Meet Top 14 Nigerian Innovators To Watch Out For
Here’s an interesting piece by Scholes0 that we decided to share with you today. Nigerians are making waves in every field of Human
endeavor, whether home or abroad, that is an indisputable fact.
This is a list of some top-notch Nigerian Inventors, Innovators and entrepreneurs currently making a lot of progress. Feel free to
include more people you are aware of.
1. Ayodeji Adewunmi, Opeyemi Awoyemi & Olalekan Olude
Creators of Jobberman
Nigeria / ICT / Employment
While many believe Nigeria’s high rate of unemployment is caused by a lack of jobs, there is another critical issue – closing the gap
between talent and opportunity. This is what Ayodeji Adewunmi and his fellow co-founders are trying to accomplish through Jobberman, a Lagos-based, pan-African online job search engine. Jobberman was started by three entrepreneurs – Ayodeji Adewunmi, Opeyemi Awoyemi and Olalekan Olude – during their last year of university.
The trio held a common interest in addressing Nigeria’s unemployment issues and quickly joined forces to develop the innovative platform. Today, backed by a powerful private equity firm, Jobberman has blossomed into West Africa’s most popular job site, with over one million jobseeking professionals and 23,000 employers as of June 2014.
2: Kunle Adeyemi
Makoko Floating School
Nigeria / Architecture
Makoko is one of the poorest areas in the Nigerian megacity of Lagos. Perched right on the edge of the ma$$ive Lagos,Lagoon, it is often prone to flooding, and thus many homes are built on wooden platforms that sit above the water.
Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi had a vision to develop a sustainable community in Makoko that incorporated water as part of its central plan. His vision became a reality in March 2013 when his team completed a solar-powered school made from local materials that floats on recycled plastic barrels. The Makoko Floating School takes an innovative approach to addressing the social and physical needs of poorer communities that will suffer disproportionately in the wake of climate change and a rapidly urbanising African landscape.
More importantly, the school offers children in this slum an opportunity for a similar education to those in better-
resourced urban areas. The floating school was nominated for the International Award for Public Art and World Design of the Year in 2014.
3: Cyprian Emeka Uzoh
Chip Interconnection Technology
Nigeria / Device Hardware and Device Communication Technology
A technologist, scientist and prolific inventor, Cyprian Emeka Uzoh holds more than 300 semiconductor patents worldwide and is co-author of more than 35 publications in scientific journals. He is a pioneer in the field of computer electronics and has discovered, co-developed and co-implemented various critical elements and technologies, which have led to the successful implementation of copper interconnect technology at companies like the IBM Corporation.
Uzoh is also responsible for the bottom-up metal plating process in submicron features, a critical technology used across the breath of the semiconductor industry in today’s cell phones,
laptops, servers and super computers.
After finishing secondary school in eastern Nigeria, Uzoh attended college and graduate school in the United States where he studied metallurgical engineering. Holder of Patent number 6709562: Method of Making Electroplated Interconnection Structures on Integrated Circuit Chips, which was a key development in chip technology, Uzoh is likely responsible for the developments that have empowered Africa’s mobile technology explosion by making components smaller and cheaper.
4: Oyekunle Ayinde Olukotun
Nigeria / ICT
Fellow of the globally acclaimed Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Professor Olukotun is a pioneer of multi-core processors – a foundation of the IT revolution of the past three decades. In the mid-1990s, Olukotun and his colleagues argued that multi-core computer processors were likely to make better use of hardware than existing designs. In 2000, while a professor at Stanford, Olukotun founded Afara Web systems, a company that designed and manufactured multi-core, SPARC-based computer processors for data centres.
Following Olokutun’s discovery, Intel and other IT giants began to develop multi-core processes during the early 2000s. They have become the base of modern Central Processing Unites (CPUs), the key component of any computer system.In 2008, Olukotun founded the Pervasive Parallelism Laboratory at Stanford after gathering $6 million in funding from several computer industry corporations. The laboratory explores how to increase the efficiency of computers and programming languages.
Olukotun is a member of the board of advisors of UDC, a Nigerian venture capital firm. He was also elected as a Fellow of the a$$ociation for Computing Machinery in 2006 for his “contributions to multiprocessors on a chip and multi-threaded processor design”.
5: Nnedimma Nkemdili Okorafor
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing
Nigeria / Literature
Nigerian-American, Nnedi Okorafor, is one of the most successful sojourners in the world of science fiction and fantasy literature. Okorafor has received global recognition for the creative blend of African culture, science fiction and magical realism that she brings to life in her books. Several of her novels and short stories have received awards and positive reviews. Among them, her novel Zahrah the Windseeker has won the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature and her novel Who Fears Death won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.
Okorafor began writing as a way to cope with the complication of paralysis that resulted from surgery to correct her severe scoliosis. She had been a star athlete and tennis player in high school and college, but the complications and subsistent recovery cut short the possibility of career in sports. As Okorafor’s sporting dreams faded, her pa$$ion for writing germinated and blossomed, and she went on to earn her Master’s and PhD in English. She is now a professor of Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Buffalo.
6: Okechukwu Ofili
Nigeria / Literature / ICT
With one innovation Okechukwu Ofili has provided an effective solution to two of Nigeria’s biggest literary headaches: the deteriorating reading culture and a lack of access to indigenous literature. Ofilli’s Okada Books is an easy-to-access online bookstore and mobile app that makes thousands of Nigerian books available to readers on their personal computers or mobile devices.
Ofilli, an author and engineer, says that Okada Books seeks to harness the power of the mobile phone to make it easier and cheaper for Nigerians to read. His application currently has over 8,000 books, 27,000 users and 316,000 downloads. Okada Books was named the “MTN App of the Year” for 2013.
7: Justus Nwaoga
Mimosa Weed Solar Energy
Nigeria / Power/ Renewable Energy
Professor Justus Nwaoga is a Nigerian man with a mission. He is the chief engineer in the Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry Department at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and has turned a common weed (Mimosa Pudica) into a potentially viable source of solar technology.
Professor Nwaoga discovered the potential of the weed mimosa pudica in accumulating solar energy when he noticed that its leaves opened at sunrise and folded at sunset. Further exploration showed that the plants contain a compound he calls “black silicon”, which is responsible for their sensitivity to light. Professor Nwaoga has used the same pigments extracted from the weed to create solar panels which have generated attention from places as far afield as China – the world’s leading manufacturer of solar panels.
The author of Plant Weed for Solar Cell Development, Professor Nwaoga was one of 10 finalists for the Innovation Prize for Africa in 2013.
8: John O. Dabiri
Advancements in Medicine
Nigeria / Science and Technology
John Dabiri (born 1980) is an American biophysicist, professor of aeronautics and bioengineering, and dean at the California Institute of Technology. He is best known for his research of the hydrodynamics of jellyfish propulsion and the design of a vertical- axis wind farm adapted from schooling fish.
He is the director of the Biological Propulsion Laboratory, which examines fluid transport with applications in aquatic locomotion, fluid dynamic energy conversion, and cardiac flows, as well as applying theoretical methods in fluid dynamics and concepts of optimal vortex formation.
In 2010, Dabiri was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for his theoretical engineering work. He established the Caltech Field Laboratory for Optimized Wind Energy (FLOWE) in 2011, a wind farm which investigates the energy exchange in an array of vertical-axis wind turbines. His honors include a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and being named as one of Popular Science magazine’s “Brilliant 10″ scientists in 2008.
Bloomberg Businessweek magazine listed him among its 2012 Technology Innovators.
9: Ndubuisi Ekekwe
Advancements in Medicine
Nigeria / ICT
Ndubuisi Ekekwe represents the perfect blend of science, technology and entrepreneurship – the ethos of African innovations. Professor Ekwekwe started his first business – Ultinet Systems – fresh out of university, by selling computers to university lecturers and professors. Although the business was successful, he decided to go back to school. During his time at Johns Hopkins University, Professor Ekekwe conducted research around creating artificial human organs such as the retina, cochlea and the brain.
A holder of two doctor*l and four master’s degrees, Ekekwe is a pioneer in technology in Africa.Professor Ekwekwe holds two pending patents on microelectronics and has consulted for universities and the World Bank. As well
as holding visiting appointments in two African universities, Professor Ekwekwe founded the African Institution of Technology, which is now sponsored by billionaire entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu. Professor Ekwekwe is also the founder and CEO of FASMICRO Group, which controls businesses in microelectronics, cyber security, real estate and ICT. Professor Ekwekwe has received several awards, such as the United Kingdom Congress on Computer a$$isted Surgery, and was nominated for the Johns Hopkins Institutions Diversity Recognition Award.
