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Israeli Innovation Centers to Expand in Nigeria Amid Microsoft Closure

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Israeli Innovation Centers expanding in Nigeria, adding 30 to Abuja, strengthen ties. Microsoft’s closure of its Lagos center, impacting 500 jobs, contrasts with Israel’s commitment to Nigerian tech, promising growth.

In a move set to deepen bilateral ties, Israel has announced plans to open 30 new innovation centers across Nigeria, in addition to the existing center in Abuja. This announcement comes amidst Microsoft’s decision to shut down its African Development Centre (ADC) in Ikoyi, Lagos, affecting over 500 jobs.

The Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Freeman, revealed these plans during a visit to Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu, the wife of Nigeria’s President, at the State House in Abuja. Freeman commended Tinubu’s various programs in women empowerment, agriculture, youth, and education. He outlined four key areas of collaboration with Tinubu, including science and technology, the establishment of computer classrooms to train rescued girls, and a Textile Arts Program for young Nigerians.

Tinubu expressed gratitude for the proposed collaboration, emphasizing that Nigeria is poised for greatness with the cooperation and support of foreign partners like Israel. The Deputy Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, Inbar Garden, also accompanied Freeman on the visit.

Nigeria and Israel have longstanding diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties dating back to the 1960s. Over 50 Israeli companies have invested in Nigeria across various sectors, including construction, infrastructure, and information technology. These ties have been strengthened through entities such as the Nigerian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce and the Israel-Africa Chamber of Commerce.

Despite the closure of Microsoft’s ADC in Lagos, Israel’s commitment to expanding its innovation footprint in Nigeria reflects a positive outlook for technology and economic growth in the region. It also underscores the importance of international partnerships in driving development and innovation across Africa.

This move aligns with Israel’s strategic interest in fostering technological innovation and sharing expertise with African nations, contributing to the continent’s development and economic growth.

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