Her name is Hauwa and she’s a dream come true!
I have heard and read about the Abuja Technology Village like many others but a meeting with the young and dynamic manager of the project has added a huge chunk to my belief in the role Nigeria will play over the next few years — especially through the opportunities that ICTs provide. I met Hauwa through Aminu (another example of a fine young Nigerian who is strategically positioned to add value to the Nigerian project) and I now understand why he sent that first FaceBook message.
My passion for the establishment of incubators that can allow young entrepreneurial minds to focus on converting smart ICT-driven business or social ideas into successful businesses isn’t hidden. At every opportunity, I have argued that the way forward for developing economies with such limitations as ours would be to groom the many ideas that end up behind counters — and by that I refer to the many entrepreneurs who have ended up as tellers in banks. Just imagine how many potential Google owners are busy waiting for end-of-day as I write this. How many more potential Globacoms are waiting for pay checks because their attempt at entrepreneurship was finger-burning.
I know how tough it is to ride the weather — and I still am, by the way — but I also know that if there was a place where young people could walk into for the purpose of developing their ideas into businesses without the worry of huge bills (administrative, facility, and the many usual suspects), the principles of a truly free enterprise system will play out. And Nigeria will be better for it, moving from a nation that produces job-seekers to one that produces entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs (those who bring entrepreneurship dynamics to an idea that is not necessarily theirs).
After discussing the ambitious Abuja Technology Village (ATV) project, the now-running African University of Science & Technology (strategically located next to the ATV) and the role of youth in transforming Nigeria, Hauwa launched into the role ATV is playing in making my dream — and that of many others — come true. With a meticulous plan to start an incubation program that will grow from their present Central District office into their massive space close to the Abuja airport, she explained how the program will work and led a tour around the impressive facilities. Next week, the first set of “tenants” will be interviewed and I personally look forward to the first 6 weeks of this grand idea!
Hauwa is another reason why I keep telling young Nigerians that the army of New Nigerians is gaining strength. These young people who believe in Nigeria and are working hard at her growth are my dream come true! Aluta continua, victoria ascerta!