The Nigerian and Moroccan governments are partnering on a number of technological initiatives aimed at empowering startups for national development. Both African countries are harnessing joint potentials to grow their individual economies using tech startups as growth drivers. The economic collaboration is geared towards oil & gas, agriculture, skill acquisition, mining, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Considering that the country spends nearly 85% of her resources on the continent, analysts say Morocco is the second-largest investor in Africa – with her GDP growing at a rate of 4.4% in the last 15 years.
Notably, the North African country has universities where Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, data science and data analytics, as well as neural networks are applied to farming practices among other things. The country also applies wireless sensors powered by solar technology to drive her irrigation systems, monitor crops and livestock, and map distribution of fertiliser and pesticides.
Nigeria is looking to tap into this tech expertise.
The Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Morocco teamed with MassChallenge to launch Impulve Programme with the supports of OCP Group and OCP Africa. MassChallenge is a global tech accelerator, and the Impulse Programme is designed to empower tech startups in the fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology as well as Agric-tech to access higher growths over a 12-week period.
Participants will have access to OCP Group’s networks as well as UM6P’s infrastructure and labs. They will embark on field trips to Boston and Lausanne. The winner startups will win a $250,000 cash prize and have direct access to investment funds and international investors. The good news here is that Morocco is extending this Impulse Programme to Nigerian startups as well.
Nigerian startups in the nano and biotech space will be able to leverage this opportunity. The same is true for indigenous startups in the agro-industrial markets, robotics and drones, as well as data management platforms. Apart from the prize to be won, the ultimate objective of the programme is to generate new tech startups, accelerate innovations, create more jobs, scale entrepreneurship, and strengthen economic growths.
It is on record that the Impulse Programme will later be introduced to tech startups in Ethiopia and Ivory Coast.
“We want to build the capacity of startups and SMEs and prepare them for potential financing,” sand Impulse Programme Director, Adnane Soulimani, a Moroccan.