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$617m iDICE fund to foster economic growth

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By Usman Oladimeji

This fund presents a chance to drive economic progress and advancement.

The Minister in charge of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, has expressed optimism that the 617 million dollar Investment in the Digital Economy and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) fund will drive growth in both cultural and economic sectors. This announcement was made by Musawa at the launch event of iDICE and the inaugural edition of Omniverse summit held in Lagos. The minister expressed enthusiasm about the fund, stating that it presents a significant chance to drive economic progress and advancement in Nigeria’s expanding digital and creative sectors. Also, the fund would promote inclusivity.

She explained that the iDICE fund symbolizes a shining light for our artistic community, providing unique opportunities for financial support and necessary resources to develop talent and encourage creativity. It showcases President Bola Tinubu’s steadfast dedication to uplifting artists and business owners, stimulating financial progress, and leading societal change throughout Nigeria. The primary goal is to promote cultural and economic growth while fostering inclusivity by breaking through barriers. Also, the funding provided aligns with the ministry’s detailed 8-point plan, supporting sustainable financing, skill enhancement, and market entry in the digital and creative sectors, according to her statement.

Omniverse summit offers a valuable opportunity.

Musawa emphasized the importance of establishing an intervention fund specifically dedicated to supporting the arts. The iDICE fund, she explained, should not be seen as a replacement for this initiative. Regarding the Omniverse summit, Musawa noted that it offers a valuable opportunity to connect with key figures in the industry and learn from experienced professionals. She mentioned that the platform allows for opportunities for individuals to participate in shaping policies and initiatives that will propel African innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

Encouraging collaboration and partnership between industry stakeholders and policymakers is crucial in unleashing the vast potential of Nigeria’s creative economy, she emphasized. Therefore, she called on everyone to actively participate, promote cooperation, and build connections that will boost our economy and as well transform the creative panorama of our country. The ministry has arranged multiple collaborative meetings where stakeholders can come together, share ideas, and develop strategies to advance the industry. Let’s make the most of our cultural influence now, she stated.

Adventure Capital Ltd. Will be responsible for disbursing the fund.

According to her, the iDICE fund, along with innovative platforms like the Omniverse summit, has united our interconnected community at the event as a driving force, offering assistance and entry into expanding international markets. Mr. Ife Adebayo, the National Programme Coordinator of the IDICE fund, elaborated on how Nigerians can access the funds, stating that it will be disbursed by Adventure Capital Ltd. Adebayo identified several financial institutions that are involved in funding, such as the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, Agence Française de Développement, and the Bank of Industry (BOI).

Speaking earlier, Obi Asika, the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, and the Co-Convener of the summit, emphasized the importance of collaboration and networking for industry advancement. Charles Emembolu, Co-Convener of Omniverse summit, emphasized the significance of investing and participating in a digital revolution that knows no borders. Emembolu, the chairman of the Innovation Support Network (ISN) Advisory Board, believes that Nigeria is currently experiencing a favourable digital environment filled with potential for growth.

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Reflecting on the past 25 years, he said Nigeria has conquered obstacles, welcomed advancements, and birthed top-tier companies. The path is now paved for even more remarkable accomplishments. In this debut gathering, the Omniverse presents a flawless chance to engage with our digital innovation network, forge alliances, and dismantle barriers. Emembolu remarked that a group of 18 individuals from various parts of the ecosystem dedicated their time, even on weekends, to organize this event and unite everyone one. He also expressed appreciation to the group, as well as to the sponsors, partners, and support network, both locally and internationally.

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