The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said that Nigeria has a crop of talented and innovative youth that will sustain the country’s technological growth and ensure that the country is not left behind.
The VP stated this at the 20th anniversary of Interswitch held over the weekend.
While noting that innovation and technology open exciting new frontiers in medicine and healthcare, the VP expressed the confidence that Nigeria will not be left behind in these areas because it has many talented and enterprising young entrepreneurs.
According to him, with the rapid growth of innovation and technology recorded over the years globally, there are even more exciting new frontiers to be explored and harnessed by Nigerian innovators.
Government’s role: Reiterating the commitment of the Buhari Administration to providing the enabling environment for young entrepreneurs and businesses to thrive, Osinbajo said:
“Our responsibility as a government has been to meet them halfway, and perhaps outpace them with corresponding creativity in the provision of forward-thinking regulatory frameworks and adequate infrastructure. I can assure you that no effort is being spared in this regard.
“Nevertheless, there is still so much to be done; and a lot of ground to cover. I have no doubt though that we are up to the task.”
Speaking further on the incredible talents and potential of Nigeria and Africa’s young people to drive socio-economic growth, the VP stated that in 2021 alone, African tech startups raised over $ 4 billion in funding, with over 564 startups across the continent solving critical problems in almost every sector.
“Within the next two decades, Africa’s workforce will be the largest in the world. They are skilled and they are coming. As a result, more innovative disruptors will yet emerge to plug more of these gaps.
“It is through innovative disruptions that humans have managed to resolve their most complex challenges and stay ahead of the survival curve.“Oftentimes, these ideas are championed by mavericks who find better, safer, and more cost-effective ways for us to live, do business, and govern; slight tweaks that improve our overall experience, and complete overhauls that lead us into new paths altogether,” he said.
On what he described as two rigorous decades of accelerated change since Interswitch was founded 20 years ago, Prof. Osinbajo noted that it was incredible that what began as a novel idea to facilitate seamless payments across Africa, has in barely two decades become something of an icon of technology and innovation pioneering Africa’s ongoing Fintech revolution.