What Does Yaba Have To Give?
Oo Nwoye

People can design clusters but they should realize that they form for many reasons. Silicon Valley is a case in point. What were its initial advantages? Brainpower? Does it hold a candle to Boston with MIT, Harvard, UMass, or New York/New Jersey/Connecticut with NYU, Columbia, Princeton, Yale? Did it initially have billions in financial capital like New York City? Is its weather as perfect as North Carolina ? But San Francisco is where the tech industry happened for whatever reason.

Nigeria is just starting in tech and seriously at this stage people should talk about products before talking about clusters. After all, the popular movie export industry in Nigeria did not start in the living rooms of writers or actors in Lekki or Ikoyi even as Lagos had the National Theatre, cinemas, people with money and artsy tastes and all the major TV stations. No, “Nollywood”, surprise, surprise started in places like Onitsha on a filthy street called Upper Iweka home to traders, criminals and prostitutes in almost equal measure.

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