National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in its drive to engender marketable innovations by engaging start-ups in different skills and knowledge-based training so that they can compete favorably with their global counterparts, partners with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA ) to launch a program called “iHatch“.
The NITDA – JICA partnership comes at a time when more and more digitally creative Nigerians in the country are responding to the federal government’s charge to find new indigenous solutions to some key issues.
The startup program, which focuses on youth, innovations, entrepreneurship and technology, is expected to accelerate the process of bringing innovative ideas to fruition, thereby generating much-needed jobs for young people and catalyzing Nigeria’s digital economy at global level. superior. .
At the opening ceremony of the iHatch Start-up Incubation, jointly hosted by the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), a subsidiary of NITDA, and JICA, Kashifu Inuwa, the Agency’s Director General , said, “The partnership with JICA should, among other things, help learn about what Japan is doing differently in transforming its digital economy, borrow ideas and share experiences to domesticate initiatives to meet the needs of the Nigerian digital economy.
The DG congratulated the eight successful startups that were selected from approximately five thousand applicants who sought to participate in the program.
However, he advised them to see the platform as a golden opportunity to hatch their ideas.
“Innovation is the process of taking your ideas from inception to impact…just having an idea means nothing; until you can find someone to pay you for this idea; so, this program is designed to help you take your idea from inception to impact,” he cautioned.
He noted that the goal at the end of the project is to incubate, shape and launch great ideas into products or services that will positively transform things in the country, especially in critical areas of the economy and will help humanity in general. The NITDA boss expressed his optimism that the partnership will be mutually beneficial for both countries.
Earlier, Japan’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, and other dignitaries from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), were unanimous that the plan is to strengthen the ecosystem of Nigerian start-ups.
He pointed out that one of the characteristics of the collaboration is not only to provide aid or financial support, but above all to provide the required expertise as well as to transfer the ethics of Japanese companies to the success of the project.
“iHatch will support Nigerian tech entrepreneurs in redefining their business models through a series of mentorships, lectures and boot camps, culminating in building sustainable and capable business models”
Some of the successful startups who were excited to be part of the program expressed confidence that their solution-focused ideas that were selected and enlisted among the eight approved would translate into their ingenuity and creativity.
They appreciated the federal government through NITDA and NCAIR for the chance to participate in nation building and channel their respective talents into a productive course.
NITDA hopes that the program will inspire young Nigerians to pursue their business ideas and seize the opportunity to empower themselves and help create a better future for Nigeria, as success would be added to the list of achievements in Nigeria- Japan. .
Kashifu Inuwa, Director General of NITDA, led Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria and his entourage on a visit to NCAIR: