Nigeria To Build First Digital Innovation, Entrepreneurship Center In Africa

The Director General, NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, delivering a welcome address at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, Abuja.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (Nigeria) is committed to building the First Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre in Africa.

This was disclosed by the Director General, NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, while delivering a welcome address at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Centre in Abuja, Nigeria.

TheFact Nigeria reports that the Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre was in line with the digital economic agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari and a way of bridging the current wide unemployment gap in the country.

The centre, aimed at creating an innovative ecosystem, would focus on building an enabling environment to inspire, connect and support technology startups, entrepreneurs and businesses towards innovation and indigenisation of technologies in Nigeria.

While, speaking, Kashifu said, digital economy was the fastest growing economy in Nigeria and world in general, therefore, there was need to ignite innovation and entrepreneurship in the digital space.

“Today, Digital Economy is the fastest growing economy in Nigeria and World in general.

“Today’s event is critical for our journey to digital economy, because in digital economy innovation and entrepreneurship play a huge role in creating value and prosperity. That is why we are investing in this initiative.

“To sustain and consolidate the growth, we need to ignite innovation and entrepreneurship in the digital space,” he said.

Kashifu said, the “COVID-19 has impacted our lives in an unprecedented way, many aspects of our live – work, education, economy, entertainment, have moved online.”

He said, “according to data compiled by Visual Capitalist, in a single internet minute in 2020, consumer spend more than 1m USD, over 42 million messages share via WhatsApp, more than 1.4 million people make video or voice call, over 150,000 messages shared on Facebook, more than 319 new accounts created on Tweeter, Linkedin users apply for over 69,000 jobs, more than 6,500 packages shipped by Amazon and over 200,000 people participate in Zoom meetings.

“Digital economy is mainly driven by rapid business innovation, using digital technology to deliver new customer value proposition, new business model, new organizational structure, new customer experience, operational excellence and enhanced products and services. This cannot be achieved in isolation; we need innovation ecosystem,” he said.

The NITDA boss informed that, “to build a vibrant innovation ecosystem in Nigeria we have keyed into MIT program call REAP – Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program.

“REAP is a global capstone initiative that provides opportunity for communities to engage with MIT in an evidence-based and practical approach to strengthen innovation ecosystem. This center will serve as a platform for the MIT-REAP initiative,” he said.

Elucidating on the choice of MIT, he said, “we chose to work with MIT because its economic impact via innovation and entrepreneurship to the global economy is unprecedented.

“According to the last report, MIT alumni have created over 30,000 active companies employing more than 4.6 million people and producing annual revenues of almost $2 trillion which is equivalent to the world’s 10th largest economy,” he said.

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