Former Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, is set to revolutionize Nigeria’s startup landscape with a $100 million venture capital fund. Pledging an initial $2 million of his own, El-Rufai is on a mission to propel emerging businesses, particularly in the thriving tech sector of Kaduna.
In a bold move, El-Rufai plans to attract investors by leveraging his strategic insight, stating, “We’re targeting investors who trust our judgment for detailed analysis but may lack the capacity or time to conduct it themselves.” His recent engagement at the Africa Investment Forum showcased a reenergized figure actively contributing to discussions on vital sectors aligned with Sustainable Development Goals, African Development Bank’s High 5s, and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
Collaborating with private sector partners, including Eyo Ekpo of Excredite Consulting Limited, El-Rufai aims to make a significant impact not only in Nigeria but across Africa. Recognizing Africa’s potential in the global workforce by 2050, he stresses the urgency of investing in the younger demographic.
This venture capital fund isn’t limited to supporting startups; it also addresses management challenges in established yet promising companies. El-Rufai envisions injecting funds, resolving issues, and guiding these firms toward successful exits. He emphasizes, “We want to catalyze growth in these startups, not linger in any business.”
El-Rufai’s strategic vision extends to forging continental partnerships and exploring opportunities with climate-focused investors. He underscores Nigeria’s strengths—population, entrepreneurial capability, and youth innovation—as assets with global significance.
The fund, set to operate for three to four years, is poised for an early launch next year. Choosing Abuja as the headquarters aims to diversify funding beyond Lagos, stimulating interest in startup funding across ecosystems in Kaduna, Abuja, and other regions.
The initiative extends beyond economic gains, signaling a commitment to corporate sustainability and societal well-being. El-Rufai’s venture capital fund emerges as a catalyst for positive societal change, shaping a dynamic and inclusive future for Nigeria and the broader African continent.