Lagos State Government in cooperation with Facebook and Google has concluded plans to construct the largest technology cluster in West Africa

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Lagos State Government in cooperation with Facebook and Google has concluded plans to construct the largest technology cluster in West Africa

The Lagos State Government in cooperation with Facebook and Google has concluded plans to construct the largest technology cluster in West Africa.

This is part of the state government’s attempt to mainly increase the level of its own intervention in the supply of technology infrastructure and expand the technology room to adapt to more startups.

This disclosure has been made by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while on a tour of two major innovation and tech hubs over the country on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

Sanwo-Olu, in the company of members of the State’s Executive Council which comprises Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Hakeem Fahm, and Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology, Olatunbosun Alake, visited Venia Hub in Lekki and Impact Hub at Ikoyi, in which he met scores of startups in the ecosystems for a roundtable discussion on expanding funding opportunities and infrastructure development.

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Sanwo-Olu stated the Yaba Technology Cluster, called K.I.T.E., are a free zone that would enable the growth of funding and financing for innovative ideas made by entrepreneurs in the technology industry and FinTech area, including that the ecosystem would also offer free labs for using startups to take their own innovations from ideation to the next level.

What the Lagos State Governor is stating

The Governor explained technology as the oil for Lagos, which will exponentially generate wealth and jobs for its youthful population and raise the condition of the State to reach the Industrial Revolution.

Sanwo-Olu stated:

“Tech is the new petroleum and the fundamental component for the Fourth Industrial Revolution globally. As a condition with a huge population of young folks, we need to play a major role in the progression of technology, which can be an enabler to leapfrog into accelerated socio-economic growth. We take technology as a significant deliverable in our government’s growth agenda.

“For us to make a lasting impact in the technology business, we said to ourselves, we had to build the infrastructure to support the sector. We are constructing a technician campus on a 22,000 square meters land in Yaba, which we christen K.I.T.E.. We’re working with international brands in the technology space, like Facebook and Google, to deliver this important technology hub.

“We are currently laying 3,000 kilometres of metropolitan fibre optic cables throughout the State to fall dependable and fast online connectivity in homes and offices. These are a part of the infrastructure needed as the backbone for the tech industry to flourish and enable young men and women within the space to take their businesses and ideas to the level of stability.”

The governor stated that apart from the infrastructural initiatives, the State Government was providing support for startups through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), which provide grant opportunities for innovators and technician researchers.

He also disclosed that 2 of the 20 start-ups ideas supported through LASRIC last year had procured patents for their innovations and were ready to transform into fully-fledged businesses that could create jobs.

Going Additional Governor Sanwo-Olu stated:

“The trip to your ecosystems today will be for you to be assured that this Government is not sitting in taking steps to ease access. We fully understand the function which technology plays in our lives and how technology is important to any society which wishes to be applicable in the forthcoming decades.

LSETF Executive Secretary, Mrs Teju Abisoye, said the agency had been providing support for more than 38 partner hubs across Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Neighborhood Council Development Areas (LCDAs) from the State, stressing that the aim of this funding was to support startups from thought to exit stages.

What you should know

The Lagos State Government has in recent times, intensified efforts with its intervention initiatives to assist startups in the tech sector.

Venia Hub is an ecosystem housing Flutterwave and 100 other technology start-up companies. Impact Hub also has scores of startups operating in its own ecosystem.

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