SMEs and Ventures

Nigerian startups leading in the African AI innovation race

Nigerian startups are at the forefront of an impressive AI innovation race, offering innovative digital solutions to address challenges across the continent. These pioneering companies from Africa’s largest economy will be showcased at the prominent tech and start-up event in Morocco next month, solidifying their position in the rising Silicon Valley.

With AI-powered diabetic care and SaaS platforms that enhance agricultural profitability, Nigerian technology is shaping the future of Africa’s thriving digital economy. This has attracted the attention of global investors, who are enticed by the promising venture opportunities presented at the AI Everything Expo by GITEX AFRICA 2024. This event, which is the largest of its kind on the continent, will take place in Marrakech from 29-31 May.

Nigeria’s ambitious initiatives in AI and tech talent development have positioned the country as a dominant force in the field. This will be further amplified by the strong demand for venture capital and interest at GITEX AFRICA’s AI Everything showcase, which serves as the continent’s most progressive platform for AI exploration and deep tech innovation.

The demand for AI in Nigeria is expected to grow exponentially, with analysts at Statista predicting that the country’s AI market value will exceed $1 billion by 2024. This market is projected to grow at a rate of 17 percent annually over the next seven years, reaching $3 billion by 2030.

In addition to driving economic growth, these advancements in AI are also benefiting African businesses and society as a whole. FundusAI, Africa’s first AI-powered diabetic care ecosystem, is a prime example of Nigerian innovation. This groundbreaking technology enables doctors to detect Diabetic Retinopathy at an early stage, and it will be among the more than 60 exceptional Nigerian start-ups showcased alongside hundreds of global start-ups at GITEX AFRICA 2024.

FundusAI’s CEO and Founder, Abulmalik Adeyemo, stated that their product is Africa’s first AI-powered ecosystem for diabetic care. Adeyemo aims to diagnose over five million patients annually by 2027 and expand FundusAI’s scope to address other eye health issues. FundusAI offers automated diagnosis, appointment scheduling, treatment referrals, and community support. They also have a gamified data collection system that provides personalized healthcare insights.

Another Nigerian AI game changer, Farmatrix, was showcased at the AI Everything Expo by GITEX AFRICA 2024. Farmatrix is a SaaS platform that connects farmers with agro-commodity aggregators and buyers in real time using advanced AI algorithms. This platform significantly reduces post-harvest loss and increases profits for farmers. Nyafamu Manzo, the Founder of Farmatrix, highlighted that more than 60 percent of smallholder farmers in Nigeria lose nearly half of their post-harvest yield due to difficulties in accessing buyers. Farmatrix aims to democratize purchase orders and provide end-to-end market solutions, secure storage facilities, and trusted logistics services for every farmer and agro-commodity aggregator in their network.

Although Africa is still in the early stages of AI adoption, there is a growing interest in this transformative technology across the continent. Governments are working on striking a balance between AI innovation and regulation while expediting plans for AI talent development.

Tomiwa Aladekomo, CEO of Big Cabal Media, a Nigerian-based Pan-African media group that shares the success stories of African startups with the world, emphasized Nigeria’s role in developing tech talent to boost productivity and attract investments continent-wide.

Aladekomo, a speaker at the Future of Finance Summit during GITEX AFRICA 2024, highlighted Nigeria’s Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy’s initiative to train three million tech talents in the next four years as a model for other African countries to follow.

He stressed the importance of Africa focusing on building AI products and implementing regulations that promote productivity, enabling the continent to become producers of AI rather than just consumers. This shift will require a significant investment in developing tech talent.

GITEX AFRICA, held under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, aims to accelerate the growth of the African digital sector. With over 30 Nigerian speakers participating in the conference programme, the event will facilitate cross-border collaboration and investment opportunities. Key government officials attending include Tunji Alausa, the Honourable Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare in Nigeria; Akin Abayomi, Honourable Commissioner for the Lagos State Ministry of Health; and Dauda Lawal, Honourable Governor of Zamfara State.

Others include Aminu Maida, CEO of NCC; Prasanna Burri, Group CISO of Dangote Group; Yewande Adewusi, Chief Operating Officer at Altheia Capital, and Yau I. Garba, Director General of the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. More information is available at

Leave a Reply