CEM REPORT, TECHNOLOGY | The African Development Bank (AfDB)and partners on Tuesday launched a $618 million Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) programme.
According to AfDB, the initiative will attract direct investments in more than 200 technology and creative start-ups and provide non-financial services to about 450 digital technology, small and medium enterprises. With a potential to generate $6.4 billion into the Nigeria’s economy, iDICE is expected to create 6 million new jobs for young Nigerians.
Other partners in this initiative are the French government, through the Agence Française de Développement, Islamic Development Bank and Nigerian government through the Bank of Industries.
While AfDB contributes the largest amount of $170 million, French government and Islamic Development Bank are expected to contribute $116 million and $70 million respectively. Nigerian government on the other hand will contribute the sum of $45 million.
Through iDICE, around 175,000 young people, including university students, will gain direct access to technology to build creative skills, stimulate innovation, and help new businesses to flourish. iDICE will help consolidate Nigeria’s leadership position as Africa’s pre-eminent hub for young entrepreneurs and start-up investments. In 2022, African start-ups raised $5.4 billion, with Nigerian companies receiving the largest share at $1.2 billion.
There is a fact glaring that, if Africa must develop, there must be coordinated approach to innovative investment in Africa. This is the position of the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who spoke at the launch. He said “Government must provide more support for start-ups and small businesses, and investors must provide more funding,” Osinbajo said.
African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina stressed the need to leverage the huge potential of iDICE for sustainable job creation and economic transformation. “We are retooling Nigeria to be more competitive in an increasingly digital world. We are creating hope for a new Nigeria, driven by the power of the youth.”
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iDICE will also enhance regulatory policy frameworks such as the 2022 Start-up Act, provide access to financing through the creation a DICE Fund, an independently managed venture capital fund; and mobilise over $217 million in investment capital. The fund will also provide technical resources to de-risk digital and creative companies at scale and sustainable manner.