‘Nigeria Owns the Future of Internet in Africa’ – Wikipedia co-founder, Jimmy Wales

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Mrs Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communication Technology

Mrs Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communication Technology

Nigeria will soon take over the leadership of the internet market in the continent, an expert has revealed.

Speaking at the 2nd Youth Marketer Converge Conference, in Lagos, the co-founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, foretold the future of the internet in Nigeria as being laced with mobile computers at a very low cost, high internet band width, which was already being experienced in some parts of the country.

In addition, he enthused, “the internet speed in my room is faster than the internet speed in New York City, this simply shows that there will be an immense growth in internet use in Nigeria in the nearest future and everybody seems to be warming up to that”.

The increase in the use of the internet by African youths was the focus of the conference with the theme “digital, mobile and social, what are youths really searching for?”

Using the statistics from Wikipedia, Jimmy said the current reality in the market would escalate computer penetration in the near future.

He disclosed that Yoruba language is the most successful African language with 25 million speakers and 1 million monthly page views on Wikipedia as well as seven editors with 29,857 articles.

He also said that the average age of internet users is 26.The first plenary session and opening ceremony, chaired by Director General of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria, Yinka Akande, had speakers like CEO, Brentt Consulting; Lola Talabi-Oni, , Executive Secretary, LSSSF, Babatunde Bank-Anthony, representing the Executive Governor of Lagos State and the Keynote Speaker, Jimmy Wales.

Talabi-Oni made a presentation on youth consumer trends for 2012 highlighting mobility, Olympic fever, citizen journalism and cashless economy amongst others as areas that brands should explore.She opined that any brand that wanted to remain in business in 2012 and intended to retain or increase its consumer base must be willing to adapt some of these trends in its marketing strategies.

Rendering credence to Talabi-Oni’s opinion, Bank-Anthony said that since Lagos State comprises of sixty per cent youth population, any serious brand that wanted to do serious business there,  must be willing to dance to the tune of the needs of the youths.

He added that, one major need of most youths in the state,  was the need to start their own business and be their own bosses.

Bank-Anthony said that as a result of the growing unemployment rate in Lagos, youth empowerment is no longer the sole obligation of the government but has become a matter of public-private partnership, which private organisations must contribute to get a measure of brand loyalty from the youths.

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