The Lagos State Government has announced the commencement of the Yaba Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Cluster project, termed: KITE@Yaba. KITE, which stands for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship, is to provide an enabling environment that will facilitate and support the development of a technology cluster and ecosystem within the Yaba District of Lagos.
It is expected that this initiative, which is being championed by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, will contribute significantly to the economic development of Nigeria and position Lagos State as the hub for innovation in the country, and preferred destination for technology investors and innovators.
The State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hakeem Fahm, on Monday, noted that KITE@Yaba is a public-private partnership (PPP), driven by the government and supported by several industry experts and advisors along the technology value chain.
The project is positioned to proffer recommendations to the government of Lagos State on eight critical areas to foster an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in ICT, namely access to funding; access to market & demand; infrastructure; policy regulation and governance; talent, skills and education; research and development; network and collaboration; and advocacy and marketing.
KITE@Yaba also included the design and construction of a world class ICT Park for which LASG has already acquired 30,000 square metres of land in the Yaba area.
The project’s governance structure comprised a Project Steering Committee (PSC), an Industry Advisory Board (IAB), the Project Delivery team and Subject Matter Advisors. The PSC is co-chaired by Hakeem Fahm and former Minister for Communication and Technology and Senior Partner of TLcom Capital LLP, a technology venture capital firm, Dr. Omobola Johnson.
Other members of the steering committee include Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Uzammat Akinbile-Yusuf; Special Adviser on Urban Development, Mrs. Yetunde Onabule; Chief Executive Officer, IBILE Holdings Limited, Abiodun Amokomowo and Country Managing Director, Accenture, Niyi Yusuf. Accenture will provide project management office (PMO) support as Project Delivery Lead.
The Industry Advisory Board (IAB), which was inaugurated in June 2018, is chaired by Johnson, and comprises notable technology industry stakeholders including CcHub, Google, Microsoft, MainOne, Andela, Flutterwave, General Electric (GE), and Ibile Broadband, University of Lagos, and Lagos State University.The role of the IAB will be to provide overall leadership and direction to the project to ensure its objectives are realised and ensure value for money to Lagos State based on experience and expertise.
Over the next 18 months the PSC and IAB will review designs and plans, provide professional advice, and engage in local and international awareness plans to drive further support for interest and investments in the project.