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Do you think Lagos is the Most Innovative City in the World?



The city of Lagos is known for many things. As the most populous city in the country, Lagos is the commercial hub and serves as a meeting point for people from different cultures, religion, profession and more. Lagos is a very diverse city. But do you think innovation is one of the things the city is known for?

Lagos, along with 24 other cities has been nominated for the Most Innovative City of the Year Award.

The Award which is being organised by Wall Street Journal and sponsored by Citigroup in partnership with Urban Land Institute recognizes places where people, passion and ingenuity are shaping efforts to build sustainable and liveable cities. According to the organizers, the competition tests the ability of the nominated cities to re-imagine themselves.

On the Wall Street Journal website, some of the credit given to Lagos include

  • Under Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, Lagos instituted a science and technology-based Innovation Advisory Council.
  • The city’s urban population has grown 6% to 8% annually in recent years, ballooning to 18 million people in 2010.
  • Lagos’s GDP is $33 billion, and accounts for roughly 25% of Nigeria’s overall GDP.
  • Frontier Strategy Group named Lagos one of the “Big 5” cities in Africa, projecting that it will soon outpace Johannesburg in business opportunities.
  • The city is Nigeria’s “gate to the sea,” accounting for 80% of national seaport activity.

Aside from Lagos, Cape Town, South Africa is the only other African city on the list. Other cities are Sao Paulo, Medellin, London, Shenzhen, Hamburg, Berlin, Raleigh-Durham, Vancouver, Boston, Atlanta, New York, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Copenhagen, Toronto, San Francisco, Bratislava, Tel Aviv, Chicago, Vienna and Seattle.

The competition is now in its second phase. Out of the 25 cities, three will make the final shortlist and these cities will be announced at the Wall Street Journal Magazine Innovator of the Year Awards on October 18.

Voting would then resume on October 19 to determine the winning city which will be announced in the Wall Street Journal magazine early next year.

So, compared to other cities on the list, do you think Lagos has what it takes to be called the most innovative city in the world?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. nems

    October 10, 2012 at 11:08 am

    If the award is for places where people, passion and ingenuity are shaping efforts to build sustainable and liveable cities then LAGOS gets my vote! Lagos has come so far compared to the other cities and has risen above, hardship, corruption, violence and natural disasters to a place of growth, innovation, creativity and hardwork. Lagos in 10 years time will be AMAZING!

  2. rew

    October 10, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Who cares? Provide citizens with basic amenities then we can look into silly things like most innovative.

    • TeeChuk

      October 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      I hear you on that!

  3. YummyMummy

    October 10, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I dont believe it,since last year or so the international world has taken interest in Nigeria and all these accolades are very uncomforatable…United States rules the world,and when they take interest on just have to check if they aint sugar coating things for us….

    They are the ones saying Lagos is the most innovative city in the world,they also said will Nigeria be a failed state in 2015.

    All i know is Nigeria is way back and they know this,can they compare their innovation with their’s,the answer is NO!

    Nigerians watch out! Lagos be vigilant! I might not be making sense to some people but hey! believe it or not..the international word has so much interest in Nigeria lately and I urge our leaders to just watch it!

    All i Kno

    • YummyMummy

      October 10, 2012 at 11:16 am

      Compare our innovation with theirs***

    • Ginika

      October 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      I see what you are saying. There is an alterior motive.

    • Ashley

      October 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      without sounding like i know it all, its actually ulterior n not alterior as earlier written. pls no need to yap me, i was being corrected as well, n i suppose its only fair i share. then to yummymummy’s point– you, me and the Cat all know our country is being Run by dem White Folks!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      October 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Agree absolutely. For me, this “survey” falls into the same category as those ones that promote such degenerative “surveys” such as “naija women are the most promiscuous in the world” and “1 in 2 naija woman carries a sex toy in their purse”. Even people that haven’t stepped a foot out of our shores know these are frivolous LIES. All things being equal Naija has the potential to be the most important African country, and the people that control things behind the scenes want to make sure they tap in quickly through mindless consumerism, decadence, degeneration in the name of “freedoms and capitalism”. Unfortunately our leaders are actually in cahoots or could give two rats a** as long as their pockets are getting fatter. Watch and Pray, watch and pray.

  4. Ginika

    October 10, 2012 at 11:22 am

    YES I believe.

  5. Portugarian

    October 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Who is giving this misleading information and where’s the source??? Bellanaija, the LAGOS city nominated is in Portugal and not your country. Please get ur facts right!

    • Seriously?!!

      October 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      @Portugarian… so Babatunde Raji Fashola is the governor of Lagos state in Portugal? Don’t come here and display your ignorance abeg…. mschewwwwwww

  6. ladon

    October 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Based on those indices.

  7. Winifred

    October 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Abeg so long as people are still very poor with Lagos state inclusive!lets talk about something else abeg

  8. Purpleicious Babe

    October 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    innovative….that rich…

  9. idowu

    October 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm


  10. taiwo

    October 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    my amswer is simple ” NO” . i love naija and lagos but most innovative that just craziness, they need to check well well. there must be something behind this.we are nt innovative at all at all. sorry that i am negative but congratulation though.

  11. CityChic

    October 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Yes! Especially in terms of business opportunities.
    But what does population have to do with innovation???

  12. oyin

    October 17, 2012 at 2:06 am

    It will be nice to see more innovations and Nigerians given the opportunity to use it or share it. I’m just disappointed in the filed leadership, the Nigerian government to even care for any award. What’s up with all this attention Nigeria is getting? But, Fashola is putting effort and I wish more leaders will follow his footstep or even be a better leader.

  13. graco

    October 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    (SMH) This must be a trick question.

  14. graco

    October 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Just consulted my dictionary to be sure innovative didn’t have a different meaning from the one I know.

    Yep, definitely a trick question.

  15. graco

    October 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Still doesn’t have a different meaning

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