The inaugural Innovation Makers Challenge (IMC) Conference and Exhibition, which took place recently at the Eko Convention Centre in Lagos, was graced by the presence of notable public and industry leaders.
Among the distinguished attendees were Leonie Van Der Stijl, Deputy-Consul General at the Netherlands Embassy, and Kate Hancock, the Founder of Metaverse XYZ.
The IMC is organised by the Telecommunication and Technology Sustainability Working Group (TTSWG), a multi-stakeholder advocacy organisation focused on advancing sustainability in the Nigerian telecom and technology sectors.
IHS Towers was the principal sponsor of the IMC, with Quomodo Systems Africa and Arnergy as Gold and Silver sponsors respectively.
The conference featured other notable industry experts such as Lanre Bamisebi, Executive Director, IT & Digitalisation, Access Corporation; Reinier van Scherpenzeel, Chief Operations Officer, Tunga; Yomi Awobokun, Founder, CE-IV and Member, World Economic Forum; and Adedoyin Segun-Noibi, Managing Director, Quomodo Systems Africa.
Other participating dignitaries included Sean Burrowes, Co-Founder, Ingressive for Good; Omobola Omofaiye, Chief Commercial Officer, Arnergy; Myke Oseh, Venture Capitalist; Dr. Babs Omotowa, President, Nigerian University of Management and Technology (NUTM); Brent Van Wyk, Commercial Director, S&P Global Intelligence; and Dr Chuks Ekwueme, Chairman, Uniccon Group.
With the theme “Innovating for the Future” the conference gathered an array of industry experts and intellectuals from across the world to explore how to harness emerging technologies to build a more sustainable society and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A significant aspect of the event was the final round of the IMC Quest, a youth-oriented challenge where creative individuals presented their business ideas that relate to sustainability, to compete for the promised cash prize of N3,500,000, distributed among three categories of winners.
Joseph Ojighoro, the founder of OJ Technologies Limited, a health tech business focused on using virtual reality to enhance clinical training and competency in Africa, emerged as the winner, receiving a cash prize of N2,000,000.
Valentine Nnamani, the founder of OneGrid Energies, a startup dedicated to addressing the energy poverty gap in rural communities, achieved the first runner-up position.
Similarly, Elijah Moses, the founder of Kugatel, a platform aimed at enhancing financial inclusion through integrated payment solutions, was awarded the second runner-up spot. Both were recognised with cash prizes, with Nnamani receiving N1,000,000 and Moses securing N500,000 for their commendable contributions.
Bekeme Olowola, Lead Consultant for TTSWG Secretariat and Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action, whilst delivering the opening remark, also posited that it is vital to ponder the ethical application of the emerging technologies that are redefining the world, “Technology is the invincible hand shaping our future from the deep seas to the infinity of space. As we applaud the humanlike grace of humanoid robots, climate technology, and all the great progress among us today, we must ponder deeply the ethical tapestry of our creations. It’s not just about what technology can do, but what it should do.”
In addition to the keynote speeches and panel discussions, the conference featured an exhibition allowing various organisations and IMC-Quest finalists to showcase their technological inventions, products, and services.
The highlight of this activity was the presence of “Omeife,” Africa’s first humanoid robot created by the UNICCON Group, and another humanoid robot, Okikiola Sagamu, aka “Kiki Saggy,” a remarkable creation of young girls from the Federal Girls Government College (FGGC), Sagamu.
The event concluded with the unveiling and launch of the Telecommunication and Technology Citizenship Awareness Roadmap (TATCAR).
TATCAR is a value-driven framework developed by TTSWG, designed to provide an easily adaptable template for businesses in the industry to ensure compliance with international sustainability standards.
This aligns with TTSWG’s goal to embed sustainability in the Tech and Telecoms ecosystem.
TATCAR comprises twenty-one indices covering governance, the economy, the environment, and society, including human resources.
Drawing exclusively from the official constitutions, regulations, guidance, and laws of key government ministries, departments, agencies, and regulatory bodies, TATCAR offers a roadmap for businesses in the ICT sector to achieve sustainability.