South south stakeholders seek partnership on broadband, digital economy
Experts have called on tech founders in the Southern region to see the 11 states as their primary market as they represent over 60 million people.
Speaking during the #StartupSouth5 Conference in Akwa Ibom State, Convener, Uche Aniche, said this will attract support to scale across Nigeria, Africa, and the world. The #StartupSouth conference engages the organised private sector and youths, themed, “Unlocking the Next 60 Million People.”
Delivering the keynote, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MainOne, Funke Opeke, said it is important for other states and regions in Nigeria to take advantage of opportunities the digital economy provides to maximise her true potential, and attain assured prosperity.
Opeke stressed the relevance of broadband economic development, and why governments should pay attention to enabling broadband across their domains.
According to the World Bank report, 10 per cent in broadband penetration would increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita growth by 0.9-1.5 per cent.
Commissioner for Technology Development, Imo State, Meekam Mgbenwelu, said the state government is exploring possibilities to deepen broadband connectivity in the state. He added that the Ministry will initiate moves to replicate what MainOne had done in Edo, Ogun, and Lagos in his state.
He said the government has embarked on a number of projects including, training of about 240 girls/women in coding (in partnership with Microsoft), training of over 5,000 Imolites in basic FinTech, and the on-going conversation with Google to make the state the digital economy capital in the South-East.
Co-founder, Paga, Jay Alabraba, advised startups to focus on solving real problems to get the needed support.
Reiterating Yinka Ogunnubi’s call in an earlier keynote, Salami Abolore, the CEO of Riby, a Co-banking platform for cooperatives, advised founders to explore cooperative as an alternative source of funding, stressing that there’s a lot of opportunities in the space that’s untapped.