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Home » Nigeria watches as Pakistan leverages youths in technology to drive FDI

Nigeria watches as Pakistan leverages youths in technology to drive FDI

Dubai|| If Nigeria wishes to retain its young talent who are leaving the country in search of better living and also attract foreign direct investment (FDI), there’s a lot the leaders can learn from Pakistan, one of the world’s most populated countries.

This country, which is the world’s fifth-most populous country, with a population of 241.5 million people is now seeing an influx of Information Technology (IT) related investments because it is the seventh largest market for smartphones in the world.

While disclosing this to BusinessDay at the ongoing SuperBridge Summit in Dubai, Umar Seif, Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication noted that “Of many countries in the number of social media users, Pakistan is more.”

“I forgot these people in very large numbers, who now have access to tools and technologies through which they can contribute to our Pakistan economy must now have its first big attack where the enterprise of the use can build bridges to educate all those who can’t go to schools,” he said.

Nigeria’s 2023 population is estimated at 223.804million people at mid-year and the country’s population is equivalent to 2.78 percent of the total world population.

Like Nigeria, Pakistan is also facing the challenge of youthful migration to the Western world. The surge in UK visa grants results from significant increases in the number of visas granted to students from India, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

Read also: Nigeria hurts FDI with Africa’s highest work visa fee

Despite its mostly youthful large population and abundant natural resources, Nigeria is finding it increasingly hard to attract investments.

Pakistan’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) increased by $146.1 million in August 2023, compared with an increase of $87.7 million in the preceding month.

Rather, the pain of the severe dollar shortage is biting deeper in Africa’s biggest economy as foreign direct investment (FDI) has plunged to $468.91 million, the lowest in at least nine years, according to official data.

According to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2023, international project finance deals targeting Africa showed a decline of 47percent in value.

The UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2023 published on July 5, shows that foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to Africa declined to $45 billion in 2022 from the record $80 billion set in 2021. They accounted for 3.5percent of global FDI.

In West Africa, Nigeria saw FDI flows turn negative to -$187 million as a result of equity divestments.

“We need billion dollars at tech companies that help us translate our economy into a contributor to the world food chain.

“So, I think all of that would happen and this would happen due to technology. It should happen due to connectivity and this would happen due to the government investing in its own people, especially the youth. You need to invest in your own people.

Read also: FDI key to Africa’s gas reserves development, says SNEPCo MD

“If you educate your own people and you give them tools and technologies, of course, we are the seventh largest potential market in the world.

“Everyone is going to come to this country and invest. They’re going to invest because we are the seventh-largest market for smartphones in the world.

“They’re going to invest because we are the fifth largest population in the world so it will certainly impact foreign direct investments in Pakistan. If we have the people, if we have, people who are educated in upscale, people would line up to come and put money into Pakistan,” Seif said.

Global business leaders and heads of government agencies at the ongoing SuperBridge Summit held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) are discussing among others how technology, innovation, good policies and climate change affect development.

The Super Bridge Summit has in attendance over 500 influential executives from the world’s leading corporates, investors, family businesses, and government organisations; over 70 visionary leaders from GCC, Asia, Africa and South America; and over 25 insightful multi-disciplinary sessions from over 20 countries.

The global economy is on the brink of major transformation. Six non-G7 economies are projected to dominate the world’s top 10 economies by 2050.

The SuperBridge Summit in partnership with GITEX GLOBAL, ignites, connects, and unites future-minded, action-oriented leaders from the world’s fastest-growing economies to explore the rise of new markets, fast-track partnerships and collaborations on transformative opportunities in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the rest of the world.

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