Grammy-winning rapper partners with Plateau State government to build a tech hub in Nigeria

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December 13, 2023
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2 min read
A music studio
Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash
  • Wyclef Jean, a Haitian rapper and investor, has reached a landmark agreement with the Plateau State government in Nigeria to build a technology and infrastructure hub. 
  • Wyclef Jean’s new partnership with the Plateau state government will join existing efforts by other players, including Aduna Capital, former Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai, and Alewa House, to accelerate tech growth in Northern Nigeria. 
  • This tech hub will feature state-of-the-art music and movie studios and span over 4000 hectares (over 15 square miles) of land within Plateau.   

The Grammy-winning rapper is collaborating on this project with Caribbean International Commerce Holding (CICH), a tech organisation that helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) simplify, digitise, and automate financial operations.

Wyclef Jean's new collaboration with the Plateau state government will support ongoing initiatives by other players to boost Northern Nigeria's tech sector. 

On December 4, 2023, Nasir El-Rufai, former Kaduna State governor, announced plans to launch a $100 million fund aimed at diversifying startup investments in Nigeria beyond Lagos.

In November 2023, Aduna Capital, a Nigerian VC firm, announced the launch of a $20 million fund. The fund will invest 55.5% of its capital in startups in Northern Nigeria, with the rest split between other regions of the country and Africa.

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According to Wyclef Jean, the collaboration brings together economic empowerment, sustainability, and technological innovation. He maintains that the partnership will merge art, tech, and commerce, bringing the “music of innovation” to Nigeria while exposing more of the world to the music of Nigeria. 

In early 2024, the Haitian rapper will travel to Jos to participate in the Incredible Music Festival, organised by Jude Abaga, better known by his stage name, MI, a famous Nigerian rapper. 

MI, who presently advises Caleb Mutfwang, Plateau state governor, on entertainment and creativity on an honorary basis, will collaborate with Jean to carry out this project.

In 2020, Jean's initiatives raised $25 million in capital funding to invest in music publishing services in Africa, the Caribbean, and other developing countries.

This announcement is coming in the same month Chief Kefas Wungak, a former gubernatorial candidate in Plateau state, unveiled the Kefiano Creative Hub, whose target by 2024 is to equip 1,700 Plateau youths with relevant ICT skills. 

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The development also highlights Nigeria's evolving intersection of music and technology, with artists such as Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade — Mr Eazi —  and MI at the forefront.  

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