The Lagos State Government has announced the commencement of a Yaba ICT cluster project – KITE@Yaba – to provide an enabling environment that will facilitate and support the development of a technology cluster and ecosystem within the Yaba District of Lagos.
One year after the Lagos tech community got together to debate the “Open Yaba Manifesto”, the state government has launched KITE@Yaba – with KITE standing for “Knowledge, Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship”.
The aim is to contribute to the economic development of Nigeria and position Lagos State as the hub for innovation in Nigeria, and preferred destination for technology investors and innovators.
“KITE@Yaba is a public-private partnership (PPP), driven by the government and supported by several industry experts and advisors along the technology value chain,” said Hakeem Fahm, the commissioner for science and technology.
The project will offer recommendations to the Lagos State Government on eight critical areas to foster an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in information and communication technology, namely access to funding, access to market, infrastructure, policy regulation, talent and skills, research and development, network and collaboration, and advocacy and marketing.
KITE@Yaba also includes the design and construction of a world-class ICT Park for which the state government has already acquired 30,000 square metres of land in the Yaba area.
The project’s governance structure comprises a Project Steering Committee (PSC), an Industry Advisory Board (IAB), the Project Delivery team and Subject Matter Advisors. The PSC is co-chaired by Fahm and Dr Omobola Johnson, former minister for communication and technology and senior partner of TLcom Capital LLP, a technology venture capital firm.
“Lagos State is already well known as the enterprise and commercial hub of the country, KITE@Yaba will further drive technology innovation and entrepreneurship and will directly contribute to the development of a digital economy in Nigeria,” Johnson said.
Over the next 18 months, the PSC and IAB will review designs and plans, provide professional advice, and engage in local and international awareness plans to drive further support for interest and investments in the project.