French Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships H.E. Dr. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou inaugurated the freshly launched French Tech Community – Lagos chapter.
Other participants include Mr. Steve Dakayi-Kamaga, founder of Betâstore and Chairman of French Tech Lagos; Ms. Jane Ekeh, Co-founder and COO of Gas360; Mr. Romain Poirot-Lellig, founder and CEO of Kwik Delivery; Ms. Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson is the founder and CEO of Healthtraka.
Launched in January 2023, the French Tech Community in Lagos gathers startups and entrepreneurs which, while based in Nigeria, have a connection to France. Its pursues the goal of promoting France & Nigeria as destinations for business and entrepreneurship, aiming to create bridges between the French and Nigerian tech ecosystems.
The Lagos Community is part of a network of over 100 French Tech hubs across the world.
“I would like to commend the establishment of a French Tech Community in Lagos. Given the potential of the digital industry here, it was essential to create a structure that would make the Nigerian tech ecosystem more visible to French players and highlight the opportunities that this country offers”, Dr. Zacharopoulou said in her opening speech.
She added: “Lagos is undoubtedly the heart of African tech and home to the continent’s most promising startups. This is why French public operators are already involved through initiatives such as Digital Africa – an initiative of President Emmanuel Macron to support young entrepreneurs in Africa – and the iDice programme, which was recently launched by the Nigerian government with a financial contribution of 100 M Euros from AFD.
We expect French private investors to become even more involved in the near future.”
As the European Union #1 tech hub (as per the total amount of capital raised in the past few years), France is already home to a number of Nigerian startups, such as Gas360, which recently opened an office in Toulouse, or Koolboks, which operates both in Paris and Lagos.
According to the OECD, France is the European country that is most attractive for start-up founders, and it globally ranks 3rd, after Canada and the United States. For the fourth consecutive year, France has been the number one investment destination in Europe.
The country is home to close to 150 R&D centres, and French-based startups have raised a total of $13.5 billion in 2022 alone.
According to the Minister, a few policies can explain why France can represent an attractive destination for Nigerian start-ups: “We have created the French Tech Visa, a simplified and accelerated procedure for investors, founders and employees of non-European start-ups wishing to set up in France.
Besides, they can request be personally assisted in this by a dedicated office. While in Paris, a French Tech International Community offers practical advice to facilitate integration of the business and the staff in the local ecosystem.”