Nigeria Aims to Boost Startup Funding to $5 Billion Annually - The Top Society

Nigeria Aims to Boost Startup Funding to $5 Billion Annually

TOPSOCIETYNG

Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, unveiled an ambitious plan to supercharge Nigeria’s startup ecosystem. The plan, titled ‘Accelerating our Collective Prosperity through Technical Efficiency: A Strategic Plan for the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation & Digital Economy,’ lays out a comprehensive strategy to propel the nation’s startups to new heights.

Dr. Tijani emphasized the pivotal role of innovation, entrepreneurship, and access to capital in today’s global technology landscape. He underlined that Nigeria’s Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy is poised to become a driving force behind the growth and sustainability of startups, with a particular emphasis on those spearheading groundbreaking solutions for critical sectors of the economy.

The primary objective of this visionary plan is to facilitate the creation of an ecosystem that fosters innovation, encourages entrepreneurship, and ensures that startups have the necessary financial resources to flourish. To achieve this, the ministry will collaborate with various stakeholders, including investors, venture capitalists, and industry experts.

Startup

The key highlight of this strategic plan is the ambitious goal of raising the total yearly funding rounds for Nigerian startups to a staggering $5 billion by 2027.

Tijani said,

Recognizing  the critical role of patient capital in the growth of startups, we are committed to increasing the local availability of patient capital. We intend to create an environment for startups to raise the funding they require to thrive locally and promote the domiciliation of startups within our nation.”

In explaining how the ministry intends to assess the effectiveness of its plan, he elaborated to “Increase capital raised by Nigerian tech startups 50 per cent year-on-year from ~$1bn/yr in 2022 to $5bn/yr in 2027.”

In a period marked by a scarcity of funding, Nigerian startups successfully secured $1.2 billion in 2022, as reported by Africa The Big Deal, an African funding data insight firm. Meanwhile, Briter Bridges indicated that African startups collectively amassed $5.4 billion in the same year.

Additionally, he emphasized that the ministry is committed to establishing a dynamic sandbox environment that will serve as a catalyst, encouraging and empowering innovators and entrepreneurs to craft unique solutions for sectors that have hitherto experienced limited exposure to technological innovation.

Tijani also highlighted the nation’s aspirations to elevate the presence of local technology startups from less than 1 percent to an impressive 25 percent by 2027, thereby significantly enhancing their contributions to the national economy.

According to Tijani, “Digital transformation and innovation are fast becoming a catalyst for economic progress,” and the “intersection of a strong digital economy and our innovative and youthful population presents us with a unique opportunity to chart a course towards prosperity, inclusion, and global relevance.”

Commenting on Artificial Intelligence, the minister stated that this technology will usher in a new era of technological and economic transformation over the next two decades. Nigeria needs to formulate a far-reaching national strategy to harness the potential of AI inclusively and responsibly,” Tijani highlighted.

He said,

“The implementation of the strategy amongst other things is expected to elevate Nigeria as a top 10 location for AI model training and talents globally. In addition, we will position Nigeria as a global leader in accelerating inclusivity in AI dataset.”

He further mentioned the country’s intention to generate more than 50,000 jobs in the field of AI within the upcoming couple of years.

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