The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken during his first official trip to Sub-Saharan Africa, visited Innov8 Hub, Abuja, Nigeria; to encourage Innovation, Research and Development in Africa, which he strongly believes will promote a more inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the continent.
Deji, thank you. Thank you so much. I think that’s the best introduction I’ve ever gotten. (Laughter.) I’m glad it’s being recorded. I want to be able to replay it.
Listen, it’s particularly a pleasure for me to be here this afternoon. When I was last in Nigeria a few years ago, two things really struck me. One, of course, was the incredibly vibrant civil society that we see in this country, and I had an opportunity to talk to some of its leaders just a short while ago. But the other thing that really struck me the last time I was here was a remarkable spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, something that I had some experience in seeing when I was here, and I was really eager to come here and, in a sense, see where things are – both to see some of the incredible innovative work that’s been done, but also to try and understand what the environment is like for innovation and entrepreneurship and how that can be made even better going forward.
So, I really wanted to hear from people who are on the front lines of this work, not only having great ideas but, as Deji said, finding ways to make them real and to bring them to market. So, I want to spend a little bit of time both seeing some of these remarkable things that I think we’re about to see. but also hearing from colleagues about how they’ve gotten to the place they’re at – and how we and they can do even more to build this culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that’s already so powerful here in Nigeria.Antony Blinken
Speaking at the event, Deji Ige who introduced Secretary Blinken and Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, said Innov8 Hub is a focal point for Innovation Start-up, Incubation, Technology Transfer, Skill Impartation, Prototype development and Fabrication in Nigeria.
“This is a place where ideas are transformed into invention, invention into solution, solution into start-up”.Deji Ige
In an interview with the press, the founder of Innov8 Hub Professor Gregory Ibe reiterated his commitment to innovation start-up and creation of an ecosystem of innovators and inventors in Nigeria.
At the event, some innovative start-ups such as Zipline, Outsource Global, Hotspot and i-FAIR Israel Nigeria innovations were showcased.