29th October, 2021
By Ikenna Uwadileke
Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, the President, African Development Bank (AfDB) says the bank is targeting to create 25 million new jobs by 2025.
Adesina said this when he delivered a lecture on “Social Media, National Security and Social Change: Bridging the Gap for Development in Africa’’ in Lagos.
According to a statement issued by the bank on Friday in Abuja, Adesina underscored the enormous potential that Nigeria has for attracting global digital commerce and financial services.
Adesina added that the bank was also investing heavily in quality infrastructure to transform the backbone of Africa’s technological revolution.
“To support Nigeria, the AfDB is preparing investments in the country’s Digital and Creative Enterprises (i-DICE), a 500 million dollars investment programme to be co-financed with several partners.
“i-Dice will promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the digital technology and creative spaces. It will help create sustainable jobs and make Nigeria a global powerhouse in these industries.
“This programme will boost innovation, especially in the tech-enabled business and e-commerce space, where new and successful ventures are being inaugurated in Nigeria,’’ he said.
The AfDB boss stressed that Nigeria could be a key player in developing Africa’s technological enterprises.
“Start-ups run by young Africans are already attracting millions of dollars in investment capital.
“Expensya, Gro Intelligence, Tyme Bank, and Flutterwave, to name a few, are well on their way to becoming billion-dollar companies.
“Today, Yabacon Valley has emerged as one of the leading tech hubs in Africa with between 400 and 700 active start-ups worth more than two billion dollars, second only to Cape Town.
“Andela, a global technology start-up based in Yabacon Valley, recently attracted 24 million dollars in funding from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
“Already, Nigeria is home to three unicorns – tech and tech-enabling companies with valuations exceeding one billion dollars–Paystack, Flutterwave and Interswitch.
“The 200 million dollars investment by Stripe (a Silicon Valley firm) in the local payments company Paystack, and 400 million dollars in three Fintech companies in just one week in 2019, signal the enormous potential that Nigeria has for attracting global digital commerce and financial services,’’ Adesina said.
While pointing out the need for every Nigerian to have reliable and affordable internet access, Adesina said that access would expand digital financial inclusion.