Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Freeman, expressed his country’s unwavering commitment to collaborating with Nigeria in achieving the goal of creating one million jobs through the digital economy.
I-FAIR program created via a collaboration with Israel and Nigeria would play a crucial role in creating jobs,
The collaboration would also attract investments, and foster a new generation of Nigerian innovators
The six-month-long I-FAIR program offers selected participants access to expertise, technology, mentorship, and networking opportunities to develop products, businesses, prototypes, and investor pitches
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja during the official inauguration of the 3rd cohort of the Innovation Fellowship for Aspiring Inventors and Researchers (I-FAIR), Freeman conveyed Israel’s enthusiasm for partnering with President Bola Tinubu’s administration in leveraging digital technology for growth.
The event included a summary video presentation about I-FAIR, the launch of the program’s website, and the call for nominations.
What the Ambassador said
He highlighted the success of the previous two editions of the I-FAIR program, which provided mentorship and tools to young Nigerians, enabling them to turn their ideas into practical ventures and contribute to the country’s economic development.
The ambassador emphasized Israel’s eagerness to support Tinubu’s vision of increasing local and foreign investment and generating one million jobs in the digital economy. Freeman stated that the I-FAIR program would play a crucial role in creating jobs, attracting investments, and fostering a new generation of Nigerian innovators.
He also noted that Nigeria could learn from Israel’s experience, where human capital and research development contribute significantly to the economy.
“Israel is the world leader in digital economy and it is also the world leader in manufacturing investment in several other places.
“We buy into this vision and we want to partner with President Tinubu and his administration, to help create the environment for investment.
“To help create a million jobs in the digital economy and that is why we are here today because the I-FAIR programme will help to create jobs, investment and a new generation of entrepreneurial Nigerian innovators.”
Iyinoluwa Aboyaji, Founding Partner of Future Africa, lauded the productive collaboration between Nigeria and Israel, particularly in commercializing research and development outcomes.
He emphasized the importance of collaborative partnerships like the one with Israel in achieving the President’s mandate of creating one million jobs in the digital economy.
“It is extremely an important mandate, we are not going to get there without the support and knowledge that comes from a collaborative partnership from a country like Israel,” Aboyaji said.
Aboyaji encouraged young people to embrace the Innov8Hub program as an opportunity for success through skill development and innovation.
About the I-FAIR Initiative
The i-FAIR program is a collaborative effort between the Embassy of the State of Israel in Nigeria and the Office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Its primary objective is to empower innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and venture creators in Nigeria.
The program emerged from the necessity to address local challenges with innovative solutions made in Nigeria, with the overarching goal of inspiring Nigeria to become a nation of startups.
Over six months, i-FAIR equips participants with the necessary resources and support to transform their ideas into innovative and sustainable ventures that can generate employment opportunities and create wealth for both Nigerians and Nigeria as a whole.
The six-month-long I-FAIR program offers selected participants access to expertise, technology, mentorship, and networking opportunities to develop products, businesses, prototypes, and investor pitches.
The initiative has achieved notable success, having completed two editions thus far. These editions witnessed the participation of 63 fellows, resulting in the development of 56 prototypes.
The program has provided over 1,300 hours of mentorship, supporting more than 100 ideas. It has also witnessed inspiring success stories, with i-FAIR fellows such as Thinkbike, Soilless Farm Labs, Quadloop Africa, and Eco Circular Solution successfully attracting investments and establishing thriving enterprises.
According to him, many I-FAIR graduates now have various businesses with fellow Nigerians contributing to the economic growth of their fatherland, saying the third edition of I-FAIR has been officially inaugurated.
“This is the official launch of the 3rd I-FAIR programme; since President Tinubu was inaugurated and one of the key focuses of his inaugural policy was improving and strengthening Nigeria’s economy.
“He spoke specifically on several targets, to increase local and foreign investment in Nigeria, and also to create one million jobs in the digital economy.
He further said that such would boost job creation in the economy through learning from the Israeli experience whereby, 45 per cent of the GDP is based on human capital and research development.
“This collaboration between Nigeria and Israel has been extremely fruitful, particularly in the area of helping us to commercialize the research and development that comes out from our University.
“Specifically, the partnership with the Innov8Hub programme, which is incredible; I am delighted with the President’s mandate for a million jobs in the digital economy.