ICT policy hackathons conclude in Abuja, Lagos

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ICT policy hackathons took place last week in Lagos and Abuja, bringing together entrepreneurs, students and business service providers to brainstorm solutions to policy constraints to starting and growing innovative businesses and ways to improve the regulatory environment for startups in Nigeria.

The two events made up Nigeria’s first public policy hackathons, with more than 100 people participating across the two cities.

The outcomes and policy recommendations from the hackathons will be shared with the office of the Vice President, the Office of ICT, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), and the general public.

In both cities, broad themes emerged around tax relief, startup funding, broadband infrastructure and procurement. The most popular policy themes were then workshopped into legislative templates.

A survey of participants indicated overall optimism that the policy recommendations that emerged from the brainstorming sessions would eventually be adopted and legislated.

In her address to the participants at the hackathon in Abuja, Dr Amina Sambo, national coordinator of the OIIE under the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said youth were the future of innovation and needed to be invested in.

“The OIIE has held stakeholder meetings and consultations, and is developing a policy framework that supports IT, innovation, and the Nigerian startup ecosystem. We support the policy hackathon organised by GIZ, i4policy, Impact Hub and Civic Innovation Lab,” Dr Sambo said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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