Nigeria Now Has Africa’s Largest Economy

Revised GDP reports for Nigeria’s economy in 2013 reveal that the country has surpassed South Africa as the African continent’s largest economy. The original estimate of 42.4 trillion naira has now been adjusted to 80.2 trillion naira, allowing Nigeria to “leapfrog” South Africa’s economy and ascend to 24th on the global list of economies.  The primary factor of Nigeria’s GDP ascension has been the growth of the telecom industry; the increase of mobile technology and cell phone usage made this particular industry responsible for a quarter of the rise in GDP.  Other contributing industries include manufacturing and even film making industries. The new figures also reveal that the oil and gas industry, once thought to be the dominant resource of the Nigerian economy, has halved its percentage of GDP.  According to The Economist, “Nigeria now looks like an economy to take seriously.”




Nigerian Start-up Companies Recieve Grants from Microsoft

The Microsoft "4Afrika" initiative aims to provide financial support to the next generation of African entrepreneurs.

The Microsoft “4Afrika” initiative aims to provide financial support to the next generation of African entrepreneurs.

Microsoft Corporation recently provided five African start-up companies with innovation grants in order to further entrepreneurship, development, and innovation on the continent.  Of the five companies receiving  funding, two are based in Nigeria. Save & Buy is “a web and mobile platform that enables Nigerians to save toward the purchase of items conveniently and securely through e-commerce channels.”  Gamsole is “a mobile game production company creating Windows games, with downloads topping more than 4 million.”

Microsoft’s “4Afrika” initiative, in addition to providing financial support to these young companies, aims to “place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth, bring 1 million African small and medium-sized enterprises online, upskill 100,000 members of Africa’s workforce, and help an additional 100,000 recent graduates develop skills for employability, 75 percent of whom Microsoft will help place in jobs.”

Investments in these start-ups provide opportunity to the many young innovators of Nigeria and the rest of the continent.


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Fish Farming to Revitilize Economy and Fight Youth Unemployment in North-Eastern Nigeria

Nigerian Wetland Fishermen

Nigerian Wetland Fishermen

Bauchi, Nigeria – During a workshop organized by the Hadejia/ Jama’re Komadugu Yobe Basin Trust Fund, Dr Hassan Haruna Mbildya, head of the organization, identified fish farming as a way to revamp a stagnating economy and to fight poverty amongst unemployed youths in Nigeria’s Northeastern region.

Dr. Mbildya said “The fishery sector of the economy has a lot of potentials that has not been utilized, that is why the trust fund has brought these participants and consultants together to brainstorm on how to revitalize the regional economy through fishing business”

The workshop organized by Dr. Mbildya’s fund aims at providing knowledge and technical assistance to participants that are interested in updating the industry and creating new employment opportunities for the young and unemployed. The fishing industry currently employs over a million people and the money turnover is significant. Even the smallest markets, like the one in Gadar Maiwa, employ over a hundred workers and realize more than a million naira per week. The Komadugu Yobe river Basin alone, Dr. Mbildya claims, is home to at least a hundred of these markets and the total sector turnover amounts to more than a billion naira. The project to revitalize the industry aims at  increasing the total turnover of the sector, and most importantly, fighting poverty by employing the region’s growing youth.

The workshop organized by the Yobe Basin Trust Fund takes place within a broader regional effort to increase the size and efficiency of the fishing industry. Three West and Central African countries (Nigeria, Cameroon, and Sierra Leone) have already agreed on two three-year fishery and aqua-culture projects starting in January 2012. The projects cost 500,000 US dollars each  and are funded by the West and Central Council for Agricultural Research. Because the sub-sector contributes three percent to regional GDP and is one of the leading export markets, revamp projects like Dr. Mbildya’s workshop are crucial to the future of the regions economy and a vital aspect of the fight against poverty.

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Standard Nigerian Languages to be Implemented in Schools

The Ministry of Education in Nigeria has decided to begin teaching four native languages in an effort to standardize speech throughout the country. They believe that this will help to progress Nigeria’s culture. These four languages are known as Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and Ijaw.

