Director general and chief executive officer of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, has said that the agency is partnering with the MassChallenge Initiative to boost Nigeria’s position as a leader in the digital skills and startup ecosystem in Africa, stressing that Nigerian startups are targeting globl market.
He stated this in his address at the Media Stakeholder Engagement on the Bridge to MassChallenge Initiative in Abuja yesterday, adding that the partnership with the global network of zero-equity startup accelerators was to catalyze and support a national startup community in Nigeria.
He said “The partnership focuses on achieving three main objectives:Firstly, to promote Nigeria as an emerging entrepreneurial hub and leader of innovation in Africa in order to support job creation and economic development; Secondly, to foster the growth and success of Nigeria’s startup enterprises by connecting our entrepreneurs with markets, networks, and capital in the global innovation ecosystem; and Lastly but not the least, to facilitate key strategies to complement growing innovation initiatives within Nigeria.”
The NITDA boss said the agency conceptualized the MassChallenge Nigeria Initiative to help the startups have a breakthrough during and after the COVID-19 crisis, adding that a vibrant startup ecosystem is highly critical to Nigeria’s quest to find solutions to various challenges.
He tipped the media, among six categories of stakeholders that will be fully involved in the initiative. Others include critical government agencies, academia, business entities, angels investors and venture capitals and entrepreneurs.
He pointed out that Nigerian startups have attracted investment saying “recently, Flutterwave announced new funding of $170m, and Stripe acquired Paystack for more than $200m. Other Nigerian technology companies like Interswitch have raised funding in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”
He added that this initiative was predicated on NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) 2021-2024, which was crafted in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a digital Nigeria.
“The NDEPS which was developed with the vision of transforming Nigeria into a leading digital economy, providing quality life and digital economies for all has been properly aligned with the SRAP seven strategic pillars.
“These pillars are developmental regulation, digital literacy and skills, digital transformation, digital innovation & entrepreneurship, cybersecurity, emerging technologies and promotion of indigenous content,” he said.
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