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Nigerian tablet faces huge market entry battle

When a young Nigerian entrepreneur and Bournmouth graduate, Saheed Adepoju, borrowed £40,000 from his family to begin working on a tablet PC for his home market, he had little idea of how much attention and energy his idea would attract. But there are huge struggles ahead. KitGuru scans the 8″ market and tries to assess Saheed’s chances for success.

In Nigeria, Apple’s global price policy means that an iPad rocks up at $700, which means it’s only available to the more affluent families. If you could deliver an attractive package for less than half that price, then you might be able to attract volume orders. At least, that was Saheed’s thinking.

His fully-featured, low-cost 8″ Android device combines phone and tablet – and is being launched as the ‘Inye’ (or ‘One’ in local parlance).

Naturally, the complete/configured units are produced in China, but Saheed’s confident that he can push hard into his home market with the right contacts/effort.

But that’s where his challenge really starts. Despite the Bournmouth University student’s obvious passion, his country is facing a huge domestic crisis.

Experts we’ve spoken to explain that Nigeria is teetering on the edge of a massive financial collapse, with generations of corruption finally coming to a head. If the expected collapse happens, then Saheed’s dreams could get smashed in an instant – and any hopes that he might have had that his Inye device could open the door to a new future for young Nigerians will end overnight. Find out more about African Fashion over at Africa Fashion.

KitGuru says: The BBC is producing a programme about Saheed’s project, called African Dreams. Let’s hope the entrepreneur’s dreams manage to survive the crisis into which they were born, and actually do come true.

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