The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, has reaffirmed the agency’s dedication to fostering and accelerating the growth of the northern region’s innovation ecosystem.

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Abdullahi while keynoting a recent ‘Stakeholders’ Engagement on the State of the Northern Innovation Ecosystem’ in Abuja emphasized the importance of the event in catalyzing urgent action to address the challenges and harness the opportunities within the Northern innovation ecosystem.

“As an agency under the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, we are committed to contributing to the economic growth and development of the North and Nigeria as a whole,” he stated.

The event held to elevate the visibility of the innovation ecosystem in Northern Nigeria which appeared still dormant despite its vibrant community of innovators, startups, and numerous success stories,

Abdullahi aligned the discussions with the Federal Government’s ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration’s priority area of accelerating diversification through industrialization, digitization, creative arts, manufacturing, and innovation. He highlighted how NITDA’s strategic roadmap and action plan directly address the issues raised during the engagement.

Expressing optimism about the potential of the Northern Innovation Ecosystem, Abdullahi underscored its role in job creation and solving various societal challenges in areas such as agriculture, healthcare, transportation, and education.

“Our young population presents a significant opportunity, and we aim to harness this demographic dividend to position Nigeria as a talent net exporter,” he affirmed.


Abdullahi also discussed NITDA’s initiatives, including the establishment of Technology Development Zones and innovation hubs across the country. He encouraged collaboration between the government and the ecosystem to co-create solutions and build trust.

Addressing the challenges faced by innovators in the region, Abdullahi emphasized the need for resilience and innovation in tackling issues such as funding constraints.

“We must not only identify challenges but also seek innovative ways to overcome them,” he urged.


Furthermore, Abdullahi revealed plans for technology development zones and innovation hubs outside universities to promote inclusivity and diversity within the ecosystem.

Jamila Mohammed, Head of Experimentation at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), emphasized the importance of engaging key players in the innovation space to address developmental challenges in the region. She emphasized the need for collaborative efforts to accelerate progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Overall, stakeholders at the event affirmed the significance of initiatives like the Northern Ecosystem Working Group (NEW-G) in nurturing and advancing the Northern innovation ecosystem.

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