Nigeria’s Bank of Industry has launched Tech Hub Ajah Lagos, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that aims to promote skill development, youth entrepreneurship and job creation in new technology and innovations.
Bank of Industry said the hub was part of a wider programme the bank is implementing towards helping to build a vibrant startup ecosystem in Nigeria, driven by the realisation that tech startups are becoming major economic value creators and technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and big data are becoming more embedded in people’s daily lives.
The bank has partnered with tech firm Vatebra, which will manage the day-to-day operations at the hub, which has facilities including high-speed internet access, shared and private office space, and a robotics training lab.
Working with other partner organisations, the Bank of Industry will roll out a series of programmes to build and strengthen the capacities of entrepreneurs in ideating, incubating and launching successful businesses. These programmes will be complemented with funding opportunities through schemes from Bank of Industry and other financing institutions.
Bank of Industry chief executive officer (CEO) Kayode Pitan said the bank was sponsoring the hub in recognition of the ingenuity and creativity of young people in Nigeria, and the need to channel these to productive and impactful ends.
“The overall objective is to ensure that our corporate social responsibility investments are such as will generate better benefits for the country; and a hub like this gives young people an opportunity to add their own quota to the economic development of Lagos State, and Nigeria as a whole,” he said.
“We believe that at a centre like this, talent can be discovered and harnessed, and also it will help to grow the tech ecosystem in the country, get more young people involved in it, and make it more attractive to investments, and this will augur well for Nigeria in general.”