As part of its efforts to assist Nigerian technology start-ups to grow and reach their maximum potentials through its 3D Africa program, international not-for-profit organization, Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF), in partnership with GE Lagos Garage, hosted a pitch and networking session in Lagos for local youth-led tech start-ups and entrepreneurs.
The event, entitled ‘Building a Viable Hardware Ecosystem in Nigeria’, was held at the GE Lagos Garage in Lagos.
Young Nigerians pitched to the Belgian Minister of Digital Agenda, Philippe De Backer and his Silicon Lagoon Mission delegation, international entrepreneurs, investors, representatives from private-sector companies, and non-profits.
The event also featured a presentation from the Solvay Business School of Belgium about entrepreneurial projects related to student trade missions and internships.
De Backer, who was accompanied by a delegation of Belgian start-ups, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and the press,
said he was in Nigeria with the Mission to connect with the country’s vibrant technology start-up community in Lagos, explore partnership potentials, and raise awareness about digital for development opportunities in Africa’s most prominent tech hub.
Apart from the pitch presentations, participants also had the opportunity to network with players in youth-led startups and scale-ups in the technology space, entrepreneurs, investors, private sector companies and academics amongst others.
CEO of Youth for Technology Foundation/3D Africa, Njideka Harry, spoke at the event and said the session was a continuation of the organisation’s objective of equipping the next generation with the skills necessary to excel in the world of work.
“It is about empowering the next generation of leaders to enter the workforce with the skills they need to access employment or create their entrepreneurial opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution.
Our programs utilise technology to inspire youth and women in developing nations to create innovative solutions to the challenges they encounter, and we are pleased to have been able to collaborate with GE Garage for this initiative,” she said.
She added that the YTF’s 3D Africa would not relent in its quest to change Africa’s narrative from dependence on foreign technology to being self-sustaining through “meeting the increased global demand for emerging and disruptive technologies, like 3D printing.”
Also speaking, Director, Communications & Public Affairs, GE Africa, Patricia Obozuwa said GE was happy to have partnered with Youth for Technology for the session.
“At the GE, we are passionate about empowering Nigerian entrepreneurs with relevant skills to compete on a global scale, and this is what we have been doing through our GE Lagos Garage, and we happy for this opportunity to work with Youth for Technology’s 3D Africa.
Their vision aligns with ours, and we are happy to say that as critical stakeholders, we have made our contributions to Lagos’ and Nigeria ’s vibrant technology start-up communities,” she said.
The Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Daniel Dargent, Director of International Relations, Startup.be,
Frederik Tibau, and founder and CEO, Close-the-Gap, Olivier Vanden Eynde were also among the Belgian delegation at the pitching and networking session.