Ekiti state has a thriving young and innovative population that has the potential to unlock $443 million of internally generated revenue (IGR) for the region’s economy.
This information was shared by experts at the Innovate UK KTN Global Alliance Africa launch of Innovate Ekiti, a new platform to expected to connect the states’ innovators to the world.
According to experts at the event, for Ekiti to establish itself as a new hotbed for globally-minded innovators, the state is looking to national and international organisations as important partners for channelling knowledge, resources, and opportunities into its budding ecosystem.
“Innovate Ekiti is, at its core, a mapping tool that empowers ecosystem members to identify and connect with each other. From startups and entrepreneurs, to research institutions, investors, incubators, and more,” Joshua Adedeji, knowledge transfer manager for Nigeria at Global Alliance Africa said.
He added, “It is a powerful and user-friendly platform designed to foster stronger networks and more meaningful collaborations. Beyond that, it is a call to all Nigerians, the international community, and Ekitians worldwide: Come and explore what Ekiti has to offer. Join us in reshaping it as Nigeria’s new beacon of innovation,” explains
The Global Alliance Africa project is a six-year project funded by UK Aid through Innovate UK (GCRF) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
Four project-level interventions were piloted in 2021 in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, with one of the interventions focused on place-based Innovation in Ekiti State.
“There are still significant issues around infrastructure, funding, talent, and awareness that need to be addressed. Reliable electricity and internet connectivity are crucial for creating a conducive environment where Ekiti’s innovators can explore their ideas. But that’s just part of the puzzle,” Seun Fakuade, special adviser to the governor of Ekiti on governance, reforms, and innovation said.
He added, “We also need to address funding challenges to nurture more innovations beyond the ideation stage. Additionally, connecting inventors to relevant knowledge pools and networks is vital, so that they can find partners for scale. To overcome these obstacles, however, we need to attract partners who are genuinely interested in Ekiti’s success, and it begins by building awareness of Ekiti’s innovators and the state’s potential as a thriving tech hub.”