Art of Technology: Lagos attracts $1bn in data centre investment

 Hamzat added that the proliferation of the investments presented opportunities for talent development within the ecosystem.

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The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, says the state has attracted over one billion dollars in Data Centre Investment in the past one year.

Speaking at the Art of Technology (AOT) 4.0 in Lagos on Thursday, Hamzat stated that this would enable the local domicile of digital platforms and open the state for more digital technology opportunities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the Art of Technology (AOT) 4.0 was: “Talent Acceleration and a Smarter Lagos” and some students were rewarded for emerging winners of the Innovation and Ideas Competition.

Hamzat added that the proliferation of the investments presented opportunities for talent development within the ecosystem.

The deputy governor emphasised that the entrepreneurial environment and the open support for technology informed the present administration’s increasing focus in innovation to drive value outputs for the state’s ecosystem.

He noted that the state government was enthused to see the growth the ecosystem had experienced over the years.

Citing Startup Genome, Hamzat said Lagos was now the number one technology startup ecosystem in Africa in terms of funds, performance, and sheer number of startups creating value.

He stated that between 2019 and 2021, over 120 per cent increase in Venture Capital (VC) inflow into Lagos was realized resulting in 1.5 billion dollars in VC funding in 2021 alone.

He said that the state had a record of over 2,000 Startups creating and contributing value across Fintech, Agritech, Construction, Health among others.

The deputy governor explained the administration’s contribution was evidenced in the different implementations and initiatives contained in the State’s first Innovation and Technology Masterplan.

According to him, this contains multiple strategic pillars that cascade in multiple tactical initiatives launched during the first edition of Art of Technology.

Hamzat noted that since the conception of AOT events, the state had been able to foster value-creating contributions that had enabled a deeper and better collaborative relationship with the ecosystem.

“Since the first AOT gathering, we have ignited the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council, a body consisting of private and public sector professionals.

“This body is tasked with intervening directly in the ecosystem through funding. The result to date has seen over 60 startups receive funding of between 5,000 and 12,000 dollars in the past two years,” he said.

According to Hamzat, in fulfilling the administration’s agenda of a Smart City, over 600 Smart Intelligent Video Surveillance Cameras and Intelligent Transportation Cameras for Traffic monitoring and management have been deployed across the state.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Hakeem Fahm, said for the state to experience total development throughout all facets of society, it was crucial to harness the youth’s energy in the appropriate way.

Fahm added that the Lagos youths were undoubtedly the face of the state and nation in the future.

He added that they were full of wonderful ideas and boundless energy, that if given the correct platform and plenty of opportunities, they were sure of shining like a star.

The commissioner, however, said the state government would hence focus on Talent acceleration and a Smarter Lagos.

Fahm said that the government was creating a 10-year roadmap to widening the talent acceleration pipeline to achieve talent sustainability that will deliver a smarter Lagos.