NITDA, JICA Launch iHatch Incubator Programme
National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), have commenced a programme to motivate more startups to develop marketable innovations and compete favourably with their global counterparts.
Jointly organised by NITDA subsidiary, National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) and JICA, the programme tagged “iHatch“ is geared to encourage more digitally creative Nigerians to engage in different skills and knowledge-based training to find new indigenous solutions to some key problems.
The startup incubation programme would help to increase the number of innovation-driven enterprises by Nigerian youths, accelerate the process of bringing innovative ideas to life, generate jobs for the youths, and drive the country’s digital economy to a higher level.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, said the partnership between the two countries would help Nigerian startups to launch their excellent ideas into products and services to positively impact the digital economy.
“The partnership with JICA is expected to among other things, aid learning to know what Japan is doing differentlyy in transforming its digital economy, borrow some ideas as well as share experiences to domesticate the initiatives to suit the Nigerian digital economy needs.
“Innovation is the process of taking your ideas from inception to impact. Just having an idea means nothing; until you can get someone to pay you for that idea. So, this programme is designed to help you move that your idea from inception up to impact’’, Kashifu added.
Earlier, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, noted that the plan is to enhance the Nigerian startup ecosystem.
He emphasized that one of the features of the collaboration is not only to provide aid or financial support but to most importantly provide the required expertise as well as to transfer Japanese Corporate ethics to project success.
“iHatch will support Nigerian Tech entrepreneurs by redefining their business models through a series of mentoring, lectures and boot-camp, culminating in the establishment of sustainable and capable business models.” he said
NITDA boss led the Japanese Ambassador and his entourage on a tour of NCAIR saying” means giving yourself permission to show up as your authentic self, to be present, to be important and to define your boundaries. She defined elements of self-discovery to include, confidence, acceptance, responsibility, love, and ownership.
By Kabir Abdulsalam