Open Source Strategies at Nigeria’s Software Hubs

Open versus Proprietary Models: A study on the use of Software by Software Developers in Local Software Hubs in Nigeria

The Researchers

Helen Chuma-Okoro
Adebambo Adewopo
Lanre Ajetunmobi
Ofonmbuk Esther Ekong
Vincent Oriakpo

About this Study

As in many African countries, Nigeria has a rapidly growing class of tech savvy entrepreneurs operating in and contributing to the growth of the informal economy through their innovations. These individuals tend to cluster and incubate their startups in more open, dynamic, and collaborative environments. In major cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, this new generation of entrepreneurs is thriving through converging in hubs and building on existing knowledge in ICT, innovating to solve problems and provide convenience.

In these “tech hub” environments, the only barrier to access to knowledge appears to be the technological protection measures protecting the innovators and not normative legal restrictions. This study intends to provide empirical evidence of the relevance and role of IP to innovation in Nigeria by examining and comparing the pattern of use of software in tech hubs in Nigeria with specific reference to open and proprietary models. Put another way, how relevant is the conventional IP scheme to ensuring scalability and sustainability of start-ups in tech hubs in Nigeria? How have IP laws affected the innovation ecosystem in Nigeria?

The Open African Innovation Research Partnership