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GITEX: NITDA targets more innovative polices to strengthen startup ecosystem – Abdullahi

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Nigerian pavilion at GITEX 2020
Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA’s) interest in innovative and developmental Policies, is targeted at supporting the startup ecosystem to achieve success and for the growth of the country’s economy at large.

The Director General of NITDA, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, dropped this comment while fielding questions from TechEconomy,ng and other journalists today at the opening of Nigerian Pavilion at the 40th edition of Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (#GITEX2020).

No doubt, the trajectory of Nigerian startups’ participation at GITEX over the years, has been excellent.

Chiniki Guard’, a startup from Nigeria that uses AI product (application) to detect theft and prevent shoplifting, won $10,000 Best AI startup pitch at GITEX 2019.

The results of previous outings at GITEX are not bad at all. It starts with rigorous selection process carried out in three stages with judges drawn from Government MDAs, Technology Hubs, academia, investors, professional associations and the ICT industry.

In line with this smart move; displaying unwavering support to startups in Nigeria, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has again, provided opportunity for Nigerian startups to compete at the global stage.

Pantami

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, opens Nigerian Pavilion at GITEX 2020

Ten (10) startups, drawn across the country, were offered full sponsorship to participate in the Global Future Stars (GFS), a major highlight of GITEX 2020 offering a veritable window for the country’s startup community to leverage international exposure, angel investors and mentoring.

In his words:

“Even under COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigerian startups and the innovation ecosystem, have truly been brilliant. The startups are coming up with innovative solutions that help us to catch up with the new normal.

GITEX 2020

Dr. Isa Pantami in company of DG, NITDA< Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi and other delegates, tour Nigerian Pavilion at GITEX 2020

“If you could remember, during the lockdown, we organised innovation challenge whereby our startups came up with excellent ideas on the creation and production of ventilators, smart decontamination chambers and MyClinic App; all to contain the spread of COVID-19. Presently, the startups are trying to come up with innovative solutions to cushion the economic impacts and prepare the country for the post-COVID-19”.

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Abdullahi further said that GITEX is an opportunity for the country to showcase her talented startups and learn from other countries what they are doing to prepare themselves for the post-COVID-19 era.

“Recall that the ICT’s contribution to the country’s GDP has been amazing. In the last quarter, the ICT contributed 17.83 per cent to our GDP; which is the most promising sector under this pandemic. So, the government is coming up with innovative policy to strengthen the ecosystem. We are working on the Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy which will help us to create the ecosystem and an enabling environment; providing infrastructure for our startups.

“We are doing a lot in terms of capacity building to build the capacity for our startups as well as our citizens to understand and embrace the new emerging technologies so we can build a future where creativity will be substantially rewarded”, he said.

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