Company To Build First Community Based Innovation and Technology Hub Center In South-East Nigeria

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Innovation hubs have become a mainstay of Africa’s emerging technology ecosystem.

The African Entrepreneur Startup Project (AESP), an arm of the Rays and Beams Pavillion has announced plans to invest in South-East Nigeria by building the first community based Innovation and Technology Hub in the region.

The President of the company, Igwe Nnanna made the declaration in the company’s press release made available to news men in Abuja.

He said it was necessary to build such Innovation and Technology Hub in the region because the region has powerful minds that can take Africa to a new level with their great innovations. “We all know how people in South-East of Nigeria take entrepreneurship serious, and also they have two international markets in Abia and Anambra states where they sell mostly Made In Nigeria products. So we believe if we build a Hub where we can nurture and grow the innovative minds, support and empower young tech businesses, bring local and international investors to the region, it will surely grow the economy of Nigeria and also reduce unemployment rate”, Igwe said.

Igwe said that the new Hub will be an innovation-oriented centre which will serve as an open living lab and pre-incubation space that provides a platform where innovative-oriented people will share ideas that will solve social problems for the economic prosperity in Africa.

Innovation hubs have become a mainstay of Africa’s emerging technology ecosystem.

“Scratch the surface of the continent’s information and communication building blocks and you’ll likely find connections to a tech space, that is why we want to bring the first community based Hub to a region full of great innovative minds.”

Over the last five years, Africa has seen its innovation spaces grow from a handful to hundreds, with large variations in focus and funding. Hubs are structural pillars in Africa’s fragile IT landscape. There are fundamental gaps in infrastructure that impact digital entrepreneurship, connectivity, technology development, and innovation. Hubs are providing that enabling infrastructure and they are trying to fill those skills gaps.

As the continent’s innovation hubs evolve, experts see their significance to African tech
increasing. The most important role is that of catalysts. Ecosystems developing around
technology need a catalyst. The government can’t do it by itself, the private sector plays a big role but it’s hard for actors to be completely neutral. You need somewhat neutral entities to
connect and push their ecosystem forward.

Igwe said that the Hub will be a community facility with a focus on early stage entrepreneurs, web and mobile phone programmers, designers and researchers, etc.

The Hub’s primary goal is to empower a new crop of innovative and creative young men and women, who will add technological value to every sector of the economy and solve real problems. “We will support them providing them with key ingredients like seed funding, mentorship, access to business expertise, networking opportunities, peer review, pitch development, product testing and introduction to investors.
Our methodology will be hinged on engaging a community of progressive stakeholders (end-
users, subject matter experts, government agencies, businesses, academics, civil societies etc.) who bring their creativity and knowledge to play in co-creating solutions to social challenges faced by the average African.
“Our aim is to increase the socio-economic welfare of the society by creating opportunities for gainful employment via empowerment of youths from vulnerable backgrounds by making technological education accessible — and developing life skills through innovation, incubation of startups and sustained programmes.
We are still talking with some state governors in the region to know who will like to work with the company to actualize that vision for the region”, he said.