Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, has unveiled a five-pillar draft strategic blueprint this week in Abuja including plans to increase funding for Nigerian tech startups to $5 billion annually by the year 2027 from the current $1,2 billion to go by the 2022 record.
The five key pillars include Knowledge, Policy, Infrastructure, Innovation, entrepreneurship and capital (IEC), and Trade designed to foster a sustainable digital future for Africa’s most populous country of over 200 million people.
“Knowledge is the cornerstone upon which innovation thrives, and is built upon the bedrock of sound policies. Infrastructure provides the essential backbone for a thriving digital economy, while innovation and entrepreneurship drive economic diversification. Trade, the fifth pillar, represents our commitment to global collaboration and partnerships, recognizing that innovation knows no borders,” said Tijani.
Adding: “As we embark on this transformative journey, we do so with an unwavering sense of purpose. We understand that the road ahead may be challenging, but it is through these challenges that we find the impetus to evolve and adapt. Together, we will harness the power of technology to elevate Nigeria’s standing on the global stage, create sustainable employment opportunities, and improve the quality of life for all Nigerians.”
The comprehensive five-year strategic plan is anchored on the five pillars to transform the country across all sectors, the minister said even as he stressed the startup ecosystem will feature robustly in its growth plans.
Over 70% of successful Nigerian startups currently source their funding from foreign investors, but government in its new blueprint and in line with the objective of the Startup Act will push to drive an increase in local funding sources including those from government institutions.
The new policy drive intents to create an environment for startups to raise the funding they require to thrive locally and promote the domiciliation of startups within the country, Tijani said.
His words: “we will establish an active sandbox environment that encourages and empowers innovators and entrepreneurs to develop unique solutions for sectors historically considered to have limited exposure to technological innovation. By removing regulatory barriers and providing the required support, we aim to inspire innovative, problem-solving approaches to existing challenges.
“With the goal of supporting the diversification of the Nigerian economy, we will collaborate with other ministries and parastatals including private sector stakeholders to drive opportunities for startups to facilitate the application of technology for enhanced productivity in critical sectors across the country. We will back programmes focused on AgriTech, HealthTech, EdTech, MediaTech, CleanTech, CreTech, among others.”