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Nigerian startups boosted by revised GDP stats

By , Editor, ITWeb Africa
Nigeria , 07 Apr 2014

Nigerian startups boosted by revised GDP stats

Nigeria’s revised $509 billion gross domestic product figure could be quoted “a lot” in future startup pitches in the country.

On Sunday, Nigeria overtook South Africa to become Africa’s biggest economy and the 26th largest in the world following the first statistical revision of the West African country’s GDP since 1990. Nigeria is also Africa’s most populous nation with over 160 million people.

Nigeria has further surged ahead this century to become Africa’s biggest mobile phone market with over 100 million connections, according to the country’s telecoms regulator.

The telecommunications sector on its own contributes 8.6% towards Nigeria’s GDP, according to the revised figures.

As a result, technology startups have been blossoming in the country as tech incubators such as the Co-Creation Hub in Lagos spring up across the country to help kickstart grassroots businesses.

And Nigeria’s new status as Africa’s biggest economy could propel investment in local startups even further, says an expert.

“Investment is hugely hinged on perception, and many investors will no doubt be impelled to review their positions and forecasts for the Nigerian market, in the light of the new numbers,” Bankole Oluwafemi, editor-in-chief for popular Nigerian tech blog TechCabal told ITWeb Africa.

“So the investment climate might change somewhat, although it's still too early to say how much and in what ways,” Oluwafemi added.

Oluwafemi; though, goes on to caution that “high levels of poverty and inequality still persist” in Nigeria.

Per capita GDP in Nigeria stands at just $3,020, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This is figure is far behind that of South Africa, which had a per capita GDP of $6,089 in 2013, according to Stats SA estimates.

“Still, $500 billion in GDP is a good number to quote. No doubt that it'll be showing up in a lot of startup pitch decks going forward,” Oluwafemi told ITWeb Africa.

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