AfDB, FDA, Others to Invest $618M in Nigeria’s Digital Programme – TechEconomy Nigeria

Nigeria’s Digital and Creative Enterprises Program (I-DICE) receives $618 in funding from the French Development Agency (FDA), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and African Development Bank (AfDB).

The Nigeria News Agency reports that AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina made the announcement at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum held in conjunction with the 77th UN General Assembly in New York.

According to Adesina, the program would support the creation of 451 digital technology SMEs and 225 creative start-ups.

The AfDB president added that the companies would create 6.1 million jobs and add $6.4 billion to the economy.

“That is the power of international partnerships working for Nigeria. Investors need to recognize this and invest. The future is not just digital; The future will be determined by the digital revolution.

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Today, Nigeria has five of the seven unicorns in Africa and has raised nearly US$1.4 billion of the total US$4 billion raised by fintech companies across Africa in 2021,” said Mr. Adesina.

He added, “When you think of digital innovation in financial services, think of Nigeria with Flutterwave, OPay, Andela and Interswitch having the status of unicorn companies worth at least $1 billion each.”

The AfDB President also stated that the bank had invested US$4.5 billion in Nigeria and that the country remains an attractive investment target.

He further said that AfDB, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and IsDB have allocated US$540 million to develop special agro-industrial processing zones to unlock agricultural potential in Nigeria.

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“This funding will boost food and agribusiness value chains across Nigeria and make Nigeria more competitive,” he said.

He also called for increased international partnerships in Nigeria, adding that the bank has invested $44 billion in infrastructure in Africa over the past six years.

In addition, Mr Adesina said that Nigeria’s growth would depend on its ability to address its infrastructure deficits.

“The National Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan shows that Nigeria will require total funding of US$759 billion over a 23-year period (2020-2043) to support infrastructure,” he added.

“These include addressing the crippling lack of energy to power the economy, including power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, water and sanitation, and transportation infrastructure.”

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In addition, he said Nigeria has a debt of N42.84 trillion, or US$103 billion, with an external debt of N16.61 trillion, or about US$40 billion. He stressed that the country needed help to deal with its debt burden.

“International debt partnerships help Africa and Nigeria. The International Monetary Fund’s US$650 billion issuance of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) helped support countries with liquidity, with Africa receiving only US$33 billion,” Mr Adesina said. “African countries need more.”

He noted that Nigeria and other African countries “need debt relief” and that “they can’t run up the hill with a backpack full of sand.”

The AfDB President also emphasized international partnerships to combat climate change.