How Three Tech ‘Kids’ Won USD$30,000 @ GenesysIGNITE (Enugu)

(L-R): Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. “CFA”, Founder,; Mohammed Ibrahim Jega, Founder of Startup Arewa; Kingsley Eze, Founder, Genesys Tech Hub and Saidu Abdulahi, tech enthusiast, at GenesysIgnite event held on Friday, December 15, 2017 in Enugu State, Nigeria.

Nigerian youths have been advised to tech advantage of the technology startups hubs in the regions of the country in their quest along the digital revolution uptakes across the country.

Senator Ken Nnamani, erstwhile President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria, who gave the advice as three tech startups were presented with the cheque of USD$10,000 Each in Enugu on Friday at the annual technology hubs for start-ups in the South East region tagged GenesysIGNITE 2017.

Technology has been identified as a powerful tool to redeem and redirect the economy of Nigeria, especially the South East region. This is the unanimous view of speakers and panellists at GenesysIGNITE 2017 regarded as the biggest annual convergence of technology hubs and start-ups in the region.

The three tech start-ups carted home USD$10,000 each after emerging victorious in the pitching session held in collaboration with among over 2000 start-ups drawn from Enugu, Abia, Uyo, Imo, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi and other neighbouring states.

Senator Nnamani who chaired the event noted that the future of Nigeria belongs to the digital economy and it is high time for educational institutions, especially the universities to ‘feed’ the technology industry with skilled manpower and graduates fit for the purpose.

He also showered encomiums on Genesys for their forsight and igniting a mind shift among the youths “from election ballot box snatching to technological evolution in the region”.

He added, “What Genesys is trying to ignite in the South East and Enugu State in particular is awesome, by opening the eyes of our young people to tech disruptions and opportunities. It is important, because our people are ingenious and if we can apply the ingenuity in the tech ecosystem we can compete with the Silicon Valley. It is high time we shift our ingenuity from snatching ballot boxes during elections, and channel the strengths towards technology.”

According to Kingsley Eze, founder and CEO of Genesys Tech Hub, the main objective of the GenesysIGNITE was to discuss latest technology trends that impact the regions, and to proffer strategies for unearthing benefits in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy at large. Through the event, he said, they are also promoting innovative business solutions and ideas, currently propagated in the form of start-ups, within the region, culminating in capacity building and other exigencies to help them thrive.

Presenting the cash prizes to Tutor Finder, PlayJoor and House of Uwe, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, said that it was high time various research and development results were pulled off the shelves from the Nigerian universities and turned to commercial products.

Any nation that produces science and technology experts is always the toast of the world. Genesys is doing what the Government has in mind with regards to youth development – capacity building, incubation, providing venture capitals. I can tell you that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology will support this platform to ensure that the young people are given a space to express themselves and add value to the economy.”

Dr. Onu added that the Ministry through the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), the Federal government is addressing issues related to patent and intellectual property as means to safeguard investments and ideas of the young people.

Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr., founder, who moderated the panel session advised “youths to take full advantage of the opportunities that follow GenesysIGNITE 2017.”

On his part, Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) tied digital innovation and development to digital literacy, stating that Government needs to move towards the “pull” strategy with emphasis in the development of appropriate legal framework, applications and local content.

“Digital Access Programme (DAP) is being implemented by the regulator to equip secondary schools across the country with internet connectivity. More than 223 schools have benefited. Internet clouds are being provided within Nigeria’s university and polytechnics to foster improvement in digital literacy and application,” the EVC said through Mr. Tony Ojobo, director, Public Affairs at the Commission.

GenesysIGNITE 2017 has laid a solid foundation for technology development in the south east and south south regions of the country.