As part of the first ever Nigeria Teen Cyber Festival: ngTeenCyberFest 2021, young Nigerians drawn from secondary schools, pitched solutions and shared their thoughts on how the country could be better developed.
The three winning pitches include a solution to invent a robotic hand that can help carry heavy loads; an app to detect fake news; and a recycling solution also serving as a waste management locator.
‘PITCH YOUR TECH IDEA’ Winners:
- Kadijah Ibrahim from Albayan School. She pitched to create a robotic hand that can help carry heavy loads, to help reduce the weight for the person working or picking it up;
- A group of five teens called SHEARD from Kingdom Citizens College with an idea to make a recycling device, a waste management locator.
- Akachukwu Egoluche from St. Paul’s Academy. He pitched to create a fake news detector app. The app can tell if a news item is fake by filtering information based on authentic sites linked to the app.
The one-day event was organised by Jos based CC-Pro with the theme: ‘Harnessing the Power of Young People Online in the Digital Age.’
It held as part of the activities to celebrate the International Children’s Day 2021 and was supported by UNESCO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), and Nigerian Communication Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT).
The event was powered by Zinox Technologies, Smartweb Limited, Konn3ct and Qitech Limited as Digital Partners while media partners for ngTeenCyberFest 2021 were TechEconomy.ng and IT Edge News.ng.
Over four hundred people drawn majorly from more than 30 schools attended the event.
Inspired by remarks by top Nigerian government functionaries including the Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu; Director General, NITDA, Mallam Kachifu Inuwa Abdullahi; and Managing Director, Nigerian Communication Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), Dr Abimbola Alale, the young Nigerians expressed conviction that the country holds boundless opportunities to foster raw talents to impactful results in spite of the current challenges.
In series of fire chats that focused on: What should Teens Be Doing with The Internet? Can the Internet Make a Better Teen, Make Things Better for Teens? Opportunities and challenges in cyberspace,” all the young speakers agreed that government with other stakeholders need to commit more policies and funding to building young people.
They submitted that the country’s future depends on how young people turned out to become in another decade or so.
The NADDC’s boss, Aliyu, the globally renowned inventor of the Chevy Volt, urged young people to be selective in who they associate with online and what information they access. “It is important that what young people are doing online are geared towards nation-building”, he said.
“This is the digital era with an amazing array of tools and solutions that can exemplify the capacity and magnify the talents of almost anybody. It is very important that Nigerian kids and youths leverage these amazing technologies in making themselves better and adding values to their society,” said Aliyu in his preservation: “Imagine it, Innovate it. Design it. Cyberspace and youths,” he added.
Director General, NITDA) Mallam Kachifu Inuwa Abdullahi, while making his own presentation on “NITDA’s Policy as an affirmation that Future is Youth, Technology & Innovation – And Future’s now,” tasked young people on leveraging the streams of support from government in spite of limited resources.
He stressed that the NITDA remains committed to building digital capacity in young Nigerians within its mandate. “Majority of young Nigerians are leveraging the internet to do positive things and build a magnificent future for everyone,” said Abdullahi who was represented by Head of Legal Services and Board Matters at the NITDA. Emmanuel Edet.
Also, Managing Director, NIGCOMSAT, Dr Abimbola Alale stressed that the satellite company is committed to skill development particularly for young people in the communication satellite industry.
According to her, one of the windows NIGCOMSAT uses to encourage interest by young people in space and satellite technology is the ACTINSPACE Innovation contest which draws participation from across the world. She urged young Nigerians to fully participate in the programme in 2022.
She said digital empowerment for the girl-child is important to erase gender divide and open opportunities to all young people in her presentation: “The Internet can make a better You – In the Internet Age, Gender is Not a Disadvantage.”
UNESCO’s Multisectoral Regional Office, Mamadou Lamin Sow, said the UN body is firmly committed to encouraging all stakeholders across countries and sectors to positively grow the potential of young people.
His presentation: “Cyberspace as a Vast New World to making a Better World of Education, Science and Cultures for Young People” focused on making young people active drivers in nation building by leveraging cultures, science and techno0logy positively.
President of the Africa Digital Economy Forum (ADEF), Olusola Teniola, urged young people at ngTeenCyberFest 2021 to focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as the primacy steps to begin their journey in a world that is increasingly becoming digital.