The Special Adviser to the Governor of Anambra State on Innovation and Business Incubation, Ms Chinwe Okoli, was among the distinguished delegates who attended a crucial startup/tech ecosystem roundtable with the United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (DAS) Joy Basu in Lagos.
The purpose of this meeting, which took place on October 20, 2023, was to discuss and strengthen U.S.-Nigeria trade and investment ties, particularly as it relates to the innovation and startup ecosystem.
During this historic inaugural visit to Nigeria, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (DAS) Joy Basu, who oversees Economic and Regional Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs, reiterated the U.S. government's commitment to facilitating increased American investment in Nigeria. She emphasized the necessity for further reforms to ensure the creation of a transparent, trustworthy, and conducive investment environment.
DAS facilitated a crucial connection between U.S. tech startups and state government officials, fostering a platform to explore opportunities for the creation of a more connected and inclusive innovation ecosystem within Nigeria.
This initiative aligns with the "signature initiative of the Biden-Harris Administration on Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA), which aims to expand digital access and literacy and reinforce digital enabling environments across the continent", (whitehouse.gov).
The DTA initiative is underpinned by three core pillars: Digital Economy and Infrastructure, Human Capital Development, and Digital Enabling Environment.
The Special Adviser shared Mr Governor's innovation and business incubation agenda towards making Anambra a digital and creative hub.
She highlighted the Anambra Digital Tribe, Startup Incubation, Research Commercialization, e-government digitization, infrastructural development, etc. as some of the key programs and policies of the administration of Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo geared towards developing the Silicon Valley of the Eastern Region. Ms Okoli also pointed out areas of potential partnership between the two governments to accelerate progress, maximize impact, and achieve the goals of the Solution Innovation District and DTA Initiative of the Biden-Harris Administration.
She stated that the Anambra State Government is committed to promoting the growth of the startup, technology, and innovation ecosystem as the positive impact in terms of job creation, revenue generation, economic outlook, etc. cannot be overemphasized.
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