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Highlights

  • 04:35 - How Bankole started out in technology reporting
  • 16:44 - Starting TechCabal
  • 20:56 - Looking back at how the tech ecosystem has transformed in Nigeria and across Africa
  • 23:47 - Technology is not a silver bullet
  • 39:42 - Freedom of speech and journalism in Nigeria

If you had to think back a decade or even 6 or 7 years back, the digital technology media landscape across most parts of Africa was considerably different from what it is today. Most online publications, if any, that covered technology innovation were doing so from a developmental and social impact point of view. If not that, they were covering mostly enterprise technology.

The era of personal digital technology blogs gained popularity somewhere around a decade ago and around 6 or 7 years ago, online media publications focussed purely on digital technology innovation and startups started emerging in different countries across Africa. One such publication that emerged in 2013 is TechCabal.

Founded by Bankole Oluwafemi (Banks), TechCabal took an angle of covering the growing Nigerian tech ecosystem from what was happening in the startup ecosystem and it would eventually grow into an authoritative voice on most things technology in Nigeria. Not only that, but the company itself has also gone on to become a great storyteller of Nigerian youth culture, and West African culture at large, through its other publication - Zikoko.

In this podcast, I look back with Bankole at how the innovation and startup ecosystem in Nigeria, and the rest of Africa, has transformed over the years as well as how the publications (those that are still alive) that cover it have also grown.

We also touch on the important issue of how policymakers should be interacting with innovators and startups.

Biography: Bankole Oluwafemi

Bankole started Techcabal during 2013 before Nigeria’s startup ecosystem became what it is today. Over the years, Techcabal grew from just a blog into a full-fledged digital publication and media company.

As such, over the years, Bankole earned a reputation as one of the most influential and most connected people in the system.

It’s almost impossible for any important story to break or develop in the Lagos startup scene (the hotbed of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem) without him knowing first.

Podcast notes

Personal blog: LordBanks.com by Bankole Oluwafemi

Article: OMG, Interswitch is innovating by Bankole Oluwafemi

Article: Barcamp Nigeria Returns This August by Muyiwa Matuluko (2014)

Video: Ory Okolloh - How I became an activist by TED

Gadget: Nokia E63 - Full Specifications

Website: TechLoy.com (2014)

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