The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has received 407 start-up applications for sponsorship to the annual Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) scheduled for next month in Dubai.

GITEX, an annual consumer computer and electronics trade show, exhibition, and conference that take place in Dubai draws participation from over 140 countries every year and attracts more than 90 countries pavilions and trade visitors in excess of 150, 000.

The Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations Unit of NITDA, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, stated this on Wednesday in Abuja and confirmed that about 407 sponsorship applications had been received by the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), an arm of the agency for start-ups vying to be sponsored to the GITEX Future Superstars 2018.

“NITDA plans to promote 10 start-ups to join their over 600 peers from over 45 countries at the Global Start-ups Movement in GITEX,”

Umar hinted further the theme of the exhibition would focus on start-ups creating solutions to address issues on Smart Cities, Energy, Smart Construction, Healthcare, Education, Retail, Transport and Logistics.

According to her, start-ups to be sponsored to GITEX will be selected by the country’s tech ambassadors consisting of officials of the agency, innovation hubs and angel investors among others criteria.

She said that the country would be promoting issues centred on activities on information technology investment and exposure of indigenous tech companies during the programme.

Umar stated: “Nigeria plans to promote three thematic activities this year on IT investment and exposure of indigenous tech companies.

“The activities are the Nigerian Pavilion, the Start-ups Innovation Hub and the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) put together by the Federal Government and stakeholders part of GITEX organising team”, the NITDA spokesperson added.

She explained that some of Nigerian start-ups, who would win during the competition in the GITEX Future Stars, would be exposed to a large pool of global venture capitalists, mentors and angel investors.

Umar projected that the forum is bound to attract investment to Nigeria as a gateway to exploring business opportunities in Africa, particularly the ICT sector, which included technology business communities in Asia, Europe and America.