Nigerian government pledges R4 billion to entrepreneurs and innovators

Nigerian government pledges R4 billion to entrepreneurs and innovators

- The Nigerian government has announced a plan to provide funding for entrepreneurs and innovators to the tune of $268 million (around R4 billion)

- Out of the amount, $248 million (R3.8 billion) will be given out as 'soft loans' by the country's central bank

- The remaining $20 million (R306 million) has been set aside as funding for young technological entrepreneurs

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The Nigerian government has approved a $268 million facility to support entrepreneurs and innovators in the country.

The beneficiaries were selected from the agricultural and technological sectors, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo stated.

Funding worth $248 million would be given out by the central bank as 'soft loans'.

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This will be made available primarily for people starting small scale-agricultural businesses.

Another $20 million is to provide funding for young technological entrepreneurs, according to the presidency.

The decision to give out the money is in line with attempts to diversify the country’s economy.

Ultimately, the plan is to create options outside the oil industries by increasing productivity in the non-oil industries.

In other news, Ghana has initiated a process of restructuring expensive energy contracts as it seeks to reduce costs in that sector.

In that respect, it is considering a plan to buy out debts of independent power producers in a bid to reduce its power bill. Ghana, regarded as West Africa’s second-biggest economy, pays about $500 million every year for te power it does not consume.

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Meanwhile, South Africa and Kenya are leading the charge towards widescale use of renewable energy on the continent.

Africa's major economies are investing in wind and other forms of renewable and green energy sources in an attempt to boost the total outputs of their national grids.

South Africa should add an additional 3.3 gigawatts of power through wind farms by 2024.

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