The UK Government through its Africa Technology and Innovation Partnership (ATIP) programme is to work with the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub to support the Nigeria Start-up Bill (NSB) to harness the country’s digital economy potential.
The NSB is a joint initiative by Nigeria’s Tech Ecosystem and the Presidency, driven by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
The project aims to harness the potential of the country’s digital economy through co-created regulations, improve the policy and regulatory framework to support growth and competitiveness in Nigeria’s Technology Ecosystem.
The UK Government said on Wednesday that its support would help fund the engagement of relevant stakeholders across the country through town hall meetings and provide access to research and evidence to harness the existing opportunities for start-ups and address the challenges in the current policy and regulatory framework.
Also, the Bill would ensure that Nigeria’s laws and regulations for start-ups were clear and workable for the country’s ecosystem.
The UK government said collaborative efforts between relevant stakeholders in the tech ecosystem led to the establishment of regional town hall meetings across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
These town hall meetings, its said, served to broaden the scope of reach and ensure that every key player across the nation joins the ongoing conversation and contributes to the drafting and contents of the Start-up Bill.
In addition, it said the town hall meetings would have in attendance, representatives from the Presidency, and ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
So far, it said town hall meetings have been held in Kaduna, Yola and Kwara states with stakeholders also able to join the session virtually. These sessions were the first round of discussions in the North-west, North-east, and the North-central geo-political zones, to be followed soon after by the South-west, South-east and South-south zones.
Speaking on the UK’s support, Team Lead, West Africa Research and Innovation, Leanne Jones, said:
“Home to the most tech start-ups in Africa, Nigeria will be joining a growing number of African countries that have enacted a Start-up Bill, pushing for positive change and sustainability in the technology and digital environment.
“We are glad to support this process, which draws on research and evidence of what would work to improve the enabling environment for start-ups in Nigeria.”
The Country Director of the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, Adaeze Sokan said they were excited to be supporting this collaborative process, noting that Nigeria has shown so much growth and potential in the start-up space.
“It is impressive to see both governments and the ecosystem co-creating laws that will further boost its growth, as consensus builds trust and responsibility, which are key ingredients needed to make laws work.
“The UK Government will continue to partner with the Federal Government of Nigeria to deliver its vision to be a leading ICT player in Africa, through several programmes, including the Africa Technology Innovation Partnership (ATIP), the UK’s Digital Access Programme and the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub.