President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has said Nigerian youths are creative as the Yabacon Valley in Lagos has emerged as a leading tech hub in Africa with 400 to 700 start-ups that are worth over $2 billion.
Adesina, who delivered a keynote address at the convocation ceremony of the American University of Nigeria in Yola, said: “From the East to the West, from the North to the South, there must be a transformative change in economic, financial and business opportunities for young Nigerians.
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“The young shoots are springing up in Nigeria. Today, Lagos has its own Silicon Valley. Yabacon Valley has emerged as one of the leading tech hubs in Africa with between 400 and 700 active start-ups worth over $2 billion; second only to Cape Town.”
He cited examples of entrepreneurial successes among young Nigerians, that include Andela, a global technology start-up based in Yabacon Valley, who recently attracted $24 million funding from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
“The $200m investment by Stripe (a Silicon Valley firm) in the local payments company Paystack, and $400m into three Fintech companies in just one week in 2019 signals the huge potential of Nigeria to attract global digital commerce and financial services,” noted Adesina.
He also revealed that the Bank is working on a $500m programme tagged, ‘Digital Nigeria’, designed to transform Nigeria’s digital competitiveness and build on the incredible entrepreneurship of Nigeria’s youth.
“I have a dream that we will arise, from our challenges, and build a more prosperous and united nation,” he said.