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Nigeria Courts US Media, Tech Investment

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Representatives of the US media, tech and investment sectors have been meeting in Silicon Valley with Nigerian government ministers and a delegation of private industry executives about potential business and investment opportunities in the country.

For two days earlier this week, visitors from the US venture capital and private equity sector, as well as executives from tech giants such as Google, met and debated at an investment summit with Yemi Osinbajo, vice president of Nigeria's federal government, and Dr Okey Enelamah, Industry, Trade & Investment Minister, and others from media, tech and entertainment sectors in the West African powerhouse. In addition, Osinbajo visited the headquarters of Google and LinkedIn.

Among the US visitors were Tim Kendall, an investor who was formerly president of image-based content-sharing platform Pinterest and who held senior positions at Facebook and Amazon, and representatives from California-based StreetEdge Capital and Rise Capital.

The vice president told attendees at the summit that the Nigerian government is focused on ensuring a regulatory environment that will stimulate growth in the creative industries, including the protection of intellectual property and the protection of investments.

Osinbajo added that President Muhammadu Buhari's administration aims to improve the country's infrastructure and technology to grow Nigeria's entertainment sector and the digital economy. "We are also, of course, very interested in many ways, in deepening infrastructure, especially broadband, connectivity and all of that, because we think that mobile telephony is going to be one of the big ways, especially for the distribution of film… And we are convinced that with the size of our population, we must find ways of getting film and content onto mobile phones, and also working out payment systems around that because we think that that is the way this is going to go."

He added: "We know that in the next couple of years, that really is where a lot of development is going to go to, and we are very anxious to get our regulations right, to get all of our laws in place and to ensure that we are able to attract all of you who want to do business with us, especially those of you who are coming from other countries. As for the Nigerians, we are, of course, actively engaged with the local industry, and that is one of the reasons why we have the advisory council which takes into account many of our local investors, local artistes and the local entertainment crowd generally."

— The staff, Connecting Africa

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