In our highly globalized world today, innovation has become a key distinct feature that can define long-term business success, which in turn leads to economic growth and consequent job creation. Fostering innovation has however often been the privilege of wealthy nations, given the high R&D costs associated with it and the investments in human capital required to succeed in this undertaking.
Innovation in Africa however, has paradoxically existed despite a prevailing developmental environment plagued by deficits in skills, technologies and infrastructure. Innovation on the continent stems from the urgent need to find immediate and sustainable solutions for critical problems Africa has been facing, which threatens to hinder its next phase of development, if not handled appropriately. It also relies on Africa’s extensive supply of ideas, which emanates from the minds of its own people. With the fastest growing population on earth, Africa has more human capital potential than anywhere else on earth. Increasingly well-educated African youths have the motivation and potential to think of suitable African solutions to widespread African problems. Entrepreneurship also plays a major role and according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, among the 10 countries with the highest number of start-ups in the entire world, five are African. Innovators on the continent are clearly living in a new era of opportunity where there is an enormous need for innovation.
A major component of the current administration’s Restoration mandate is creating jobs and building a prosperous society for all. In line with this, Kaduna State Government has demonstrated its unwavering commitment towards developing its human capital, infrastructure, policies and reforming the business environment to foster innovation and facilitate the easy inflow of investments into the State. These reforms and projects – combined with Kaduna’s natural potential, teaming youthful population, and the solid pedestal of committed and visionary leadership – have clearly precipitated remarkable progress. Even more satisfying is the fact that according to the World Bank, Kaduna is now the overall best State in Nigeria to do business in. (Abdin, 2019). If Kaduna can develop an integrated innovation ecosystem, it stands to supercharge its economy, its society and the livelihoods of millions in the State.
Against this backdrop, KADINVEST 5.0 is poised to showcase and market Kaduna to national and international audiences as the prime investment destination in Africa. Investments and innovation will ultimately disrupt Kaduna’s dominant economic sectors such as agriculture, extractive and manufacturing industries, etc., offering the State an unparalleled opportunity to transform and thrive.
Unleashing the power of innovation at KADINVEST 5.0 will create an important platform for widespread development across the State. In order to achieve this, the State is focused on the vital need to invest in the 3 pillars that ultimately drive wealth creation; our people, our infrastructure, and business ecosystem.
This year’s theme aims to consolidate the previous themes from
“Kaduna is Open for Business” (KADINVEST 1.0), “Making Kaduna the Investment Destination of Choice” (KADINVEST 2.0),
“Partnerships for Development” (KADINVEST 3.0) and “Expanding Investment Frontiers (KADINVEST 4.0). Kaduna State is recognizing the vital role innovation plays in the economy and how Investors can key into this by not only investing in the creation of new technologies and methods, but by also increasing the adoption and adaptation of existing technologies to improve our industries and business ecosystem. This will inform the theme of KADINVEST 5.0 titled “Infrastructure, Industrialisation, and Innovation.”
Discussions will revolve around the following:
Prioritizing innovation as a key ingredient for sustained growth in Kaduna State.
Investment partnerships towards improving physical and digital infrastructure (automation) for businesses.
Strengthening rural communities via innovation in agriculture to offer new opportunities for job creation.
Tapping the State’s immense human capital potential to crowdsource innovative ideas and drive economic growth.
PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
The main purpose of KADINVEST 5.0 will be to identify the evolution of infrastructure, business models, tourism and business ecosystem innovation as key success factors to fully realise Kaduna State’s future. The Summit will act as a focal point for dialogue and co-operation on the challenges and opportunities presented by innovation, investments and advanced technologies, which are merging our physical, digital and biological worlds.
The Summit will acknowledge that increasing the State’s innovation capacity and returns on investments are dependent on critical factors such as capital, economic policies, cost of doing business, enforcement of contracts, cost effective dispute resolution, protection of intellectual and property rights etc.
Some key objectives of the summit will include:
Showcasing Kaduna State as Nigeria’s leading investment destination in at least two priority sectors.
Highlighting the State’s commitment towards prioritizing innovative investment ideas.
Engaging partners for basic infrastructure towards full automation of processes.
Facilitating more robust discussions between investors and the government with a view to building linkages for investments and job creation.
Articulating the investment advantages across the local governments in the State to stimulate healthy competition and jumpstart local economies.
Paving the way for industrialization and tech-related investments in the State.
Continued improvement of the business environment for economic viability and creation of jobs
The Summit’s sessions will explore how we think about innovation, why it matters, how it is shaping markets here and around the world, and what it means for businesses in Kaduna. 4 plenary sessions will take place on the following:
Industrialization Plenary: will focus on the growth of target and critical industries, with supporting infrastructure and innovation, to expedite economic growth and development.
Technology in Business Plenary: will focus on the adoption of new technologies to improve business processes and create more jobs for our youthful population.
Rethinking Agriculture Plenary: will sensitize the audience on the value of innovation and its impact on the future of agriculture in Kaduna State.
Urban Renewal Plenary: will showcase what Kaduna State is doing about urbanization and its impact on investment and how for the State is going to position itself as a choice place to work, live and play.
Creative Arts Plenary: will focus on the tourism potential of Kaduna State and how innovation through technology can improve the value of tourism and creative arts in Kaduna State, by creating an environment to nurture local talent and investing in the necessary infrastructure to leapfrog into the global content driven economy.
We have introduced an awards session at this year’s Summit and a B2B and G2B session at the corners of the hall to enable businesses engage with key government officials to answer enquiries. We will also want to introduce a video on the new Kaduna City with all the new layouts fully displayed that the Urban Renewal project will spring out, so that people can apply for properties with the intended aim of generating revenues for KDSG.