FG to set up $500m innovation fund for African tech startups

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By Wisdom Deji-Folutile

Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osibanjo, has announced plans by the Federal Government to establish policies that would support the ecosystem for ICT startups in the country.

According to Osinbajo, FG will reconvene the Technology and Creativity Advisory Council to develop strategies to improve the African tech space.

Osibanjo said this on Thursday at an event organised by tech giants Google.

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Represented by Mr Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency, Osibanjo identified startups as great tools for addressing Africa’s challenges.

The VP stated that the Federal Government was working to ensure that startups received the necessary support to convey their ideas into impactful solutions.

“As part of our Ease of Doing Business Reforms, we instituted the Visa on Arrival Policy which allows any person outside ECOWAS to get a visa on arrival in Nigeria.

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“This policy means that all African startups and entrepreneurs seeking to expand their business into Nigeria will have a more straightforward process.

“We are also reconvening the Technology and Creativity Advisory Council, made up of public and private sector stakeholders, to advise the government on policies and programmes to support the ecosystem,” he said.

He further said that FG was also currently engaging with the African Development Bank to set up a $500m Innovation Fund through the council’s work.

According to the Vice President, this innovation fund is intended to support the ecosystem across four pillars including infrastructure support, finance, skills development and technical assistance.