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FG and UK partner to build Abuja Tech City

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Industrial growth and cooperation among critical sectors will be enhanced.

The Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology has partnered with Domineum/Edenbase UK to create Abuja Tech City, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project. Uche Nnaji, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, represented the government in Abuja when signing the agreement. Regarding Nigeria’s preparedness for the partnership, the Minister emphasised how the MoU signing marked the beginning of a significant involvement in the Tech City initiative. This establishment sets the stage for enhanced collaboration and technology transfers between the UK consortium and the federal government by providing a solid framework for cooperation.

Nnaji shared positive expectations for Nigeria’s ability to achieve success similar to the London Technology City, pointing to the significant earnings made by the company in its fifth year of operation in East London Tech City. He further emphasised the role of Tech Cities in driving industrial growth and improving cooperation among key sectors; the Minister revealed plans for Abuja Tech City to operate as a Free Trade Zone in a post on X announcing the MoU.

Advanced technology and sustainability practices will be enhanced.

Also, the city will be transformed into a futuristic hub, integrating advanced technology and sustainability practices. This innovative urban centre will be thriving with cutting-edge businesses, recreational facilities, educational institutions, and green spaces and will serve as the headquarters for the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology’s groundbreaking initiatives like the Clean Tech Program and Green Manufacturing Initiatives under Agenda 8 and 9. The Minister announced that the Abuja Tech City Ecosystem will be built by the consortia, that was responsible for the successful development of East London Tech City, now the world’s second most valuable tech ecosystem after Silicon Valley.

He, therefore, urges everyone to come along with them as they embark on this journey of advancement. Formerly known as Abuja Tech Village (ATV) during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s term, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, in collaboration with the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, unveiled the ambitious initiatives for the development of the project. While exploring the Pyakassa site, they revealed a grand plan: to develop the region into a top-tier technology centre comparable to other renowned technology cities.

Nigeria will be positioned as a key player in the global tech industry.

As settlers were instructed to leave the premises, the focus on this project increased, signalling a new chapter for the region. The recent order for unauthorised residents to vacate the Abuja Technology Village is a crucial move in unlocking the full potential of the project. The Minister of FCT stressed the importance of ensuring that the indigenous community had received compensation since 2015, indicating that it was now the management’s responsibility to take control of the land officially.

Tech cities in Nigeria play a crucial role in driving innovation and economic growth in the country. The city serves as a hub for technology companies, start-ups, and skilled professionals to collaborate, exchange ideas, and develop new solutions to address various societal challenges. By creating a conducive environment for tech talent and entrepreneurship to thrive, tech cities attract investments, create job opportunities, and boost Nigeria’s overall economy. Furthermore, tech cities in Nigeria also help in positioning the country as a key player in the global tech industry.

Related Article: Analysis of tech outlook for Nigeria in 2024

Despite its many benefits, tech cities in Nigeria face several challenges that hinder their full potential. One major challenge is the lack of reliable infrastructure, including stable electricity supply, high-speed internet connectivity, and accessible transport systems. Without these basic amenities, tech companies and start-ups struggle to operate efficiently and scale their businesses, limiting their growth and innovation capabilities. Another challenge is the shortage of skilled tech professionals in Nigeria. While the country has a pool of talent, there is a gap between the skills demanded by the tech industry and the skills possessed by local graduates.

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