By Yinka Okeowo
The Nigeria Innovation Summit (NIS) 2018 has continued to garner endorsements within Nigeria and other African countries.
The latest endorsement came from the Acting South African High Commissioner in Abuja, Nigeria, Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Bobby Moroe, who will also deliver a Keynote on 26th September at the Summit.
Mr. Moroe who welcomed NIS team during a courtesy call on him on recently said that the Summit reflects the yawning for credible platforms to push the narrations around innovation on the continent.
According to Moroe, Africa needs to rise to occasion by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship as means to develop solutions to multifaceted challenges faced by the people especially in technology, agriculture, education and others.
Thus, Mr. Moroe, said that the Summit theme: Building a Culture of Innovation in Nigeria for Sustainable Economic Growth, speaks not just about Nigeria but stresses the need for more collaborations among stakeholders to fix ‘innovation deficit’ inherent on the Continent.
“Most recently African parents tend to use the kids to fulfil their childhood dreams. They keep pushing the kids to take up courses that reflect their (parents’) innate urges not minding that this is an era of innovation.
“As a Continent we must encourage innovation to leapfrog our challenges. South African government recognises this and has since continued to encourage innovation hubs. For instance, the South African Innovation Hub in Pretoria was established few years ago to develop and add value to the economy, especially to solve problems in the society. That’s what we need now.
“So, South Africa is happy to identify with the Nigeria Innovation Summit; a platform that demonstrates passion for creativity and deepening of innovation in the country. I am most impress by the fact this Summit was convoked to encourage young people to discover and expand their gifts. It falls in line with what I said earlier that Africans needs to drop the colonial mentality where a kid is expected to pass through formal systems before h/she is qualified to contribute to the society. It does not connote that education should be discouraged; it is the bedrock of it all. However, practical-oriented education is what this dispensation requires.
Speaking on the team’s visit to the High Commissioner, the MD/CEO, Emerging Media, the Conveners of the Summit, Kenneth Omeruo, said there is a great need for African countries to collaborate and do business with each other. “This,” he said, “will encourage inter-country trade and economic development and also make it easy for people to travel from one African country to another.
“This is when African potentials can be fully achieved. We strongly believe that the challenges Africa face can only be solved by Africans themselves and the time is now”.
He further encouraged research institutions, Universities, Innovation hubs and businesses in Nigeria to leverage the summit.
The Program Director, Nigeria Innovation Summit, Mr. Tony Ajah, said that the Organisers believe both countries stand to benefit from each other’s specialities and lessons on the journey to innovation.
Mr. Ajah said, “NIS believes there are lots we can learn from South Africa when it comes to innovation. There is no need to look elsewhere whereas we have South Africans who are willing and ready to offer expertise to Nigerian innovators seeking global relevance.
“So, we are here to seek a handshake with South Africa on cross-border coaching, mentorship, funding/investment that will mutually benefit innovators in both countries”.
The Program Director further stated that, already NIS has existing relationship with the South African Innovation Summit as means to deepen youths’ interest in innovation across the Continent.
He said, apart from NIS, the platform-Emerging Media- has also established, African Innovation Academy (ACA) where young innovators are offer support to scale their startups., among other programmes.
The Summit is also partnering with Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability, South Africa.
The organisers of the Nigeria Innovation Summit, NIS recently announced its first line up of speakers for the 2018 summit which will take place on September 25-26,2018 at the ventures Park, Maitama, Abuja, (to be hosted by Emerging Platforms), and second day event holds at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre Abuja, respectively.
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