On May 19th 2021, ATBN and Emerging Communities Africa, co-organized a virtual roundtable under the title “Building Resilient African Digital Economies post-COVID – Focus on Nigeria.” This virtual event tried to understand which are the needs of Digital Innovation Hubs in Nigeria and how hubs can be better supported to help African economies harness the digital opportunities arising and catalysing innovation on the continent. The event attracted participants, including Entrepreneurs, Digital Skills providers, Tech Hubs, and Digital Innovation Hubs, mainly from Nigeria, and consisted of two parts.
The first part consisted of solid introductory remarks and a panel discussion about the challenges and opportunities for Nigerian digital ecosystems and hubs post-COVID with four panelists: Nneka Ukay, Executive Secretary, Innovation Support Network Hubs, Joel Ogunsola, Co-Founder, Emerging Communities Africa (ECA), Mimshach Obioha, Former Executive Director, Ventures Platform, Professor Ajayi, Federal University of Tech Akure.
During the second part, the attendees were divided into groups and joined separate rooms to discuss and process two different topics. The first group reflected on “How might we support African Digital innovation hubs to become more effective catalysts for innovation?” and proposed several ideas that will be compiled and presented later on from ATBN. Group 1 reflected on the problems of the Nigerian digital ecosystems and working on possible solutions. The second group reflected on “How might we build mutually beneficial partnerships between Europe and African digital ecosystem actors?” and brainstormed on exchange ideas between the continents.
It was an interactive event, during which the participants generated ideas for building the capacity of Nigerian digital innovation hubs and enabling effective partnerships with Europe. Then, all groups returned to the plenary session, where they presented their results and further discussed their topics with the other groups. AfriConEU had live coverage of the event through Twitter.