The Federal Government of Nigeria entered into a significant agreement with the Republic of France to launch the Digital and Creative Enterprise (I-DISE) program.
This initiative aims to enhance employment opportunities in Nigeria and foster entrepreneurship in the digital technology and creative industry sectors.
The bilateral agreement was signed by Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Catherine Colonnade in Abuja on Friday.
The promising partnership was also witnessed by Bosun Tijani, representing Vice President Kashim Shettima.
Minister Tuggar highlighted that the I-DISE program is a Federal Government initiative, led by the Office of the Vice President.
Its primary goal is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship within the digital technology and creative sectors, ultimately focusing on job creation and economic development.
This program will have a substantial impact on young Nigerians by helping them establish sustainable employment opportunities, develop high-value industries, and contribute to the country’s economic growth.
The I-DISE program intends to train two million young individuals, empowering them to create innovative businesses and startups by providing access to financing.
The financing for this program is made possible through partnerships with the French Development Agency (AFD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB), and the Bank of Industry (BOI).
Minister Tuggar noted that AFD’s contribution amounts to 100 million euros (equivalent to $116 million) out of the $600 million total value of the I-DISE program.
Additionally, private sector and institutional investors will provide funding and support, with the Bank of Industry overseeing day-to-day project activities.
Minister Colonnade expressed gratitude to all partners and co-financers, emphasizing the program’s ambitious goal of supporting young entrepreneurs and innovators.
She highlighted that the I-DISE program will enhance youth employability, boost Nigeria’s digital technology and creative industries, and unleash the talents of young Nigerian entrepreneurs. These sectors have immense potential for job creation and economic growth.
The program is expected to train nearly two million youths, with 40 percent of them being women. It will result in the creation of over 65,000 startups, 150,000 direct jobs in the technology and creative industries, and approximately 1.3 million indirect jobs.
Bosun Tijani, representing Vice President Shettima, underscored the government’s commitment to youth development and enhancing employability in the digital, cultural, and creative industries.
He welcomed France’s support in advancing technology and startups in Nigeria, emphasizing the French’s historical commitment to startup growth.