UK Announces Additional £70m to Support Nigerian Innovators Following Visit to Ventures Platform

After visiting different government functions, the delegates made a symbolic trip to Ventures Park, home of leading VC firm, Ventures Platform.

Last week, when the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May and her delegates visited Nigeria, they made notable stops in Lagos and Abuja. After visiting different government functions, the delegates made a symbolic trip to Ventures Park, home of leading VC firm, Ventures Platform.

Interestingly, several highly prolific individuals made the trip to Ventures Park that day. UK Minister for Africa, H.E. Harriett Baldwin, led the British delegates. Others include Lord Mayor of London, Mr. Charles Bowman, and the CEO of the London Stock Exchange.

On the Nigerian side, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was present. He was accompanied by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola and Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, among many others. There were also delegates from the US Trade and Investments council.

The visit was an interesting opportunity for the Nigerian government to showcase the gains made by startups over the years. And it was also aimed at promoting tech startups in the country.

While speaking during the panel discussion with the British and US delegates, the Prof. Osinbajo praised the ingenuity and perseverance of Nigerian startups.  He noted that many of them actually started while the country was in recession.

“This not only speaks to their resilience but the abundant talents available among young Nigerians,” said Laolu Akande, an aide to the Vice President.

During the visit, the delegates toured the park and it gave Ventures Platform an opportunity to showcase its portfolio companies and the strides they have recorded.

The early stage VC firm has around 22 startups as portfolio companies. Some of them include Paystack, Printivo, Thrive Agric, Accounteer, Mines.IO, and WeSabi. The firm also just recently invested in medical equipment startup, MDaaS.

UK Announces New Funds for Nigeria

During the visit, the British government announced new funding and support for Nigerian innovators.

While giving her remarks, UK Minister for Africa, H.E. Harriett Baldwin, said she believes African startups can make a global impact. She also restated her government’s commitment to economic development in Nigeria.

She announced that Her Majesty’s government has set aside an additional £70 million to support tech innovations in Nigeria. Interestingly too, some months ago, the French government also announced that it had set aside €65 million as funds for African innovators.

Although there aren’t details about how the UK funds will be utilized, its announcement does show the relevance of technology to Nigeria’s economic development.

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