Friday, September 30, 2022

FG seeks $500 million innovation fund from AfDB

“We are also reconvening the Technology and Creativity Advisory Council, made up of public and private sector stakeholders, to advise the government on policies.”

• April 30, 2021
Osinbajo and Adesina
Osinbajo and Adesina

Vice President Yemi Osibanjo says the federal government is engaging the African Development Bank (AfDB) to set up a $500 million innovation fund.

He also revealed that the government would reconvene the Technology and Creativity Advisory Council on policies that will support the ecosystem for ICT startups in Nigeria.

Mr Osinbajo explained that the government was also currently engaging with the AfDB to set up the fund through the council’s work.

The fund will provide support for the ecosystem, across four pillars, including infrastructure support, finance, skills development, and technical assistance.

He explained that the African startup ecosystem opportunity depended on innovation capacity and entrepreneurial capacity, all anchored on the 4th industrial revolution and driven primarily by digital technologies.

Mr Osibanjo said this on Thursday at the Startup and Developer event organised by Google, with the theme ‘The African Start-up Ecosystem Opportunity.’

Represented by Kashifu Inuwa, Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Osibanjo identified startups as tools for addressing Africa’s enormous challenges.

“As part of our Ease of Doing Business Reforms, we instituted the Visa on Arrival Policy which allows any person outside ECOWAS to get a visa on arrival in Nigeria.

“This policy means that all African startups and entrepreneurs seeking to expand their business into Nigeria will have a more straightforward process.

“We are also reconvening the Technology and Creativity Advisory Council, made up of public and private sector stakeholders, to advise the government on policies and programmes to support the ecosystem,” he said.

Mr Osinbajo hoped that the 4th industrial revolution would be an opportunity for Africa to leverage and develop its ICT startups ecosystem.

“The 4th industrial revolution is shaping and creating economic activities. It is proving to be the catalyst for future economic activities that will bridge the divide between the rich and developing countries.

“It will remove physical borders and barriers while maximising the utilisation of digital technologies as a source of inspiration across economic sectors,” he said.

(NAN)

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