The COVID-19 outbreak has led to massive disruptions in the global economy and financial markets. Private market funding is expected to be down more than 16% compared to Q4’19 and down nearly 12% versus Q1’19 [CB Insights]. It is undoubted that this will have a significant impact on the nascent startup ecosystem in Nigeria.
Following the outbreak and global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the West African startup ecosystem is experiencing unprecedented shocks. While the need for social distancing is creating new windows of opportunity and accelerating adoption of digital platforms, the vast majority of early-stage startups are having significant pressure on cash-flow, financing, supply chain, and customer demand.
Additionally, with the continued movement restrictions and widely reported forecast of a recession in Nigeria, it is likely that a large number of otherwise viable and impactful startups in the country will not survive this crisis without a rapid, concessionary intervention. Nigeria has over 120 hubs, two from NITDA, six Technology Incubation Centre, and so many others platforms that serve as engine for innovation, entrepreneurship and skill acquisition. The number of tech activities emanating from these hubs is not proportional to the structures.
In this document, we propose initiatives targeted at building the technology innovation ecosystem in Nigeria. The concept is best driven with local capacity in line with NITDAs local content promotion pillar. However, where this is not feasible, international expertise can be sourced.
Identified partners will develop a standard template for the identified initiative. Clear Key Performance Indicators should be identified with criteria for Monitoring and Evaluation.