In its recent efforts to foster ties with governments globally, a delegation from AfriLabs, the largest innovation-focused organization in Africa, paid a courtesy visit to the Deputy Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, to discuss the future of the Nigerian innovation ecosystem and explore opportunities for partnership and support.
The meeting was part of AfriLabs’ ongoing efforts to engage with key policymakers and stakeholders in Africa.
AfriLabs is a dynamic innovation-focused organization dedicated to empowering and uniting innovation hubs and stakeholders across various African countries. The organization’s mission is to support innovation hubs in cultivating high-potential entrepreneurs, fostering economic growth, and promoting social development across Africa. AfriLabs achieves this through capacity building, financing, networking, policy advocacy, and providing reliable data, envisioning a thriving innovation economy in Africa.
The organization offers a dynamic array of programs and events that serve as a vibrant nexus for innovation across Africa. These initiatives create collaborative spaces and knowledge-sharing platforms, propelling startups and tech communities towards accelerated growth and impactful networking.
During the meeting, the Deputy Speaker, who gave a keynote address at the just-concluded AfriLabs Annual Gathering in Kigali, expressed his gratitude for AfriLabs and its member hubs.
He emphasized the organization’s important role in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation throughout Africa.
He also disclosed that the Nigerian National Assembly is about to introduce an application called “NASS Eyes” to track budget transparency and execution by government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
The Deputy Speaker also highlighted his office’s commitment to the implementation of supportive policies and regulations to address both the challenges and opportunities within Nigeria’s tech sector.
He believes that the country has the potential for innovation and exponential growth within its digital economy if the right tools and policies of government are implemented.
AfriLabs Executive Director, Anna Ekeledo, who led the AfriLabs delegation, appreciated the Deputy Speaker for his steadfast support and engagement, recognizing the vital role he plays in advancing the organization’s vision to build a thriving innovation economy across the continent.
She also expressed AfriLabs’ dedication to playing a more substantial policy role in the Nigerian innovation arena.
“We look forward to more engagements with the office of the Deputy Speaker on policies for female financial inclusion, and facilitate more stakeholder policy dialogues,” she said.
Anna also apprised the Deputy Speaker of AfriLabs’ significant role in extending multilateral support systems to numerous entities across the African hemisphere, particularly focusing on capacity building initiatives.
She highlighted the organization’s proactive engagement in collaborative programs with international organizations and multilateral development finance institutions.
AfriLabs has been at the forefront of promoting innovation policy throughout Africa, and they believe that the right policies are critical to the continent’s innovation economy’s revival and long-term growth.
Shifting the spotlight to Nigeria, this partnership is poised to further AfriLabs’ ongoing efforts to unlock and accelerate Africa’s digital economy, signaling a dedicated commitment to advancing technological innovation and economic growth within the Nigerian context.
The AfriLabs Annual Gathering 2023 in Kigali served as a platform for visionaries, government officials, startups, investors, policymakers, and thought leaders to come together and delve into critical policy-related challenges and strategies for data-driven decision-making and governance.
The high-level dialogue, which honed in on policy harmonization, was an integral part of it, bringing key stakeholders together to address and strategize on aligning policies for the collective advancement of the African innovation ecosystem.
AfriLabs has partnered with the UNDP Accelerator Labs to advance the development agenda in Africa – through capacity development, linking policy and practice to advance innovation as a driver for development.
The organization has also joined forces with the United States Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships (E/GP) earlier this year to address the climate crisis and promote entrepreneurship in Africa. To further emphasize AfriLabs commitment to driving policy harmonization,in Africa, the organization unveiled its partnership with Algeria Venture, at this year’s AfriLabs Annual Gathering event which took place in Kigali, Rwanda.
The partnership aims to identify areas of potential joint initiatives where both organizations may seek and analyze cooperation opportunities, encourage innovation and support in the management, funding and promotion of the startup ecosystem across Africa.AfriLabs remains dedicated to strengthening connections with governments worldwide, with a renewed emphasis on Nigeria. By aligning efforts with the Deputy Speaker’s office and other key stakeholders, AfriLabs is poised to play a vital role in shaping and advancing the Nigerian Innovation ecosystem.