The Nigerian federal government has unveiled an ambitious plan to significantly increase funding for tech startups in the country, targeting $5 billion in annual fundraising by 2027.
Dr. Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, announced this initiative as part of the Ministry’s draft Strategic Blueprint, which was released on Monday.
In 2022, Nigerian startups secured approximately $1.2 billion in funding. To achieve the $5 billion target by 2027, the government plans to ensure a 50% annual increase in startup funding.
Currently, many Nigerian startups rely on foreign investors for funding. The government’s strategy aims to promote local funding and create an environment conducive to startups raising the necessary capital within Nigeria. This move aligns with the goal of fostering the growth and retention of startups within the country.
As part of the plan to attract more funding to Nigeria’s startup ecosystem, Minister Tijani outlined key strategies:
- Establishing an Active Sandbox Environment: The government will create a sandbox environment that encourages and empowers innovators and entrepreneurs to develop solutions for sectors that have historically seen limited technological innovation. This initiative involves removing regulatory barriers and providing necessary support to inspire innovative problem-solving approaches.
- Sector-Focused Support: Collaboration with other ministries, parastatals, and private sector stakeholders will be encouraged to facilitate the application of technology for enhanced productivity in critical sectors such as AgriTech, HealthTech, EdTech, MediaTech, CleanTech, CreTech, and more.
- Identifying Opportunities Across Sectors: The Ministry will identify opportunities for the digital economy in various sectors, including Agriculture, Financial Services, Healthcare, Education, Energy, Transportation and Logistics, Manufacturing, Retail and E-commerce, Textiles and Fashion, Media and Entertainment, eSports/Gaming, and Real Estate.
- Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) Pilot Programs: Based on the identified opportunities, the government aims to launch at least one ministry-led PPP pilot program per sector by 2027.
The Ministry’s Strategic Blueprint is built on five key pillars:
- Knowledge: Knowledge forms the foundation of innovation, and it relies on sound policies.
- Policy: Sound policies are essential for fostering innovation.
- Infrastructure: Infrastructure serves as the backbone of a thriving digital economy.
- Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Capital (IEC): Innovation and entrepreneurship drive economic diversification.
- Trade: Global collaboration and partnerships are crucial, recognizing that innovation has no borders.
Minister Tijani emphasized that each pillar is interconnected and integral to the Ministry’s mission. The government’s goal is to leverage technology to elevate Nigeria’s global standing, create sustainable employment opportunities, and enhance the quality of life for all Nigerians.