Digital economy to generate $88bn in 3yrs
Okey Enelama-industry, trade and investment minister
Nigerian government is resolute, almost to near obsession, on creating an enabling environment where digital economy opportunities are not just theoretical but become real, Okey Enelamah, industry, trade and investment minister, says.
Digital economy is projected to generate $88 billion and create up to 3 million jobs in the next 3 years.
The minister, who spoke at the “Invest In Nigeria” Summit – Silicon Valley – Palo Alto, California, USA, said, “That is why we are here.”
The Nigerian delegation led by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, includes senior government officials, regulators, companies leading the charge of innovation in Nigeria and some leading technology talents.
Enelamah said the technology sector had recorded some good strides – more than doubling in size over the past nine years, now accounting for 9 percent of our GDP.
He recalled some recent landmark investments in the sector: “From the $20 million fundraised in Andela, to $10 million fundraise in Flutterwave, to the $7 million in SureRemit via a blockchain ICO, $1.1 million in Piggybank. There are easily scores of these today and counting.
He assured the investors that there was no question about the entrepreneurial spirit of young Nigerians, and so the future was now.
“Today, we have brought you some of our best: from the government, from the private sector, technology companies, local finance, policy makers. I hope this leaves no doubt as to our commitment to establishing a winning partnership with you in Nigeria’s technology ecosystem,” he said.
The primary purpose of the visit is towards attracting investments into Nigeria’s burgeoning tech space. It follows the Vice President’s inauguration last month of the Advisory Group on Technology and Creativity, established by President Muhammadu Buhari as part of an effort to boost industrial policies and competitiveness for the country.
The committee has a good number of private sector members with roots in one technology operations or the other. As our source would reveal, the Vice President’s entourage comprises a number of tech-savvy entrepreneurs from that advisory board.
The trip is to showcase to the world the progress and strides in the country’s technology, innovation and creative space by Nigerian start-ups and entertainment industry practitioners.
At the meeting held on Tuesday in Silicon Valley, the team interacted with scores of Nigerians working with Google. He later met with a series of key technology investors and also visited the headquarters of LinkedIn where he was the special guest at the firm’s Fireside Chat with a packed full room of Nigerians in Diaspora.
Nigeria has been identified as one of the major countries where the latest generation of internet users will come from, and the next billion users are said to be already changing the internet in three key ways: the prominent use of smartphones to access the internet, an instinct for universal computing, and a demand for localised content.
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