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Lagos seeks Stanford Business School’s support to transform Yaba into tech hub

By Florence Utor
02 November 2016   |   4:01 am
In a bid to optimise the budding technological potential of the Yaba axis, a suburb of Lagos, the Lagos State government has reached out to Stanford University’s Graduate Business School....
Dr. Omobola Johnson

Dr. Omobola Johnson

In a bid to optimise the budding technological potential of the Yaba axis, a suburb of Lagos, the Lagos State government has reached out to Stanford University’s Graduate Business School and a select group of stakeholders to develop and transform the city into a technology hub.

The initiative, driven by the state government, is expected to, upon completion, revolutionise Yaba, identified as Nigeria’s tech city, into the country’s equivalent of Silicon Valley- a hub for technology entrepreneurs in the United States of America.

The stakeholders, drawn from both public and private sectors, included a former Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson and Nigeria’s leading technology players such as Systemspecs, SB Tel and Devices, ccHub, iDeaHub, Microsoft, as well as the visiting faculty of Stanford University’s Graduate Business School led by Prof. Jesper Sørensen and Jeffrey Prickett.

Speaking at the meeting held at the state secretariat, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, AbdulAhmed Mustapha, expressed delight with Stanford Graduate Business School and the Stanford Seed Transformation Network (STN), the alumni body of its African entrepreneurs training, for their readiness to support the state’s efforts to actualise its objective of establishing a hub for tech entrepreneurs.

Mustapha, who acknowledged the immense contributions of the Stanford Seed Transformation Programme to entrepreneurial development on the African continent, said the state government is confident that the business school and its alumni network will unleash the enormous potential for technological innovations in the state and the country at large.

Also speaking, the Vice President of STN, Afolabi Abiodun, said the network will support the state government’s commitment to creating entrepreneurial opportunities and economic prosperity for Nigerians. He added that the objective of the initiative is in alignment with the ideals of the Stanford Seed programme, which is to positively influence the entrepreneurial ecosystem for the purpose of ending the cycle of poverty in developing economies.

“The way to eradicate poverty is by having more successful businesses and innovative start-ups. We sincerely believe that the state government is fully committed to the realization of this initiative and the STN would support as much as we can. Interestingly, we have a bunch of tech companies in our network. So, we are ready for action as soon as the state government sets the wheels in motion.” Afolabi said.

The highlight of the meeting was the inauguration of a steering committee drawn from both the public and private sectors of the economy– primarily state government officials and members of the Stanford Transformation Network.