The diverse language regions in Nigeria

The decision comes from the belief that promoting a standardized language in a country leads to a more prominent and established culture. Having a standardized language will also result in a more influential and broadened culture throughout Nigeria.

Having four focused languages also adheres to the fact that Nigeria has multiple ethnicities throughout the country. Consequently, Nigeria’s literacy and education models must reflect the nation. The ultimate goal for this change is to promote a long-lasting Nigerian culture.

Nigeria Has Plan for HIV Vaccine

Nigeria will be a part of plans for a global vaccine against HIV. With the help of the National Agency for Control of AIDS and the US Department of Defense, Nigeria is now back in plans to have an HIV vaccine after 13 years of absence. Thirteen years ago, the National HIV Vaccine Plan in Nigeria deteriorated because there were not enough funds to keep it in tact.


This gives hopeful prospects for the country, as its population is the second largest in the world that is affected by HIV.

Nigeria: President Obama Praises the Country’s Economic Development

The US-Nigeria Trade and Investment Forum, hosted by the Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDOA), has been taking place in Washington, D.C.  On August 27th, Ambassador Eunice Reddick spoke on behalf of President Obama praising the economic growth of the country and encouraging the continued cooperation between the US and Nigeria. The United States has actively aided Nigeria in further solidifying the country’s democratic institutions and free trade mechanisms, particularly through the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
The speeches made at the US-Nigeria Trade and Investment Forum confirmed that the future of the relationship between the two countries will continue to be strong and mutually beneficial. In particular, there was mention that the US would provide aid to strengthen the agricultural sector in Nigeria through improved infrastructure and technology. This is of particular importance since approximately 70% of the Nigerian population is employed through agriculture. The US has also confirmed its commitment to helping the energy sector in Nigeria prosper through a focus on private investment.

Nigeria is clearly still developing economically, but it has shown clear signs of progress that have been noticed by the United States. This recognition of Nigeria as a future economic powerhouse can only further help the country realize its full potential.
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President Goodluck Jonathon and President Barack Obama

Nigeria’s First Olympic Canoeist Bidding for Glory in London

Canoeist Johny Akinyemi, is the first athlete to paddle for Nigeria at the world’s major sport event. Born and raised in the UK to a Nigerian father and a British mother, Akinyemi’s path to the 30th Olympiad has been as winding as the whitewater courses he navigates. He first started canoeing aged 12 in northern England and in 2006 he emerged as the junior British national champion. But a year later he gave up his top ranking in the country of his birth to compete for the country of his heritage following a visit to his father’s homeland. “It was just such a great experience,” remembers Akinyemi of his time in the West African country. “Just to see where your roots are, to see your heritage and what makes you a person — there’s a Nigerian boy within me and there’s a British boy within me, I’ve only seen the British side of things until I went back to Nigeria and saw my Nigerian heritage and that’s something I’m proud of.”

Akinyemi says people in Nigeria “welcomed him with open arms,” making it easier for him to embrace his roots and change his Olympic allegiance. “It made a lot of sense to me because there’s always been questions about my identity which has been unanswered until I started to look into my family and my family history and stuff like that and gone back to my roots.”

A talented athlete, Akinyemi wants to leave his mark in this year’s Olympics. In 2008 Akinyemi came agonizingly close to going to the Beijing Games but missed out on qualification by a single place. That failure made him more determined to train even harder to improve his power, technique and speed and be able to compete at the top level in the physically demanding sport of canoeing.

In February this year his Olympic dream finally came true when he made Nigerian history by winning the 2012 African slalom championships and securing a place for London. Now, just days before his quest for Olympic success gets underway, Akinyemi admits he is “pretty nervous” but adds that he is looking forward to his first Olympiad. He says he’s determined to give his best and try to win for his country and make his father proud. “If I won a medal it would mean everything, all the hard work would be worth it,” he says. “My dad would be so proud because he was proud of me for qualifying for the Games and he spent a lot of time in Africa helping me get to where I am today. So I think it would be really good, it would almost be winning it for him.”

But win or lose, Akinyemi, who is also studying to be an accountant after his sporting career is over, wants to make sure that Nigeria stays on the canoeing map. He says there is a lot of potential in Nigeria for the sport and many more athletes can follow on his footsteps.