[Nigeria] Government launches a $672 million fund to support tech startups
Nigeria has set aside a $672 million fund to support young investors in the tech and creative industries,
The introduction of the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme (I-DICE) was announced by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The funds will be channeled to young Nigerians between the ages of 15 and 35, who are engaged in creative, innovative, and tech-enabled businesses in their early stages.
The finances are made available from partnerships with the private sector which will offer $271 million while the government will offer $45 million.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and also the country leading with the number of startups working to solve various challenges. The country is home to Africa’s well-known unicorns such as Flutterwave and Chipper Cash.
Last year, startups in Nigeria received the largest chunk of foreign investment among the four countries that shared $5 billion in venture capital funding. Nigeria received $1.2 billion in 2022, a slight drop from the $1.7 billion the industry received in 2021.
With the government extending its support to the technology and innovation space, the industry is expected to experience accelerated growth in the coming years.
In raising this funding the African Development Bank will contribute $170 million; Agence Francaise de Development providing $116 million, and the Islamic Development Bank contributing $70 million.
The I-DICE initiative is expected to remove some of the barriers to funding faced by young entrepreneurs in Nigeria’s tech and creative sectors and foster a more supportive environment for their growth and development.