Israel Ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Freeman and ES of TETFund Sonny Echono
Nigeria and Israel have commenced collaborative moves to deepen partnership in innovation, entrepreneurship and production with the aim of harnessing Nigeria’s huge potential for its technological development.
The Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Freeman, stated this on Wednesday when he paid a working visit to the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Sonny Echono in Abuja.
Ambassador Freeman expressed Israel’s desire to work with Nigeria in the area of technology and entrepreneurship development while describing Nigeria as a country of huge potential due to its teeming youth population.
While describing Israel as a leading country in technology and innovation, Ambassador Freeman disclosed that 45% of Israel’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, comes from innovation and entrepreneurship start-ups, as the country’s major economic sectors are involved in high technology and industrial manufacturing.
The Israeli Ambassador further stated that Nigeria possesses the potential to be a destination for businesses if innovative developments were harnessed, particularly through innovation incubation hubs.
This, he said would provide young Nigerians who have entrepreneurship potential but lack expertise an avenue to be mentored and guided in the right direction.
The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono expressed excitement at the numerous benefits derivable from the partnership, and said “If innovation and entrepreneurship can provide 45% of Israel’s GDP, one can only imagine what 10 0r 20% will do to Nigeria’s GDP with our population”.
According to Echono, there is a global consensus that Nigerians are hardworking and intelligent if provided with the right incentives and one can envision what can be unlocked through technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.
While intimating Freeman of TETFund’s collaboration with Innova8 Hub and other strategic partners, he also hinted on the Fund’s drive to domesticate Innovation Hubs in some of Nigeria’s tertiary educational institutions.
Reporting by Daniel Adejo