Lagos — With its colourful hammocks and table tennis table, a new tech hub in the Lagos metropolis would not look out of place among the start-ups on the other side of the world in Silicon Valley. But the NG–Hub office is in the suburb of Yaba — the heart of Nigeria’s burgeoning tech scene that is attracting interest from global giants keen to tap into an emerging market of young, connected Africans. In May, both Google and Facebook launched initiatives nearby. This week, Nigeria’s vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo, was in California to court US tech investors for what he said could herald a "fourth industrial revolution" back home. But it isn’t just Nigeria that is piquing the interest of tech giants. In June, Google said it would open Africa’s first artificial intelligence lab in Ghana’s capital, Accra. Demographics are a key factor behind the drive: Africa’s population is estimated to be 1.2-billion, 60% of them under 24 years. By 2050, the UN estimates the population will double to ...

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