Lagos State has emerged as the regional leader in Africa’s startup ecosystem, surpassing other major cities like Nairobi, Johannesburg, Dakar, and Accra in terms of influence and startup funding. A recent 2023 global startup ecosystem report by Startup Genome revealed that Lagos led in both ecosystem values and early-stage funding in the region.
The report highlighted that Lagos attracted a total of $8.43 billion in ecosystem values, with Nairobi, Johannesburg, Dakar, and Accra trailing behind with $7 billion, $3 billion, $2 billion, and $1 billion, respectively. In terms of early-stage funding, Lagos secured $0.82 billion, while the other cities obtained smaller amounts.
Lagos’s dynamic ecosystem, boasting over 400 startups and home to approximately 88% of Nigeria’s startups, has garnered significant attention from investors, leading to the emergence of numerous innovative ventures.
Meanwhile, other states in Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), are struggling to keep up with Lagos’s rapid development in the startup economy. Experts have called for the implementation of favorable policies and conditions, such as the Nigeria Startup Act enacted in October 2022, to replicate Lagos’s success across the country.
They also suggested strengthening infrastructure, providing improved access to capital, and creating opportunities for knowledge transfer and skill development to boost the startup ecosystem in other states.
Despite challenges and limited government support in some cases, Lagos’s success highlights the need for governments to foster an enabling environment and support the growth of startups to promote economic development and technological innovation.