By Bennett Oghifo
The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. W. Stuart Symington, Friday, opened Nigeria’s first state-of-the art Priority American Space that will promote ingenious ideas, critical thinking and reasoned discourse.
The Priority American Space, which is hosted at the Yaba offices of technology incubator, Co-Creation Hub (CC-Hub), has a rich array of programmes and trainings, and is the 10th of its sort in Africa, with 67 Priority American Spaces worldwide.
At the event attended by technology leaders, Ambassador Symington explained that the space, which is equipped with cutting-edge digital technology, is a center for Nigerians to develop innovative ideas, learn about the United States and its people, explore possible study at U.S. universities, enjoy U.S. cultural programmes and also interact with U.S. exchange programme alumni.
“At the Priority American Space in Lagos, we are investing in technology and programmes to unleash the creativity of Nigeria’s burgeoning community of innovators. We are pleased to partner with Co-Creation Hub, a leading force for incubating social entrepreneurship and technological advancement,” Ambassador Symington said.
The Centre, now open to the members of the public, comprises a MakerSpace –– a tech area designed to promote digital skill building; a workshop space equipped with the latest laptops and tablets for internet learning; a conversation space for small group meetings and research and a meeting space that supports innovation and creative collaboration.
The U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Darcy Zotter explained that everyone is welcome to use the facilities in the Priority
American Space, adding that it is free. “You don’t have to be a member; it is free, it is open Monday to Friday 10 AM to 5PMand it has a wide range of resources. It is a creativity space. All you need to do is register.”
Describing the flow, Zotter said, “The way we are looking at this is you can come and you work on an idea, then you can go to the conversation space. You can sit there with your friends and buddies and hopefully come up with a better idea; you probably do a little more research, we will provide the tools for you to do the research and over there we have the maker space where you make it happen.”
She said what the US Government is trying to do is to provide Nigerians with the tools they need to use their own talents, creativity and innovation. “We provide the tools but we can’t provide the human power; that is over to you.”