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Patrick was part of a Belgian economic mission in Nigeria, organised by Close the Gap and Startup.be in Belgium.
We were in Lagos, the second city of Nigeria : a city with twice the population of Belgium and 16 times the population density, with almost no high building. Lodged in a resort on Victoria Island (the expensive place) and visiting start up hubs, incubators and accelerators with local (mostly young) people starting their business, together with a group of Belgian (or almost) entrepreneurs and a journalists and a mix of other interested people. … but also visiting the other side.
Lectures, company presentations, investors pitches, drinks and lots of talks and fun.
Especially interesting for me was the visit of We-cyclers, who won the King Boudewijn Foundation African Development price. They succeed in fighting many goals at the same time and make it working : cleaning up the plastic waste in central Africa, creating work locally, giving an extra income for locals who help in the collection. Passionate about supporting them to spread their ideas.
And we visited the Damian Foundation, and their “It’s time, to keep the promise to end TBC”.
And last but not least, I visited with a small group of our delegation, the famous Slum “Makoko”. Famous because of the BBC reporting in 2010, who caused the government to try to destroy and shut down the slum because of the effect on it’s national fame. We went by boat, and it was like floating on a sewer, of sanitary smells and floating plastic trash. And people live and thrive on it.
Many impressions, still needing to settle down.