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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is partnering with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to kick-start ‘iHatch’ programme designed to drive marketable innovations by engaging startups in different skills and knowledge-based trainings for them to compete favourably with their global peers.

The collaboration is expected to deepen Nigeria-Japan relationship and help to inspire more digitally creative Nigerians to find new indigenous solutions to the country’s problems.  

RELATED  NITDA Partners Japan To Launch Launch IHatch Incubation Programme

The startup programme focuses on youths, innovations, entrepreneurship and technology. It is expected to accelerate the process of bringing innovative ideas to life, thereby generating the much-needed jobs for young people.

At the iHatch Startup Incubation opening ceremony, jointly organized by the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), a subsidiary of NITDA, and JICA, the Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa said, “the partnership with JICA is expected to be among other things, aid learning to know what Japan is doing differently in transforming its digital economy, borrow some ideas as well as share experiences to domesticate the initiatives to suit the Nigerian digital economy needs.”

Inuwa congratulated the eight successful startups who were selected from about five thousand applicants that sought to participate in the programme. He advised them to see the platform as a golden opportunity to hatch their ideas.

“Innovation is the process of taking your ideas from inception to impact… just having an idea means nothing; until you can get someone to pay you for that idea; so, this programme is designed to help you move that your idea from inception up to impact,” he added.

He noted that the target at the end of the project is to incubate, mould, and launch excellent ideas into products or services that will positively turn things around in the country, especially, in critical areas of the economy and help humanity in general. The NITDA boss expressed optimism that the partnership will be mutually beneficial to both countries.

Earlier, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, and other dignitaries from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), were unanimous that the plan is to enhance the Nigerian startup ecosystem.

He stressed that one of the features of the collaboration is not only to provide aid or financial support but to most importantly provide the required expertise as well as to transfer Japanese Corporate ethics to project success.

“iHatch will support Nigerian Tech entrepreneurs by redefining their business models through a series of mentoring, lectures and boot-camp, culminating in the establishment of sustainable and capable business models.”

The startups expressed gratitude to the Nigerian go appreciated the Nigerian government through NITDA and NCAIR for the opportunity to partake in the training.

 

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