NITDA, JICA to launch startup incubation programme for youths

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is to work with the  Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to launch iHatch, a startup incubation programme to increase the number of innovation driven enterprises by Nigerian youths.

The Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa said this on Friday in a statement  issued by Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Cooperate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA in Abuja.Inuwa said the programme would be championed by its subsidiary, the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).He also said that the incubation programme would provide an excellent opportunity for startups that had innovative business ideas along with a prototype of their products or services.He said “iHatch is a five-month free intensive incubation programme designed to help Nigerian entrepreneurs perfect their business ideas through a series of coaching, lectures, and boot camps, to generate viable and scalable business models.

“iHatch focuses on youth, innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology,” he said.According to him, participating startups will receive free offline and online interactive training from experienced coaches and mentors from over the world.Other benefits he said included free co-working space for the duration of the programme and investment opportunities.“iHatch seeks to establish a programme that will accelerate the process of taking ideas to impact, hence providing the much-needed jobs for our teeming youths, and also nurturing that entrepreneurial spirit in them, which will catalyses the Nigerian digital economy to the next level,” Inuwa said.

He directed the public to access information on iHatch on NCAIR’s website, is one of NITDA’s special purpose vehicles created to promote research and development on emerging technologies and their practical application in areas of Nigerian national interest.NCAIR is also focused on creating a thriving ecosystem for innovation-driven entrepreneurship (IDE), job creation, and national development

.JICA coordinates official development assistance for the Japanese government in developing countries and aims to promote international cooperation by supporting the socio-economic development, recovery, or economic stability of emerging economies.(NAN)