To further demonstrate the UK’s commitment to support the growth of Nigeria’s Tech Ecosystem through the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub and its Digital Access Programme (DAP), the British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Ben Llewellyn Jones, hosted the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Catriona Laing CB and Tech stakeholders to a reception on the 20th of September.

The reception had in attendance top Nigerian Tech stakeholders including Funke Opeke of Main One, Iyin Aboyeji of Future Africa, Kayode of Ventures Platform and other startup ecosystem representatives)

Speaking at the reception, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Catriona Laing CB said:

  The UK has placed the development and the adoption of digital inclusion at the very heart of its agenda as a global force for good, as it recognises the power of the digital economy to deliver on the sustainable development goals. 

”We are committed to help drive digital access across Nigeria  and support Nigeria to develop its digital economy by leveraging the role and expertise of the United Kingdom, in a number of areas, but particularly  through the three pillars of the global Digital Access Programme which cuts across- Connectivity and Inclusion, Cybersecurity and Sustainable Digital Ecosystems.”

Introducing the new Country Director of the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, Adaeze Sokan to the guests, the British High Commissioner said: “The Deputy High Commission welcomes Adaeze Sokan who comes with a wealth of experience that will help the UK-Nigeria tech hub achieve its objective of building sustainable digital ecosystems in Nigeria.”

Responding, Adaeze said: “I’m excited to join the team especially as the Nigerian tech space and overall digital economy is experiencing significant strides amidst some challenges which requires all stakeholders to work together to overcome. I’m looking forward to deepening the ongoing work that supports more tech founders (especially women), continue to foster linkages between the UK and Nigeria, support the growth of high-end digital skills and strengthening our collaboration with government and key stakeholders in order to harness the potential of the UK and Nigeria tech ecosystem. 

She further stated that joining the UK-NIGERIA Tech hub provide her the opportunity to deepen her efforts to make an impact on Nigeria’s digital economy. “In all my years of working with the start-up ecosystem, I strongly believe that tech can be the trigger to tech Nigeria up and build a strong digital economy that not only contributes to GDP growth but real economic development.” She said.

Adaeze Sokan has over 6 years of experience working in the tech sector, and she comes with a well-diverse experience in steering the leadership of the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub.

Prior to joining the UK -NIGERIA Tech hub, she was the Acting Executive Director of Ventures Platform Foundation where she led the team in designing and implementing organisational strategic objectives for supporting start-ups; and the ecosystem in creating jobs and access while collaborating and engaging different ecosystem players. 

She has worked with different partners across government agencies including the Office of the President and Vice President to provide advisory support and program design. She also worked with international partners such as the European Union, World Bank, US Embassy, USAID, FCDO as well as Private Sector partners such as ARM, Google, Microsoft and Facebook interested in supporting and engaging the ecosystem. She led the first delegation of start-up participants from Nigeria to SLUSH, Finland one of Europe’s foremost accelerator and conference in 2016 and facilitated other inter-country initiatives.

Editor’s Note:

  • The UK-Nigeria Tech Hub is an initiative of the UK’s Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS). It aims to support the Nigerian Tech Ecosystem by promoting high-end digital skills, building the local digital economy through ecosystem-building activities and forging partnerships between local tech firms and international business thereby delivering on the third pillar of the Digital Access Programme by developing sustainable digital ecosystems. Find out more here
  • The Digital Access Programme (DAP) is a UK Government Prosperity Fund flagship initiative led by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCO) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). The objective of the Programme is to catalyse affordable, inclusive, safe and secure digital access for underserved or excluded populations and covers countries: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia.

MORE ABOUT ADAEZE

Adaeze Sokan is an Obama Fellow and a 2021 NESG Bridge Fellow. Before becoming the Acting Executive Director at the Ventures platform, she wore different hats as, Programs, Policy and Strategy Director and helped to develop strategic focus of the organisation. She also  designed and implemented some of the organisation’s programs including acceleration/incubation/investment readiness programs, capacity building workshops, and policy advocacy including co-designing the framework for the Nigeria Start-up Bill and leading its secretariat. 

She is trained in Political Science from Illinois State University and a Masters in African Studies from University of California Los Angeles. She is passionate about Africa’s development starting with Nigeria and leverages her skills set in program design, policy analysis, strategy formulation and facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships towards achieving this goal.

When she is not working, you will find Adaeze at home with family, or blogging about strategies/frameworks for digital access and innovation in public service or coaching young people to imbibe the leadership mind-set/values required to build a better world.

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