Africa’s Tech Industry must be led by Africans.
In a recent statement, I emphasized the need for Africans and Nigerians to secure their own interests in their burgeoning tech industry.
Africans and especially Nigerians are often not given the space in other people’s countries as they give others in their own country.
We have seen the phenomena of the tech industry in East Africa being dominated by non-East Africans. This is now creeping into Nigeria as the East Africa market is saturated.
Nigerians must secure their interests and protect their space.
It is imperative for the local tech industry to begin to work with the Nigerian government to ensure Nigerian representation in Nigeria’s Tech Leadership.
We will not allow for in a few years to start lamenting being kicked out of our space as our East African brothers currently do.
33% of Nigeria’s Pharma industry is controlled by Indians. You do not see Nigerians going to India and allowed to control such an important industry. Take every single foreign ethnicity that dominates the Nigeria economy- Chinese, Lebanese, English, French – do you see reciprocity in allowing Nigerians take over swathes of their home economies?
When philanthropic organizations claim they want to fix our social problems, they interview some of us innovative Africans. Collate the insights which they refuse to share back with us. And they then provide funding to people who look like them- not Black Africans- and these people then come in and execute on our insights, disrupt livelihoods of our small businesses and channel the profits away. The leadership then skews pale skin and the workers are black.
This is happening globally as well – read the case of Tidjane Thiam erstwhile Credit Suisse CEO who turned that company around only to be kicked out for being an outsider. All through his tenure, he was never regarded with respect. Only because he is Black African.
Black Africans need to understand the bind they are in. No space allowed for them in rest of the world, and yet the only space we have to call ours , we will not be let be. I hope we awake to our responsibilities to ourselves and own people. Rest of world is as tribal as can be, yet Africans continue to remain detribalised and stay losing out.
We must start pushing back and securing our interests. We are never tribal in how we treat foreigners but they are tribal in how they treat us. Enough is enough, our own space must be secured for us if the world will not give us space in theirs. Black Africa should be only for Black Africans if the rest of world will continue to refuse Black Africans the same rights we give them.
Enough, we must no longer tolerate the disrespect and racism we have endured for last 500+ years.