The Federal Government of Nigeria’s i-DICE Program launched on 14th March 2023 promotes investment in information and communication technology (ICT) and creative industries. The broad goal of this Program is to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in digital and creative industries in order to support the government’s job creation efforts, particularly for young people, by harnessing Nigeria’s youth talent pool (between the ages of 15 and 35 years) and equipping them with technology and creative skills to increase their employability; foster innovation, and support the emergence of more entrepreneurs; and support their growth in order to unlock their potential to create employment and support enactment of enabling regulatory frameworks and policies for new businesses and innovative ventures. This is the connection between i-DICE and Opolo Global Innovation main focus of D.I.S.E (Digital, Innovation, Skill, and Enterprise)
Opolo Global innovation Limited is an innovation enabler, incubator, and accelerator with a focus on nurturing talent to become global innovators, solution developers, and entrepreneurs. Opolo creates an environment to congregate entrepreneurs, investors, corporate entities, thought leaders, researchers and lecturers, indigenous innovators, and startups to inspire sustained economic growth across the country. Opolo Global provides an environment that serves as a springboard for talented youth, young entrepreneurs, and researchers to develop, grow and nurture the imagination to ideas and birth solutions for emerging challenges. i-DICE Program fits into Opolo Global initiatives (R.I.C.E, TaaS, and HMaaS) which are embedded in Opolo DISE (Digital, Innovation, Skill, and Enterprise) strategic focus.
R.I.C.E (Research Innovation Commercialisation and Enterprise)
The R.I.C.E is the powerhouse for research activities in Opolo Global. It has as one of its goals collaboration with researchers in private and public institutions (Universities and research institutes, private partners e,tc) locally and internationally in the areas of innovative research, commercialisation of research outcomes, and capacity building. With the level of emerging cases evolving globally, research and development is expanding in the areas of ICT, innovation in Artificial Intelligence for health, and agriculture, among others. Opolo Global builds strong ecosystem collaborations in research to support digital technology, climate change (adaptation, mitigation and resilience) and creative sectors.
TaaS (Talent as a Service)
The launch of i-DICE is a major step toward significantly upscaling entrepreneurship and innovation in digital technology and creative industries, which include film, fashion and music etc. Nigeria population rest heavily on the youth and the bulk of these youths are unemployed and a few that are underemployed. The rising unemployment rate of youths is alarming and the cause of this situation is the fact that majority of them are not employable due to their skills (have skills that do not match the available jobs) or there are no establishments to absorb these youths after graduation. The thrust of Opolo Global and i-DICE is the TaaS initiative which is targeted towards skilling and upskilling youths with employability skills. TaaS initiative of Opolo Global bridge unemployment gap by nurturing and training young talents in skills that fits into the now and future job market. The now and future job is moving more into the digital and technology space, which Opolo has identified and is proffering solutions by identifying, on-boarding and support talents through capacity building, internship program for industry experience, and mentorship program. Talents from Opolo ecosystem are supported through network structure and startup creation for employment of talents. Opolo Global Innovation Limited is teeming with talented youths who are founders or co-founders of digital solutions for various sectors but emphasis on climate change, green economy, creative industry, the tech/fintech, real-estate, health and agriculture sectors.
Talents support and nurturing are not done in abstraction, but in space (virtual or physical) and Opolo continue to expand its reach with physical community Innovation and Incubation Centres in rural areas (that is Otan Ayegbaju and Ifetedo) to provide digital and other opportunities for the underserved Nigerians and also University campus based. Innovation incubation and Technology Hubs in major Nigeria Universities in Ile-Ife, Osogbo, Ibadan, Akure, Bauchi, Kano, Zaria, Gombe, Ilorin, Benin, Enugu, and Port Harcourt with the support of Bank of Industry and other stakeholder and partners in Nigeria and globally. Opolo Global hubs across Nigeria and in partnership with other global leading universities and organisations in the UK, Canada, USA and Africa provide such services. Opolo hub and workspace facilities (Virtual or physical) create a network structure opportunity to birth their ideas into productive solutions, solving emerging challenges globally.
HMaaS (Hub Management as a Service)
The goal of i-DICE is to develop young talents to create high-potential start-ups, and build communities of technology and digital solution providers. Innovation hub centres train and incubate young people. With the help of digital and creative incubation hubs, innovation centres of excellence, and digital satellite laboratories located in universities and polytechnics, i-DICE aims to mentor and teach young people digital and creative entrepreneurship as well as ICT in-demand skills. The presence of Opolo Global Innovation in various Nigerian universities provides HMaaS operations, and the services include hub retrofitting and implementation, as well as hub activity and sustainability (managing the operations, programs, and digital and human resources in the hubs). i-DICE program development and implementation can leverage Opolo’s HMaaS operation in managing i-DICE incubation hubs across Nigeria Universities and Polytechnics.