U.S. Envoy Hails Quality of African Entrepreneurs

Mr Will Stevens, U.S. Consul General in Lagos

U.S. Envoy Hails Quality of African Entrepreneurs

Mr Will Stevens, U.S. Consul General in Lagos, says the quality of African entrepreneurs is impressive and investors are confident in their ability to build successful businesses and solve global problems.

Stevens said this while delivering a keynote address with the theme:  “Africa’s Development and the Future of Tech: The U.S. Role” at the Global Tech Africa Conference on Friday, in Lagos.

Global Tech Africa, an initiative of Future Map Global, was implemented by Ascend Studios Foundation in partnership with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the U.S. Consulate, and others.

Stevens said Africa’s technology ecosystem was “a beacon of hope, a testament to the potential of a diverse continent, and a beaming light revealing what Africa could become.”

Questioning why Africa was an investment hub, Stevens noted that U.S. investors saw the potential for high returns as African startups were growing rapidly with many of them disrupting traditional industries.

According to the consul general, Nigeria is reshaping the future of technology in Africa and her youths are changing the world.

“The U.S. believes that a digital transformation is underway in Africa, and we are consciously seeking to bolster our collaboration.

“The U.S. government has already invested $350 million into digital programming and intends to invest millions more under the Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) initiative.

“The DTA will also facilitate more than $450 million in financing to develop an inclusive and resilient digital ecosystem in Africa,” he said.

DTA initiative, launched by President Joe Biden at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in December 2022, seeks partnerships with African countries to expand digital access, increase U.S.-Africa commercial relations, support increased digital literacy, and strengthen digital enabling environments across the continent.

Stevens added that technology was playing an ever-increasing role in the deepening of the U.S.–Nigeria relationship and other relationships across the continent.

He said his country was invested in Nigeria’s technological success, adding that it was no exaggeration to say that Nigeria’s success was Africa’s success and Africa’s success was the world’s success.

According to him, beyond the staggering investment figures, U.S. investments in African startups are having a positive impact on the continent.

“U.S. technology companies operating in Africa also play a crucial role in expanding the continent’s access to reliable and secure internet.

“Startups are creating not only jobs but careers, boosting economic growth, and advancing innovation.  Despite all of these successes, we believe it is still Day 1 in the African tech sector,” Stevens said.