Saheed Adepoju is a Nigerian that is taking the world by storm. He is the inventor of the Inye, a tablet computer designed for the African market. According to the 29-year-old entrepreneur, his machine’s key selling point is its price – $350 (£225) opposed to around $700 for an iPad. He believes that, because of this, there is a big market for it in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa, particularly amongst students.
“The Inye is a mobile internet device. It gives you access to the internet; it allows you to play media files and watch movies. What we have is an 8-inch device, a device that is half-way between a laptop and a mobile phone,” he told the BBC’s series African Dream. “You have the standard software applications that come pre-installed and then you have the ones that we are working with various local developers to bundle on,” he added. Among those local apps there is one designed to raise awareness about HIV and others related to water and sanitation. “We work with local developers that have expertise in particular areas so that we don’t end up doing so much work and we just have a collaborative way of doing things together,” he said.
Adepoju has a background in software development and is a Sun-certified Java programmer. After doing a first degree in maths and computer science in Nigeria, he completed another one in advanced computing by research at Bournemouth University, in the United Kingdom. Upon graduation in 2009, he returned to his home country and started working for a consulting firm. “Within eight months I got fired, primarily because of differences in approach to doing business. In the middle of all this, the Apple iPad launched, back in January of 2010, which inspired us to actually look to build such a product within the African marketplace. Inye means One in Igala, a language in Nigeria. Who says we can’t do better?