AfDB, others invest $618 million in Nigeria’s digital programme

AfDB, others invest $618 million in Nigeria’s digital programme
Nigerian digital programmes are receiving $618 million from the African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and French Development Agency.

The initiative, called the Digital and Creative Enterprises Program in Nigeria, would help 225 creative start-ups and generate 6.1 million new employment.

This information was made public on Thursday during the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum, which was held in conjunction with the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, United States. The AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina.

The digital programme will boost the economy by $6.4 billion, according to a copy of Adesina's speech that was sent to journalists.

In his speech, Adesina wooed world leaders on investments in Nigeria as he highlighted some successful industries in the country including Nollywood and fintechs.

Adesina said, “Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry, is estimated at $7.2 billion today, and has become the second largest movie industry in the world, after Hollywood. Investors must recognise this and invest.

“That’s why the African Development Bank, together with the Islamic Development Bank and the French Development Agency are investing $618 million in the Digital and Creative Enterprises Program in Nigeria.

“The program will support the creation of 225 creative start-ups and 451 digital technologies small and medium sized
enterprises. They will create 6.1 million jobs and add $6.4 billion to the economy.

“That is the power of international partnerships working for Nigeria. The future is not just digital; the future will be driven by digital revolution.

“According to estimates by McKinsey, the number of tech startups in Africa has increased by three-fold to reach 5,200 companies, with half of those being fintech companies.

“Today, Nigeria has 5 of the seven unicorns in Africa and raised almost $ 1.4 billion of the total of $4 billion raised by Fintech companies across Africa in 2021.

“When you think of financial services digital innovations, think Nigeria, with Flutterwave, OPay, Andela and Interswitch holding the status of unicorn companies, worth at least $1 billion each.

“Nigeria holds today impressive investments that are global references. The newly constructed $19 billion Dangote petrochemical and fertilizer complex (the world’s largest ammonia plant) in the free trade zone, with new deep seaport, is exactly the kind of massive infrastructural and industrial manufacturing that is needed to make Nigeria a regional and global player in gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel, and fertilizer value chains.

“Yes, Nigeria has several challenges, but Nigeria remains an attractive investment destination.”