The Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Kashifu Abdullahi said Nigeria is now a global supplier of tech talents.
This is coming as U.S. Tech. giant, Google, unveiled 60 Africa Startups grantees of its second cohort Black Founders Fund (BFF) initiative on Tuesday in Abuja.
Abdullahi, in his remarks during the unveiling ceremony, said the project will boost Nigeria’s Digital Economy.
According to him: “This is the a golden opportunity for our Startups, because funding is one of the biggest challenges facing the Nigerian tech. ecosystem.
“We have global talents shortage, everywhere they are looking for talents. In Nigeria, we have the talents that is why they are coming to tap from the pool.
“This kind of initiative will help us create more talents in the country, because it is the people’s component of technology.
“If you don’t have the people that will think and invent new ideas, there is no way we can have a good technology.
“It is an opportunity to position ourselves to be the global talent suppliers.”
Abdullahi said that this is because Nigeria cannot compete with the big countries in terms of hardware manufacturing, but in terms of software and talent.
“This initiative will help build more in-country talents, solve local problems and upscale them to global scale.
”This will open up Nigeria tech industry to the global market,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Head, Startup Ecosystem Africa, Mr Folarin Aiyegbusi, has disclosed that Africa’s challenges need to be solved through deliberate efforts by Africans and globally.
He said that there was no better time than now to solve these challenges.
“Africa is a diverse continent with massive opportunity, but the continent is faced with the challenge of limited diversity in venture capital funding flow.
“We hope that the BFF program will be able to bridge the gap of disproportionate funding between expat startups over local and black-led companies.
“The equity-free cash assistance to startups will enable them to take care of immediate needs such as paying staff, funding inventory, and maintaining software licences.
“This is to help the grantees buffer the cost of taking on debt in the early stages of their business as many of them do not have steady revenue streams yet,” Aiyegbusi said.
One of the grantees, the founder of Norebase, Mr Tola Onayemi, lauded Google for promoting tech. innovation in Africa.
Grantees include, Lifebank, HerVest, Healthtracka, Agrickool, Ajua, Awabah, Bailport, Estate Intel, Bag Innovation, Bee, Bookings Africa, Branstorne, Built, BuuPass, Cauri Money, Clarifa, Eden Life, Flex Finance, Gamr, Haul247, and LifeBank, among others.
The winners, who were made up of 50 per cent women-led businesses, hailed from Nigeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.
They specialise in sectors such as fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agtech, education, hospitality and smart cities.
Each of the selected Startups will receive support in the form of a 6-month training programme that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges that are unique to them.
They include tailored workshops, support networks and community building sessions.
60 grantees will also get non-dilutive awards of between $50,000 and $100,000 and up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credit.
The previous cohort grantees of BFF such as CredPal, Wellahhealth have started contributing tremendously to the growth of tech. industry.