Merely checking for what Silicon Valley means, the first result that might pop up is a Wikipedia page that tells you: “Silicon Valley is a region in Northern California that serves as a global centre for high technology and innovation.”
It is common to read that capital cities of African countries are acclaimed Silicon Valleys, but, there are certain steps to take before a location is considered as one. A Silicon Valley characterise of high-tech companies, numerous startup companies, unicorns, research centres, venture capital investments etc.
Recently, the Lagos state government, Nigeria’s commercial capital, launched a Venture Capital (VC) fund. This was announced during the GITEX 2022 summit in Dubai by the Special Adviser on Innovation & Technology, Olatunbosun Alake.
Although the date for the launch hasn’t been set, a pilot launch is expected before the end of the year. It intends to fund startups for a return date of 10 years plus. It also plans to invite local and foreign investors to participate as limited partners (LP). This comes before the country signed the Startup Act which now legislates and regulates the tech ecosystem.
The Lagos state government through the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) also sponsored 15 startups to pitch their innovations to investors at the GITEX 2022 summit.
For a state-backed VC (or GVC) to kickstart in an already highly-concentrated startup area; innovations looking to commence operations in the state would benefit the access to venture capitals while contending with other Venture Capitalists. The state is home to Unicorns such as Flutterwave, Paystack, Jumia and Interswitch; and a number of other startups.
As much as the country is growing to appreciate the emerging tech sector, it already has a state in which its stakeholders understand the need for participation at all levels, even implementing easier policies as in the return date of the fund.
Looking beyond the recent development, Lagos State would be the hotspot for innovations, idea testing, as well as an employer for the youth population. Eventually, other states in the country may not be able to reap the benefits that come with enhancing the tech ecosystem.