There are a lot of arguments between building Yaba as a tech cluster in Nigeria versus letting each…
Mark Essien
882

I quite agree in the spirit with most of what you’ve said. You have made cogent points, stating the same thing as Victor Asemota in that, Yaba can easily be euphemism for Nigerian tech. Other’s have stated that Yaba is beyond a location but also a state of mind.

But is that the narrative others who are critical to tech in Nigeria are seeing? Here is the reality, not everyone can be in Lagos talk less Yaba. So in the Nigerian parlance, how are SuperSanusi of Kaduna, Kola A. of Abuja, Uche Aniche of Port Harcourt, Daser David of Jos etc who are critical stakeholders “carried along” in this vision.

How do we get even the people operating in other parts of Lagos feel like stakeholders.

I hear you and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji saying “where else if not Yaba?” Ironic considering E isn’t in Yaba himself ;). The fact that Yaba has the narrative doesn’t mean something isn’t happening in other places. Positioning it like that, creates exclusionary behaviour and prevents collaboration.

I think YabaAsTech main asset and driver is CCHub and it is because of the work they do continuously. it is important to recognize that. So “thankfully?” we do not have another dedicated organization like CcHub in Lekki Phase 1 pushing for there to be THE place. That way, we can stay focused.

That being said, the argument of the ability to hold events in Yaba isn’t because the developers are there. how many of the attendees work out of Yaba? Yaba is accessible and has people like you willing to give resources for the betterment of the community. If today Hotels.ng moves to Ilupeju beside Andela, most community events will move there.

So we can see now that the location Yaba is practically centered around two organizations CcHub and Hotels.ng. If you two leave Yaba today, what will happen?

The circumstances and situation of 2010/11 when 'Bosun Tijani and co came in aren’t the same now. So I think approaches can be constantly re-evaluated.

FWIW, if A16z comes to Nigeria today, they’ll surely pay Yaba a visit but their swanky offices will be in VI or Ikoyi. We’ve been there before. A Hi5 no mean say person stand gidigba for ya back.

Yaba will and should keep growing. We can support the narrative as we all benefit. Similar to MPesa being the custodian for “Africa has tech” narrative. But we should not get carried away and forget the bigger picture.

The drivers should reach out privately and publicly to more people but should not get bogged by that.

Finally, I am just adding a datapoint to the conversation.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.