He holds the record of the most successful App ever created in Nigeria. His Blackberry App arrived, and we all received it – very well. Within 72 hours, more than 10,000 downloads have been recorded. Tekedia is not aware of any App that comes close.
His is humble, articulate and engaging. A young man with great vision; he already has a solution for our educational system- incorporate more practical projects in the courses and our students will be work-ready. The model of one final year project is inefficient and must be replaced.
Tekedia is proud to present Zubair Abubakar – one of the promising young minds in our nation. Enjoy our interview with him.
– Tell us your name and background
I am Zubair Abubakar, web/mobile application developer, a social entrepreneur and a volunteer. I studied computer Science at Ashesi University Ghana. I have experiences in software development, web development and recently I’ve been involved in mobile application development. I’ve been involved in strategic problem solving solutions, I remember in 2006 while in the university, we had some problems with student council elections so I developed an election platform that enabled the whole election process to be conducted online making the university the first university to conduct student council elections online in Ghana and possibly Africa. I also developed a web based patient management system for Ashesi Health Center, which was used to manage the records of students and staff that visited the center. In recently times, I’ve been the lead developer on the project I like to call Nigeria’s biggest online local search portal ConnectNigerian. I also developed a blackberry application that allows Nigerians to read the country’s constitution on their mobile phone anytime anywhere, it was a success as it was downloaded 10,000 times within 72 hours.
– Introduce us to your company, products and services
I am actually in middle of setting up another company, so I’ll just talk about the product/service. My goal is to provide relevant mobile solutions to tons problems faced in by Africans. Just as access to computers and internet solved a lot of problems, I believe that even more problems can be solved via mobile as more people have access have access to mobile phones than computers.
– What are the opportunities for your business
Wow, the opportunity for mobile solutions/services is very huge and more interestingly the opportunities cuts across every industry from education to entertainment, health, banking and finance, law and the list goes on.
– Tell us the challenges your business is facing
As usual every business in Nigeria must first face the problem of electricity, without an alternative medium of generating electricity no business can thrive in Nigeria. Another challenge is the issue of funds, there are little or no means available to fund businesses , especially tech businesses.
– Share with us how you are mitigating those challenges
Well, I’m mitigating the problem of electricity by using a generator on the side, so when there is no electricity to work, I turn on the generator. As for the funds issue, I use income from my fulltime job to fund my ideas. Although I’m linking up with some venture capitalist, in the hope to some of my ideas funded.
– Your message to other founders and entrepreneurs
The first thing to say is that they should be patient and persevere all the time. They should also believe that what will be will be, but if it will be its up to them, nobody understands your ideas more than you so its really left to you to drive it home, no matter what it takes.
– Should you become a LGA chair, Governor or President, tell us how you will make technology to flourish in your country
The two major deterrent to technology flourishing in Nigerian is the lack of or poor internet and power supply. So if I was in any position that can influence things, I would ensure that these two ingredients are available.
Another believe I have is that for technology to flourish the people that use the technology must really understand it and know how to use it well and to achieve this I would revamp the way technical courses are taught in the universities and ensure that there are more hands-on training and per-course projects and not the conventional final year project. This would get the students familiar with the technologies taught per course, thus making it easy to make use of the technology in the future.
I would also build an I.T centre which would have constant electricity and internet, something like the iHub in Kenya. A place where like minded and technically sound entrepreneurs can meet work and network. This I believe would go a long way to ensure that technology flourishes in Nigeria.
Thank you Zubair
Thanks for the opportunity