Director General for NITDA says Nigeria is a global supplier of tech talents.
On Tuesday, September 6, 2022, U.S Tech titan, Google, unveiled 60 Africa Startups grantees of its second cohort Black Founders Fund (BFF) initiative in Abuja. Following this development, the Director General for the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Kashifu Abdullahi, in his remarks at the unveiling ceremony stated that Nigeria has become a global supplier of tech talents and that the project that is being unveiled would greatly improve the Digital Economy of the country.
Abdullahi further stated that Google has brought a rare opportunity into Nigeria for the country’s startups, as funding has proven to be a major challenge confronting the Nigerian tech ecosystem. Shortage of talents is a global issue which is yet to be properly addressed, because talents are sought after everywhere. However, Nigeria, according to the DG, has the talents, which explains the reason why tech companies come from across the globe to search and acquire needed talents.
Nigeria can compete with developed countries in terms of software & talent.
An initiative like the BFF initiative will enable the creation of more talents across the country, being the people’s component of technology. This is because without people who have the ability to think and invent new ideas, it is impossible to have good technology. It is a huge opportunity for Nigeria to be in the position of supplying talents across the globe. Although, Nigeria cannot compete with developed countries in terms of hardware manufacturing, it can in terms of software and talent.
The initiative, by enabling the building of more talents in the country, will also bring solutions to local problems and upscale them to global scale. By doing so, Nigeria tech industry will have the privilege of being opened up to the global market. Also, the Head of the Startup Ecosystem Africa, Mr. Folarin Aiyegbusi, said that the challenges facing Africa can be addressed through intentional efforts by Africans and the globe. Solving the challenges should not be later than the present moment.
The BFF program will bridge the gap of disproportionate funding.
Africa, being a diverse continent with huge opportunities, is confronted with a major challenge of limited diversity in the aspect of venture capital funding flow. The BFF program is therefore anticipated to cover the gap of disproportionate funding between expat startups over local and black-led companies. The equity-free cash assistance which will be offered to startups will help them cover immediate basic needs which include payment of staff, funding inventory, and maintenance of software licenses.
This opportunity will enable grantees to avoid taking on debts in the early stages of their businesses, due to the fact that many of them have no stable sources of revenue at the moment. The founder of Norebase, Mr. Tola Onayemi, one of the grantees, appreciated Google for boosting technology and innovation in Africa. Some of the grantees include, HerVest, Ajua, Lifebank, Bag Innovation, Agrickool, Estate Intel, Eden Life, Haul247, Healthtracka, Awabah, Flex Finance, Bee, Built, Bookings Africa, Bailport and many more.
The grantees will receive a six-month training program.
The grantees were made up of business owners who are citizens of Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Rwanda and Uganda and are experts in fields such as healthcare, education, fintech, e-commerce, hospitality, agtech, logistics and smart cities. Selected Startups will be supported by a six-month training program that gives them access to a network of mentors that will help them solve challenges through tailored workshops, support workshops, and community building sessions. The 60 grantees will also be given non-dilutive awards between $50,000, $100,000 and $200,000 in Google Cloud credit.
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