The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has inaugurated a Board of Directors for Edo Innovates, to drive the next phase of development of the state’s innovation hub to launch and support careers in technology and innovation in the state.

The board is chaired by the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Swifta Systems and Services, Mr. Victor Asemota, with Hub Manager of Edo Innovates, Mr. Asemota Izoduwa Precious as Secretary.

Other members of the Board of Directors include Edo State Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs), Mrs. Ukinebo Dare; Head of Operations, GTM Sub-Saharan Africa, Google, Mrs. Ego Aimiede Obi; Head of Growth, Hover Developer Services Inc., Miss Peace Itimi; Senior Special Assistant (Digital Transformation) to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief Operating Officer of DBH Solutions, Mr. Oswald Guobadia.

According to the governor, “Edo Innovates is an initiative of the Edo State Government with an objective to leverage skills development and investment promotion in tech for job creation. Over the years, the innovation cluster has attracted multiple local and international partnerships to launch thousands of young people in Edo State into careers in technology.”

“Some international organizations that are already in partnership with Edo State Skills Development Agency in this regard include Amazon, Microsoft and ButterflyWorks,” he added.

Obaseki said with the progress made in driving technology and innovation through Edo Innovates, it has become vital to set up a board to help place the hub strategically in the heart of the government’s promise to the Edo youths.

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He noted that the key purpose of the Edo Innovates Board of Directors is to serve as the overarching layer in the governance structure of Edo Innovates, providing strategic policy guidance, strengthening the governance structure to re-assure existing and new stakeholders and support the government’s objectives of a thriving hub.

He said some of the government’s objectives for the board is to “Establish a PPP model for the hub; encourage and support private sector participation in the delivery of skills and other activities of Edo Innovates; oversee the ongoing activities and perform an institutional review of Edo Innovates; attract more world-class partners to increase investment in building talent in the state and scale up existing initiatives to other locations within the state.”

The governor added: “In order to achieve this, the Board will be overseeing the implementation of the World Bank EdoBEST DLIs, which are focused on strengthening the good work going on at Edo Innovates.

“One of our priorities for the EdoBEST project is the establishment of two additional hubs and it is important that they remain under an umbrella body that can provide transparent governance, especially with the issuance of grant funding.

“This will lead to the establishment of private sector partnerships to leverage the resources and expertise of global and regional tech companies, foundations, and innovation networks to attract new skills development and entrepreneurship programmes to Edo State.”

“Furthermore, this team will advise me on more ways to position the state to deliver digital skills and entrepreneurship training programs that are aligned with private sector needs. For example, online work and micro-work are global work opportunities that could be made available to the youth of Edo State,” Obaseki noted.