The Lagos State Government has announced the take-off of its planned Yaba ICT cluster project. Named [email protected], KITE as in Knowledge, Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship) is an industrial cluster aimed at providing an enabling environment that will facilitate the development of ICT within the Yaba District.
The project is expected to proffer recommendations to the Lagos State Government on eight critical areas to foster an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in information and communication technology in the state.
These areas include Access to Funding; Access to Market & Demand; Infrastructure; Policy Regulation & Governance; Talent, Skills & Education; Research & Development; Network & Collaboration; and Advocacy & Marketing.
Home to over 60 tech startups, incubators, and companies, Yaba is already a desired hotspot tech innovations in Lagos as it also houses some of Nigeria’s foremost institutions, including University of Lagos and Yaba College of Technology.
Which is why the LASG aims to develop a well-structured technological hub in that area to contribute to the digital economy of the state as well as seal its place as the leading tech ecosystem in Nigeria, making a preferred destination for tech investors and innovators.
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The project, [email protected], also includes the design and construction of a world-class ICT Park (just like Silicon Valley) for which LASG has already acquired 30,000 square metres of land in the Yaba district.
The Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Hakeem Fahm, says this about the project:
[email protected] is a public-private partnership (PPP), driven by the government and supported by several industry experts and advisors along the technology value chain. It is expected that this initiative will contribute significantly to the economic development of Nigeria and position Lagos State as the hub for innovation in Nigeria, and preferred destination for technology investors and innovators.
The Committees Overseeing the Project
The project’s governance/monitoring structure comprises a Project Steering Committee (PSC), an Industry Advisory Board (IAB), the Project Delivery team and Subject Matter Advisors.
The PSC is co-chaired by the Honourable Commissioner for Science and Technology, Lagos State, MMrHakeem Fahm, and DDrOmobola Johnson, former Minister for Communication and Technology and Senior Partner of TLcom Capital LLP, a technology venture capital firm.
Other members include: Mrs. Uzammat Akinbile-Yusuf, Honourable Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment; Mrs. Yetunde Onabule, Special Adviser on Urban Development; Mr. Abiodun Amokomowo, Chief Executive Officer, IBILE Holdings Limited; and Mr. Niyi Yusuf, Country Managing Director, Accenture (Accenture will provide project management office (PMO) support as Project Delivery Lead).
The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) which will help to provide overall leadership and direction to the project – which was inaugurated in June 2018, is chaired by Dr Omobola Johnson and comprises notable technology industry stakeholders.
These include CcHub, Google, Microsoft, MainOne, Andela, Flutterwave, General Electric (GE), Ibile Broadband, University of Lagos, and Lagos State University.
The hub is expected to be ready in the next 18 months. The different committees (PSC and IAB) will review designs and frameworks, structure and professional advice, and engage in awareness for the project over that period of time.
A well-structured technology hub like the planned [email protected] would not only increase the revenue target of the state but also give rise to new sets of entrepreneurs and innovators which will serve as will serve as a platform/catalyst for Information Technology (IT) penetration in Nigeria.
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