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Nigeria: a Knowledge Economic Zone in Ekiti

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by: Andrea Spinelli Barrile | March 1, 2024

The African Development Bank (Afdb) has committed to providing an $80 million loan for the Ekiti knowledge zone (Ekz) project in Nigeria, a project aimed at creating a special knowledge economic zone in the Nigerian state of Ekiti . The goal is to transform the region into an innovation hub of the digital and knowledge economy by connecting educators, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and industries in the same site.

This was reported in an official press release from Afdb.

More than just a project, the Ekiti knowledge zone promises to be a place where ideas converge, creativity flourishes and dreams take shape: the government of the Nigerian state of Ekiti pledges to provide 14.8 million dollars in compensation for complete financing of the project which costs $94.8 million.

In April 2023, the federal government of Nigeria awarded the project “free zone” status under the Nepza (Nigeria export processing zone authority) law: this allows private investors to benefit from numerous advantages and incentives, such as free land , tax exemptions and exemptions from import and export duties. Spread across 40 hectares, Ekz aims to catalyze digital entrepreneurship, create 26,000 jobs and inject $14 million annually into the economy once the project is completed.

The project involves the development of world-class infrastructure, the creation of a 20-hectare green technology park and the provision of roads, electricity, water supply and wastewater treatment services. It will also invest in human capital, especially youth, with information and communications technology training plans for over 19,000 people in Ekiti and neighboring states.

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