• Friday, April 12, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

$617m iDICE fund will spur cultural, economic expansion – Minister

$617m iDICE fund will spur cultural, economic expansion – Minister

The Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Hanatu Musawa, says the $ 617 million investment in Digital Economy and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) fund will spur cultural and economic expansion.

Musawa said this during the launch of iDICE and the maiden edition of Omniverse summit, in Lagos recenltly.

Read also: The Alternative Bank fosters rural economic growth in Katsina

She said that the fund signifies a remarkable opportunity to propel economic growth and development within Nigeria’s burgeoning digital and creative economy. The minister said that the fund would also engender inclusivity.

“Today marks a momentous occasion as I proudly announce the groundbreaking of $617 million Investment in Digital Economy and Creative Enterprises Fund, also known as the iDICE fund.

“This fund represents a beacon of hope and opportunity for our creative community, offering unprecedented access to startup capital and resources essential for nurturing talent and fostering innovation.

“The iDICE fund epitomises the administration of President Bola Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to empowering our creatives and entrepreneurs, fuelling economic growth, and driving socio-economic transformation across Nigeria.

“It is meant for cultural and economic expansion as well as inclusivity, to cut down all barrier.

“In line with the ministry’s comprehensive 8-point plan agenda, it lays the foundation for sustainable financing, skills development and market access within the digital and creative ecosystem,” she said.

Musawa said that provision for the intervention fund for the art was currently being looked into as the iDICE fund was not a substitute to this.

Commenting on the Omniverse summit, Musawa said it presents a unique platform to network with industry leaders and gain insights from experts.

She said the platform also gives room for individuals to contribute to the development of policies and initiatives that would drive African innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship forward.

Read also: Explainer: Everything about Kaduna’s Green Economic Zone

She explained that collaborations and engagement among industry players and policymakers were paramount in unlocking the full potential of Nigeria’s creative economy.

“I urge everyone to actively engage, foster collaboration and forge bonds that will not only drive our economy but also reshape the creative landscape of our nation.

“The ministry is organising numerous working sessions, serving as invaluable platforms for stakeholders to converge, exchange ideas, and co-create strategies to propel the industry forward.

“It is time we harness the full potential of our cultural influence.

“The iDICE fund coupled with amazing platforms such as the Omniverse summit that has convened our integrated ecosystem here today, will serve as a catalyst, providing support and access to burgeoning global markets,” she said.

Speaking further on how the funds could be accessed by Nigerians, Mr Ife Adebayo, National Programme Coordinator, IDICE fund, said it would be diabursed by Adventure Capital Ltd.

Adebayo noted that the funding banks were: African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, Agence Française de Développement and the Bank of Industry (BOI).

Earlier, Obi Asika, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture and convener of the summit, explained that the forum was created for the purpose of collaboration and networking which were highly needed in advancing any industry.

Also, Mr Charles Emembolu, Co-Convener, Omniverse summit, who explained the essence of the gathering, urged everyone to collaborate, invest and participate in a digital revolution that transcends borders.

Emembolu, who is the Chairman, Advisory Board of the Innovation Support Network (ISN), said Nigeria’s digital landscape had become ripe with opportunities.

“As we look back at the last 25 years, we see a nation that has overcome challenges, embraced innovations and produced world-class unicorns.

“Now, the stage is set for even greater achievements. At this inaugural event, the Omniverse offers the perfect opportunity to experience our digital innovation ecosystem, build partnerships and break silos.

Read also: Ambode begs Nigerians not to blame Tinubu for country’s economic hardship

“This event has been brought to you by 18 ecosystem players who have volunteered time including weekends to bring us all together.

“My gratitude goes to them all, to our sponsors partners and support system, locally and globally,” he said.

Meanwhile, Weert Börner, German Consul General in Lagos, assured Africans of German Government’s commitment toward fostering mutually beneficial partnerships with Africa through programmes of its Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).