Technology has been the bedrock of economic and infrastructural development in many nations of the world. Countries with massive technological innovations and innovators are well respected in the comity of nations, and often tend to influence the political and economic policies of less tech endowed nations, There is no doubt that Africa is at the lowest level in the food chain when it comes to technology innovations. This is a continent usually plagued by famine, war, strife, and illiteracy, all of which combine to make her the dumping ground for goods produced by technologically advanced nations.
Currently, things are changing for the better in a continent hosting the largest number of nations commonly referred to as “The Third World.”The level of illiteracy is declining, Africans are getting better educated and the continent is generally witnessing a rise in the number of tech innovations and inventors. Nigerians are at the forefront when it comes to technology innovations in Africa. Tech innovators are springing up daily, a development which has seen her ascend an enviable position on the continent. With that being said, these are the Top 5 Tech innovations by Nigerians.
1. The Nepaless Iron
Although the name may sound weird to many, make no mistake, it may just help straighten up your clothes in the absence electrical power or when you least expect it. This product is the brainchild of Ayokunle Adeniran, a mechanical design engineer based in the United States. This technologically gifted Nigerian saw a potential in a continent blighted by persistent power problems and general infrastructural deficiencies, and created a stopgap product to ameliorate the deplorable situation we find ourselves. The Nepaless Iron, also known as “Iron Rhino,” is basically a gas-powered pressing iron that works just like your normal pressing, except for the fact that it isn’t powered by electricity.
This Nepaless Iron is powered Butane, a hydrocarbon found in gaseous petroleum fractions. Butane is sold in small gas canisters, with retail price hovering around N120 per canister. This product comes in handy, especially in nation such as ours where electrical power is largely seen as a privilege by the masses.
2. Multi-core Processors
Multi-core processors enable computers handle lots of computing processes and tasks efficiently and effectively. Computers with multi-core processors perform a whole lot better than computers lacking them, and a Nigerian professor at Stanford, Professor Oyekunle Olukotun, played a pioneering role in its early development. A multi-core processor implements multiprocessing in a single physical package, allowing modern computers fitted with this kind of processors run multiple instructions at the same time.
Although its development has largely being attributed to major IT giants such as Intel and AMD, the role played by Professor Olukotun in its discovery cannot be overemphasized. Professor Olukotun conceived the idea along with his friends in the mid nineties, after discovering the importance of multi-core processors in hardware utilization; however, it was until the early 2000s that his idea came to light. His innovation has paved way for the development of superfast, highly efficient computers and mobile smart devices.
3. Mimosa Weed Solar Energy
With the world clamoring for renewable energy and a greener environment, devoid of harmful industrial activities, Professor Justus Nwaoga, from the department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, University of Nigeria Nsukka, discovered that the common weed Mimosa Pudica had the potential to harness the energy from the sun. His findings were brought to life after observing the behavioral patterns of the Mimosa, especially when exposed to sunlight. After observing that the Mimosa leaves opened at sunrise and folded at sunset, he dug deeper into the chemical component of its leaves and discovered a compound called “black silicon,” which he says is responsible for the plant’s high sensitivity to sunlight. He used the pigment discovered in the Mimosa to create solar panels, which is stirring up interest in countries such as China, a leading power in solar energy development.
HopStop is the brainchild of Chinedu Echeruo, a former analyst at investment bank and hedge fund. HopStop works just like your regular mapping app only that it’s more oriented towards providing free customized public transit directions and other information relating public transit. This app lets users get up-to-the-minute biking, taxi, walking, public transit and hourly car rental directions based on the travel options selected. Users can also find popular shopping areas, bars, restaurants, attractions, and much more, using the Hopstop city guide. The popularity of Hopstop has grown over the last five years, especially in the United States, where its positive impact has largely been felt. HopStop was ranked among the top 100 fastest growing companies in the U.S in 2011 and has been named as one of the top transit apps for Apple products by respected media agencies in the world, including Business insider.
5. Chip Interconnection Technology
Funny enough, Nigerians have been at the forefront when it comes computer innovations and technology, with Philip Emegwali being the most iconic of them all. Now we have a Nigerian, Cyprian Emeka Uzoh, holding more than 300 semiconductor patents worldwide. The Copper Interconnect technology is one of such innovations that have contributed significantly to the development of computer electronics and technologies, and Cypian Uzoh played key role in co-developing and co-implementing it in notable Tech companies around the world, including IBM.
Nigeria has made giant strides in science and technology, tech start-ups are springing up daily, buoyed by the massive rise in the number highly talented, educated and tech savvy citizens. Nigerian innovators are making significant impact globally and are highly sought-after for their technical prowess and ingenuity. These are the kind of innovations we need in Nigeria, a development that will see her attain her true position in the comity of industrialized nations and ultimately achieve her vision 2020 objective.