Nigeria, France Sign $600m I-DICE Financial Agreement

Nigeria and France have signed an agreement worth about $600m under the investment in digital and creative enterprise, I-DICE in Abuja.

According to both countries, the purpose of the programme, which is an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria, is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the digital technology and creative industry.

During the signing ceremony, both Ms. Catherine Colonna, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, emphasized that the program would have a positive impact on young Nigerians and contribute to the creation of sustainable employment opportunities.

“Those digital technology and creative industries have indeed enormous potential to create jobs and spur economic growth in Nigeria.

“And we are very pleased that the French Agency for Development is stepping into these sectors, enabling us to scale up significantly our actions through the I-DICE program,” Colonna said.

She said that overall, the program is expected to include about 2 million youth in the training sessions of which 40% are women and to create more than 65 000 start-ups, 150 000 direct jobs in the technology and creative industries sectors and approximately 1.3 million indirect jobs.

The French Development Agency (AFD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Bank of Industry (BOl) joined forces to provide the financing.

Of the $600 million value of I-DICE, the AFD is contributing €100 million (equivalent to $116 million).

The program will also receive funding and support from the private sector and institutional investors. The Bank of Industry, as the Implementing Agency, will coordinate the day-to-day activities of the project.

Ms. Colonna highlighted France’s commitment to support youth, vocational training, cultural and creative industries as strong drivers of the national economy.

She added that, “Digital technology and creative industries have indeed enormous potential to create jobs and spur economic growth in Nigeria. In this context, [President Macron] reaffirmed his commitment for cooperation in these digital and creative industries with the launch of the African CCI forum that was just held last month in presence of an important Nigerian Delegation.”

The Vice President, Kashim Shettima , through his representative Bosun Tijani, stated: “As part as our efforts to stimulate the growth of the Nigerian economy and mainstream the application of technology in critical sectors, we welcome the support of the French government as they collaborate with us to leapfrog technological advancements for the benefit of our startup ecosystem. This funding from the AFD for the I-DICE programme is testament to France’s historical commitment to the growth of startups which is evidenced by its position as a leading startup destination in Europe”.

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