By Chinenye Anuforo, [email protected]
The Vice-President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said that the startup ecosystem is one of the vital tools in finding solutions to Africa’s various challenges.
According to him, these challenges will determine if the continent’s future as the next frontier for economic opportunities will fully be realised.
The VP, represented by the director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said this at the Startup and Developer event organised by Google.
He stated the topic, “The African Start-up Ecosystem Opportunity,” was exciting because the startup ecosystem was extremely critical to the future of Nigeria and Africa at large.
“Globally, the startup ecosystem is the most viable platform for innovators and entrepreneurs to take their ideas from inception to impact. It brings relevant stakeholders together to collaborate and bring something new to the world or new to an industry. There will never be a more perfect time to strengthen the African startup ecosystem than now, on the verge of the fourth industrial revolution,” he said.
Osinbajo noted that the third industrial revolution was pivotal to unprecedented global economic growth in the 21st Century, as it disrupted traditional service delivery channels and accelerated the automation of factories and manufacturing processes, using electronics and information technology to expand reach and create prosperity, but Africa hopped along and missed out.
“The countries that captured maximum value from the third industrial revolution have become more prosperous and built solutions that improved service delivery in all aspects of lives, from education, healthcare and food production to efficiency and speed in manufacturing.
“Today, Africa is presented with another opportunity, the fourth industrial revolution, which is shaping and creating economic activities. It is proving to be the catalyst for future economic activities that will bridge the divide between rich and developing countries, and remove physical borders and barriers while maximising the utilisation of digital technologies as a source of inspiration across economic sectors,” he said. “The African startup ecosystem opportunity is hinged on two key factors, which are anchored on the fourth industrial revolution and driven primarily by digital technologies. The first factor is innovation capacity, and the second one is entrepreneurial capacity. Both capacities depend on four key indicators, human capital, infrastructure, funding and demand.
“Human capital being the first indicator means that African startups must realise that they are only as strong as the value of the human resources they have. Therefore, startups like Andela, Wootlab Innovations and Decagon are vital as they are involved in producing skilled talent.”