The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi CCIE, said that Nigeria is now a key global supplier of Tech Talents.
He made this statement on Tuesday in Abuja as Tech Giant, Google unveiled 60 Africa Startups grantees for its second cohort Black Founders Fund (BFF) initiative with 23 of the grantees from Nigeria.
Abdullahi stated that, “This is a golden opportunity for our Startups, because funding is one of the biggest challenges facing the Nigerian tech. Ecosystem. “This kind of initiative will help us create more talents in the country, because people are a major component of technology. “If you don’t have the people that will think and invent new ideas, there is no way we can have good technology.” In Africa, we cannot compete with the rest of the world in terms of hardware and any technology infrastructure, but when it comes to talent, we have a competitive edge over the rest of the world, “he said.
He affirmed the government’s obligation to the growth of the digital economy. He said, “we believe our own responsibility is to come up with policies that can enable a level playing field, and the government has been doing a lot in this area, starting with expanding the mandate of our ministry to cover digital economy, and the ongoing implementation of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a digital Nigeria.
Mr Adewolu Adene, Government Affairs and Policy Manager, Google Nigeria, praised the Nigerian Government for their support, and contribution to their data with regards to physical incentives and the registration process of Corporate Affairs Commission.
He said, “We are really grateful for the support that we have been getting from policy-makers and all the forces behind. We have done a lot to get to this point and we hope that we can continue to do even more to take us further such that we are able to deliver to the respective mandate.”
One of the grantees, the founder of Norebase, Mr Tola Onayemi, commended Google for promoting technological innovation in Africa.
The Second Cohort of Grantees made up of 50 percent women led-businesses include, Branstorne, HerVest, , BuuPass, Agrickool, Ajua, Awabah, Flex Finance, Healthtracka, Clarifa, Eden Life, Gamr, Lifebank, and some others. Their specialties cut across various sectors such as Logistics, Healthcare, Education, Hospitality , E-commerce, Fintech and Smart Cities. The grantees come from Nigeria, Ghana Botswana, Uganda Ethiopia, Kenya, Cameroon, Senegal, South Africa and Rwanda
According to reports, selected startups will receive $100,000 in non-dilutive cash awards, paired with up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credits per startup. Each of the selected Startups will receive support in the form of a 6-month training programme that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in overcoming challenges that are unique to their business.