To build a sustainable innovation economy that solves national issues while improving the economic welfare of the citizens, governments must play their role by providing forward-thinking policies that create a suitable and stable environment for entrepreneurs and individuals to thrive.
AfriLabs is a community of over 250 innovation enablers, entrepreneurs and tech talents in 49 African countries. Our community in Nigeria consists of startups that are making remarkable strides in developing scalable solutions, providing employment and attracting record-breaking foreign and local investments. For example, last year during a pandemic, according to several funding reports, Nigerian startups raised over $100 million USD.
We believe that the Twitter ban imposed by the Government of Nigeria threatens the success story in Nigeria innovation space and will take us several steps backwards. The government cannot pledge in its vision to transform Nigeria into a leading digital economy as stated in the Nigerian National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030) and then suppress technology and communication tools that are instrumental to innovation development and stakeholder engagement.
The AfriLabs community and secretariat in Nigeria are deeply concerned by this ban. We believe that jobs and businesses that are enabled by Twitter and similar national and international platforms are under threat and this could significantly affect the economy of Nigeria, in addition to suppressing the digital rights and freedom of citizens.
AfriLabs strongly appeal to the government of Nigeria to reverse the ban and instead constructively engage the innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurs that strive every day to build a prosperous economy in Nigeria.