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Nigeria Launches $600m Flagship Initiative for Young Techy, Creative Nigerians



Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises

By Rosemary Iwuala


  • African Development Bank (AfDB) – $170 million
  • Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) – N70 million
  • Agence Française de Développement – $116 million
  • Nigeria – $70 million
  • Private Sector & Institutional Investors – $271million

Nigeria on Tuesday launched a $600 million programme for young Nigerians in the technology and creative sectors with a call on African governments and the private sector to do more to support the growth of innovation in the continent.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo spoke at the State House, Abuja, at the presidential launch of the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (i-DICE) Programme which would support young Nigerians ranging from ages 15 to 35, who are entrepreneurs and involved in early stages in creative, innovative and technology-enabled ventures.

Delivering a keynote address at the event, the vice president declared: “I think it is now imperative to commence a coordinated approach towards innovation on the continent, bringing together all stakeholders to coordinate efforts at scaling up investments and building programmes that provide the right enabling environment and produce talent pipelines that support the growth of innovation on the continent.”

Under i-DICE, constraints such as access to capital, and capacity limitation of Start-ups would be effectively addressed.

But according to Osinbajo, more needed to be done to scale up such programmes.

His words, “the government must provide more support for startups and small businesses, and investors must provide more funding. This is why the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme is important.”

i-DICE is supported by funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) -$170 million, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)- N70 million and the Agence Française de Développement – $116 million, while another $271m is expected from private sector and institutional investors.

There is also Federal Government of Nigeria counterpart contribution of $45 million through the Bank of Industry loans for qualifying start-ups.

Speaking on behalf of the Nigerian government, the Vice President thanked the development partners for their collaboration.

Also commending the efforts of the development partners, Osinbajo noted that the programme’s design “supports innovation across very critical pillars including policy, infrastructure, access to finance and talent. These pillars have been identified as very critical to the growth and sustenance of innovation on the continent.”

Beyond job creation, he said the programme was a government initiative to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the digital tech and creative industries and especially targeted at job creation.

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