ABUJA - Nigeria has launched a $672 million fund to support its tech startups amid the upheaval caused by the recent collapse of three key US banks.

The fund was launched on March 14 under the government’s Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme (DCEP).

Its corpus will include $170 million in contributions from the African Development Bank (AfDB), $116 million from the Agence Francaise de Developpement, $70 million from the Islamic Development Bank, and $271 million from the country’s private sector.

The government itself will provide $45 million. Africa’s biggest economy has been the quickest in the continent to react to the crisis, aiming largely to reduce the dependence on startup funding from the US.

The three now-defunct US-based lenders, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Silvergate Bank, and Signature Bank, had been supporting tech-focused venture capitalism in Africa. Their collapse spells a dark moment for that ecosystem.