NITDA challenges tech start ups to be global competitors

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has urged technology start ups in the ecosystem to initiate ideas that could position them for global recognition and competition.

The Director-General of the agency, Mr Kashifu Inuwa made the call on Thursday, at the virtual NITDA Nigerian Innovation Ecosystem Engagement.The D-G said the event was targeted at listening to active start up ecosystem players and proffering solutions on how NITDA could collaborate to mitigate the challenges they faced in the ecosystem.According to him, we have the talent, passion and energy to be reckoned with globally, and to win in the global market, we must first win in building trust within the ecosystem.“

It is also amazing that you have succeeded in building the most investment appealing ecosystem in Africa, attracting over $1.5B USD representing 35 per cent of total investment in Africa in 2021. “

This is unprecedented, but for me, there is no passion playing small and settling for leading only in Africa if we can’t compete globally,” he said. Inuwa also said that the promotion of the indigenous content agenda of the present administration had remained one of the focal points of the agency, which required more robust collaboration between the start ups and the agency.

He recalled that the promotion of indigenous content was one of the pillars of the Agency’s Strategic Road Map and Action Plan 2021-2024.“It was designed specifically to create opportunities for the development of homegrown solutions to meet the country’s needs as well as create wealth for the nation”, he noted.Inuwa described the technology ecosystem as a ‘home’, and empathetically stated that he understood the frustrations and challenges of local start ups in the country.“I started very early when I was in 200 level. I perfectly understand how rough the journey is and I know how important it is to have enabling policies and infrastructure and how painful it is to fail”, he said.He, however, assured that the agency was utilising all resources and opportunities at its disposal to make the technology ecosystem a more viable and better one.Inuwa highlighted that the government had put in place policies to support start ups in the ecosystem such as the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2019.

Also, the National Broadband Plan in 2020 and the draft start-up’s bill for onward transmission to the National Assembly of 2021, and recently the launch of the 5G policy.Inuwa added that the agency was currently rebranding and re-calibrating its activities to align with the ecosystem, noting that “a symbiotic relationship with local start-ups was essential to foster the economic development of the country.”“Together we can redefine, create and shape our tomorrow”, he stressed. (NAN)