Nigeria And Israel Partner To Enhance Entrepreneurship, Innovation
Nigeria and Israel have commenced collaborative moves to deepen partnerships in innovation, entrepreneurship, and production with the aim of harnessing Nigeria’s huge potential for its technological development.
This was disclosed when the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Freeman paid a working visit to the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Mr. Sonny Echono in Abuja.
Speaking during the visit, Ambassador Freeman expressed Israel’s desire to work with Nigeria in the area of technology and entrepreneurship development, describing Nigeria as a country with huge potential due to its teeming youth population.
While describing Israel as a leading country in technology and innovation, Ambassador Freeman disclosed that 45% of Israel’s GDP comes from innovation and entrepreneurship start-ups, as the country’s major economic sectors are involved in high technology and industrial manufacturing.
He stated that with Nigeria’s huge potential if the same could be achieved, or even a 30% GDP addition to Nigeria coming from technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship, it would hasten Nigeria’s economic development.
The Israeli Ambassador further stated that Nigeria possesses the potential to be a destination for businesses if innovative developments are harnessed, particularly through innovation incubation hubs.
He added that this will provide mentorship for young Nigerians who have entrepreneurship potential but lack expertise.
Mr. Freeman also spoke about the Innovation Fellowship for Aspiring Inventors and Researchers (i-Fair) programme, an initiative borne out of the need to raise a generation of innovators, inventors, and researchers in Nigeria; especially among the youths.
He called for a stronger partnership with the Fund in the upcoming Third Edition of the Innova8 Hub programme.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of Tetfund, Sonny Echono expressed appreciation to the Israeli Ambassador for his visit and commitment towards strengthening ties with TETFund in Nigeria’s quest for technological and economic development.
While expressing excitement at the numerous benefits derivable from the partnership, he stated that “If innovation and entrepreneurship can provide 45% of Israel’s GDP, one can only imagine what 10 0r 20% will do to Nigeria’s GDP with our population”.
According to Echono, there is a global consensus that Nigerians are hardworking and intelligent if provided with the right incentives, and one can envision what can be unlocked through technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
While intimating Mr. Freeman of TETFund’s collaboration with Innova8 Hub and other strategic partners, he also hinted at the Fund’s drive to domesticate Innovation Hubs in some of Nigeria’s tertiary educational institutions.