Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum, has launched a Unicorn incubation campus in Lagos with the goal of assisting entrepreneurs in turning their business ideas into reality and nurturing emerging companies.
Unicorn is a pan-African investment firm that focuses on innovative ideas, start-ups, and early-stage companies in the technology and technology enabled sectors, with the goal of assisting owners in realizing their visions and contributing meaningfully to national economic development.
In his remarks following a tour of the state of the art facilities at the investment hub in the Yaba area of Lagos, Sylva urged Africans, particularly Nigerians, to abandon what he called a culture of complaining and instead take practical steps to better their lot, assist others in overcoming their challenges, and work for the growth of the country.
I am overwhelmed by what I have seen today. For the first time, I am seeing the right thing being done. The colonial masters came and focused on our resources, which they took away, but the main resource that Africa has is human resource. Developing our human resource is the way to go. This is the beginning of the right road.
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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who lauded the project, said: “Through the various Unicorn incubation programmes held across Africa in the past few years, African youths and entrepreneurs have had the opportunity to align their raw ideas in line with global relevance and innovation while receiving due tutelage and mentorship from global business leaders with multi-million dollar businesses. The incubation programmes have tested the assumptions and ideas of our African youths and refined them into globally competitive innovations.”
The governor, who was represented by his wife, Ibijoke Sanwo-olu stated that in order to adequately harness the potentials of African youths, leaders must begin to embrace entrepreneurship and innovative solutions in fintech, edutech, e-health, and other areas.
Akintoye Akindele, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of UNICORN, who guided the guests through the facilities, said that people with great ideas could bring them to the center and easily access investors, partners, finance, and resources, particularly technologies.
“Unicorn is about exploring the capital that is housed in the mind of Africans. It is about local content, solving Africa’s problems through innovation and entrepreneurship,” Akindele said.