhone and iTunes have changed how the music of Storm Records' stars is consumed by the global audience (Crescent Vale)

 

A long career in creative spaces has given him the privilege of insight into how technology has influenced entertainment, and how mobile phones - which he calls the 'third screen' - have bridged the gap between content creators, consumers and other ancillary players.

Since telecommunications technology made its berth in Nigeria in the early 2000s, the country has grown into one of the world’s most exciting digital spaces - particularly among a youth population that some estimates put at over 80 million people. But the majority of the opportunities remain untapped.

To create the enabling environment for development, he advises that we need to build a knowledge economy that is based on intellectual capital.

play The technology revolution in Nigeria has been fueled by easy access to data courtesy of the big telcos. (Google)

 

In his words, “only then can the real latent energies of all our peoples be fully released and can we begin to have the hope of achieving our much-vaunted potential”.

That potential is brimming on the surface and those who are watching the Nigerian story are aware that new, disruptive and promising initiatives are alive and well in this space.

One of the more impressive success stories is Interswitch. In the decade or so since its inception, the fintech firm has revolutionized the way Nigerians make and receive payments and use financial services.

play Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch CEO has led the emergence of Nigeria's fintech and the solutions it promises (Public Relations)

 

Obi Asika believes it may yet become the first Nigerian and African tech company to achieve a billion-dollar valuation - and the biggest proof that Nigeria cannot afford to ignore the impact of technology.

By its very nature, the advancements that technology brings to the table have applications in every area of human life. One of the more interesting areas where it can solve the nation's problems is through mechanised large-scale farming.

However, in recent times, the most promising prospects have come from entertainment. As Asika remarks, when our unique cultural and youth identity are fused with creative mediums like music, film and comedy, it is impossible not to pay attention.

Still, there is much to be done to build the necessary infrastructure - publishing, merchandising, promotion, PR - that we need to take advantage of the immense possibilities.

play The success of our music has led to major landmarks, such as Davido's 2016 deal with Sony Music. (The Herald)

 

As Asika put it, "the truth is the viral nature of the Nigerian, coupled with our demographic and numbers mean that we are a huge presence on all platforms. The key for all players now is how to push that content to the digital audience, how to monetize it and more importantly, how to make it sustainable”.

That is where the future of the Nigerian story lies - in using technology and building the resources that will help us share our unique perspectives with the rest of the world.

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