May 06, 2011 at 15:44 PM EDT
Strolling through “Nigeria’s Best Buy” (A Photo Essay)
LAGOS, NIGERIA-- I'm in Lagos this week to speak at an event and decided to come a week early to check out the country's tech and entrepreneurship scene. Apparently Arrington thought I was kidding when I told him this. But he should know by now, I don't need a lot of arm twisting to visit a country of 150 million people chaotically surging into modernity. Where there's that much opportunity, there's always entrepreneurship. Nigeria has fascinated me for the last few years: It has the largest population of any country in Africa. It has abundant natural resources, most notably oil. And it has a ton of potential outside of oil. According to the World Bank the non-oil economy has grown at 8% per year for most of the last decade. The problem is employment hasn't budged, and the country has fifty million unemployed young people. Those are the official figures, but people in the country tell me it's actually much higher than that. That helps explain why Nigeria is more known in the West for 419 email scams than its vast economic potential.
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