10: Dr. Oluyombo Awojobi
Awojobi Clinic, Eruwa (ACE)
Nigeria / Health
Born in a rural area of Nigeria where, as elsewhere on the African continent, high-quality machinery and electricity are not easily accessible, Dr Oluyombo Awojobi built a clinic that delivers quality care using techniques and improvised devices, constructed right on site.
Dr Awojobi set up his clinic in Eruwa, Oyo State, Nigeria in 1986 after spending some years working as a surgeon at a district hospital in the same area. At ACE, he makes use of materials that are easily accessible within his immediate environment. For example, he has built a hematorcrit centrifuge from a bicycle wheel that can turn at 5,400 rpm, creating a force 3,000 times stronger than Earth’s gravity to separate oxygen-carrying red cells from a patient’s blood.
He has also constructed an operating table that is 90 percent wood and 10 percent metal. Used maize cobs serve as fuel to generate the heat for sterilizing surgical equipment, and rain water collected during the rainy season is stored for use in flushing toilets during the dry season. Not one to keep his life-saving knowledge to himself, Dr Awojobi has published his designs and findings in numerous international medical journals.
11: Yemi Adesokan
Nigeria / Health Technology
US- based Nigerian born researcher, Yemi Adesokan, put his country’s name on the map of nations of innovation.
Adesokan’s discovery which has potential to change the way mankind responds to disease pathogens, according to experts, may bring an end the era of increased burden of drug resistance in the world particularly, in sub Saharan Africa.
When he moved to United States in 1996, little did the young innovator have realise that he was going to rub shoulders with some of the greatest names in scientific technology. But today, Adesokan who has been listed by Technology Review, an independent media company owned by the Ma$$achusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT). As one of the TR35 Award of the 2011 World top innovators.
Past recipients have included Sergey Brin (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), & Konstantin Novoselev (later a Nobel Laureate in Physics). Adesokan is being so specially honored for his work in the application of next generation sequencing to clinical diagnostics. He is also the founder of Pathogenica Inc, was selected as a member of the TR35 cla$$ of 2011 by a panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review, who evaluated more than 300 nominations.
12: Chinedu Echeruo
Nigeria / Tech Entrepreneur
Chinedu Echeruo, formerly an analyst at investment banks and hedge funds founded HopStop in 2005. Echeruo is now Chairman of the Board for HopStop. HopStop.com provides free customized public transit directions, as well as other related features and information relevant to public transit. Users can get step-by-step public transit, walking, taxi, biking, and hourly car rental directions based on the travel options selected (departure time, transportation mode, more walking vs. more transfers, etc.).
The City Guide helps users find attractions, bars, restaurants, hotels, shopping areas, & other businesses.The Community tab offers users the ability to plan a trip with multiple destinations, including City Guide listings & custom location He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS from Syracuse University. In 2011, HopStop was named one of the top 100 fastest growing software companies in the United States and ranked 1,182 overall on the 2011 Inc 500 | 5000 list.
Since the release of iOS 6 in September 2012, in which Apple replaced support for Google Maps with their own mapping, HopStop has been named as one of the top transit apps for Apple products by multiple publishers including Business Insider, Fast Company and Wired.
The company was acquired by Apple Inc in July 2013.
13: Ayokunle Adeniran
Nigeria / Science and Technology
A few weeks ago, the Internet was buzzing with photos of what was tagged the ‘Nepaless Iron’. It was very intriguing, and as you can
imagine, we wanted to get in behind the story. The ‘Nepaless Iron’ is actually called the ‘Iron Rhino’ and is the innovative brain child
of a Nigerian Engineer, Ayokunle Adeniran. A graduate of Covenant University, ‘Sean’ as he is fondly called by his friends, works as a
mechanical design engineer in the United States, and has found a way around having to wait for the ‘NEPA’ before getting nicely
pressed outfits. The Iron Rhino is a gas powered device which is portable and easy to use. should expect to see the product on our
The Iron Rhino is a product designed in response to the inability of people to iron their clothes due to electrical power outages
plaguing developing countries such as Nigeria. It is a butane gas powered pressing iron, meaning it does not require electricity to
function. It looks very similar to and functions like existing electric irons. The butane comes in canisters that retail for about N120
and can last for 1 week usage at 20 minutes daily ironing. The canisters presently are being manufactured by a Chinese company,
but provisions are being made to have them produced locally by a Nigerian company. The projected production rate is calculated to
serve all functioning irons abundantly, also a recycling process of the canisters will mean users can get discounts on recycled