TechInAfrica – To ensure local growth in the technological and industrial sectors of a region, innovations must be regarded as a fundamental factor. Nigeria, one of the rapidly growing regions in the African continent, is no exception to this notion. In addressing the country’s unprecedented growth, General Electric—an American multinational conglomerate incorporated in New York City—calls for ‘tailored’ developments in Nigeria to better prepare the country for the impending future. In addition, General Electric asserted that specific local needs should be taken into consideration by providing decent localizations.
In African countries where most of the economy and technology scenes are still in the development phase, seed-stage industries and startups are to be bridged with home-grown solutions.
Farid Fezoua, President and CEO of General Electric Africa stressed that for Africa to up their competitiveness (on a global scale, undoubtedly), innovation and technology must be the pillars for development. Fezoua stated this emphasis during Global Innovation Barometer Survey—specifically during the launch of Nigeria’s report. Furthermore, Fezoua also disclosed that programs like GE Lagos Garage are aimed for Nigerian entrepreneurs as a notion to support the local innovation.
Aside from Fezuoa, Patricia Obozuwa—serving as Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer of General Electric Africa—expressed that tech multinational companies operating on a global scale will continue to lead and drive future innovations. This, in return, would be in accordance to the overall competitiveness of nations (for a good measure, of course!).
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor, spoke via their representation Mrs. Folasade Jaji as the Secretary to State Governor; General Electric Africa has provided a significant amount of support for the ever-growing tech industry of Nigeria. For over four decades, the company has promoted the always-emerging potentials of various resources, as well as being one of the key partners in the technological growth of the region. Such positive progression—courtesy of the local’s collaboration with General Electric—will attract more investors to support Nigerian startups and corporations.
Sanwo-Olu also asserted that GE Lagos Garage, which has been briefly mentioned above, has empowered young talents and upgraded their capabilities regarding business development related to the fields of technology. Not only business, but youths are also encouraged to contribute to areas associated with advanced manufacturing-based technology. Moreover, he conveyed:
As our partner in progress, Lagos state government will continue to collaborate with you [General Electric], especially in the critical areas of power and healthcare, as well as skills development.
Through the Lagos Garage initiative, youths, developers, and entrepreneurs alike are slowly adapting to the use of advanced manufacturing means such as 3D printing, CNC milling, and laser cutting for development purposes. The initiative provides a year-long program offering to tutor a series of skills for participants to tackle the next steps of advancements. Until today, the company has seen 400—and counting—individuals adopting their innovative training methods.
Despite some individuals oppose the idea of being taken under a wing of a protectionist—a larger company that incubates smaller ones—because they could potentially limit the growth and the investments, companies like General Electric are actually aiming to promote growth to the industry; one that has been deemed as staggering too many times.
However, those who don’t oppose the idea of being under an aegis often regard the government as ‘not quick enough’ to keep up with the pace of innovations—hence the turn towards foreign multinational companies to facilitate their needs.