The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has offered a $170m loan to finance a digital and creative enterprises program in Nigeria.
This was contained in a press statement on Thursday titled ‘African Development Bank Board approves $170m for investment in Nigeria’s digital and creative start-ups’.
It read, “The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a loan of $170m to finance a digital and creative enterprises program in Nigeria
“The investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises Program is a Federal Government of Nigeria initiative promoting investment in digital and creative industries. It is part of Nigeria’s efforts to build back better, greener, and more inclusively, to create more sustainable jobs for the teeming youthful population.”
The program, which is co-financed by the Agence Française de Développement and the Islamic Development Bank, targets over 68 million Nigerians aged 15 to 35 years recognized as leaders of innovative, early-stage, technology-enabled start-ups or leaders of creative sector micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
The AfDB’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, was quoted as saying, “Governments have a much greater role than just policymaking. They need to be innovative and create an enabling environment that includes infrastructure and de-risking to harness private sector investments in key growth sectors.”
Also quoted was the Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Beth Dunford, as saying, “This program is among the latest series of our operations meant to bolster the implementation of the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy. Given that tech-enabled enterprises cut across all the economic growth sectors, the program’s focus on the digital sector will deepen Nigeria’s job creation efforts.”
The statement also read in part, “The initiative will stimulate investments in 226 technology and creative start-ups and provide non-financial services to 451 digital technology and small and medium enterprises. The program is expected to create 6.1 million direct and indirect jobs, of which the Bank’s financing will support the creation of about 850,000 jobs. The value added to the Nigerian economy connected to the program is estimated at $6.4bn.
“The program will boost Nigeria’s venture capital market through independently managed funds focusing on digital and creative enterprise. These funds aim to attract an initial capitalization of $433m in private and public sector financing.”