Programos Foundation – a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, an advocate in education, and innovation capacity development facilitator, showcased new innovators from Nigeria before a high-level panel of innovation savvy stakeholders and the UN agencies while celebrating Nigeria’s 62nd independence anniversary.
The World Summit on Information Society process towards 2025 is the framework for WSA and all our shared efforts and work to promote, select and award best practice in content driven interactive digital applications and solutions.
The World Summit Award gets a very broad view about rich and creative content from all over the world and narrows the content gap, gender gap, knowledge divide and skills divide. All social entrepreneurs share the perspective that it is crucial to build the right community, reach users, and attract an audience.
Technology is not the issue. Community means a lot of different things, but needs to be built by each new project or enterprise. WSA has built a unique global network of experts and ambassadors supporting young social entrepreneurs, developers and change makers and promoting the WSA social entrepreneurs and start-ups worldwide.
In a significant and recognized contribution to the UN objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is a key factor to give digital innovators a unique opportunity to join a global network of knowledge and inspiration.
The board of the WSA is chaired by Prof Peter A. Bruck.
The WSA National Expert for Nigeria Amos Emmanuel seized the occasion of the 62nd independence anniversary of Nigeria to celebrate the winners.
He announced the nominees during a virtual Independence Day Showcase which had in attendance very eminent personalities like Arch. Pierpaolo Saporito, President of OCCAM: Observatory on Digital Communication – Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC, Dr Femi Adeluyi, the Technical Assistant (Research and Development) to the Honourable Minister, Professor Isa Pantami (FNCS), Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. Other dignitaries include Professor Amjad Umar, Director ICT Programs, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, USA and Lead Architect for UN ICT4SIDS SPACE4ICT (Strategic Planning for Digital Transformation Toolset Initiative); Jide Awe, the founder of Jidaw Systems, ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative (PIN); Dr Oyedokun Oyewole, President/Chairman of Council, Institute of Information Management (IIM-Africa) and the Chief Country Data Officer (Nigeria); Hon Haruna Sani, Senior Special Assistant to Nasarawa State Governor on ICT., Mr Anayo Agu, former Senior Commercial Specialist, US Embassy, Nigeria.
Mr Oluwatowo Moses Amos – a Cyprus International University final year student of computer engineering, and Mrs Cinderrella Ochu – a PHD Candidate at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, were the 2 directors of Programos Foundation who had selflessly assisted the foundation incubation processes since inception and were in attendance as they also shared insightful keynotes on future human capitalization by governments.
In his keynote address, Pantami said countries in Africa must close ranks to bridge digital divide and ensure the Continent is well represented in the global comity of innovation and creativity.
In the views of Mr Anayo Agu, he was happy to share the stories of the largest ICT exhibition in Nigeria – the CTO exhibition dating as far back as 2005 and relates it to the heroic strides of Amos Emmanuel’s Programos foundation achievements declaring it as a unique innovation tech-scouting and promotion incubation research brand in Nigeria.
He had witnessed Programos Foundation’s early exploits since 2007 having chaired a live graduation ceremony that graduated 250 young men and women of diverse disciplines at the Muson Center, Ikoyi Lagos in 2007 – all beneficiaries were freely trained and freely supplied to the Nigeria capital market workforce.
Dr Femi Adeluyi and PA to Prof Isa Pantami who joined the webinar panel from Bucharest while playing a pivotal role that steered Africa’s Dr Cosmas Zavazava to win the top level seat on the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), like other stakeholders saluted the Programos Foundation’s sustained efforts and the indelible records from Nigeria we charted on the world innovation map.
“It shows Africa can close ranks to deal with common challenges we face. Therefore, I commend Mr. Amos Emmanuel for his tenacity over the years”.
“For the Winners, the Minister was quick to reiterate that winning gives the innovator an opportunity to aspire to do more, and quoted the Hon Minister for saying ‘ridicule your previous accomplishment with the present performance’. This has been evident in the sector which helped to lift the country from recession in 2016 and has grown to the extent that in the last quarter the sectoral contributions to the GDP increased to 18.44%”.
Pantami, who said that innovation is the bedrock of any digital economy, added that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has shown its interest to boost the innovation ecosystem through the drafting and passage of the Nigeria Startup Bill. “This Bill, when passed will trigger a more vibrant startup ecosystem and rob-off on the digital economy”, he added.
Pierpaolo Saporito, the President of OCCAM, in his opening address said “It is great to see young generations actively involved in promotion and integration of new and promising instruments to overcome the challenges of the current society ”
Through Ms Martina Baldessin, the Programme Coordinator at OCCAM, he spoke more extensively on the XXII Infopoverty World Conference tagged “Digital Citizen: Duties and Rights to build a fairer future Society” coming up December 1st, at the UN Headquarters in New York and has expressed open invitation to Nigeria. This event gathers together governments, policy makers, international organizations, business, and civil society as a whole to discuss the best digital practices and solutions capable of providing support for general developments and wellbeing.
‘Gbenga Sesan, the social entrepreneur known for ICT for development, ICT for policy, and who was recently appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to serve on the inaugural Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Leadership Panel, described the platform created by Programos Foundation: The InnovationbedAfrica as an important space for discovering innovation in the country with growing attention in policy and digital rights.
According to him, Africa has seen the importance of innovation, recognition and investment. “What Programos Foundation is doing is great; they are relentlessly making progress in the ecosystem. We are looking forward to that innovation that will tackle our local challenges”, he said.
Nodding in agreement, Mr. Jide Awe, said Africa has many issues that require urgent attention, especially the digital skills gap. “But it is good to have initiatives like what Programos Foundation is doing. This will definitely position the Continent on the global map as most of the innovations are highly impactful.
In his message, Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole said, “It has been an interesting journey. And I can testify of Mr. Amos’ resilience; operating in an environment that is not always supportive can be challenging, but your perseverance and the success over the years deserve commendation. I sincerely believe that the best is yet to come”.
Sani Dawop, the Governorship aspirant of the Action Democratic Party in Plateau State, a former AIESEC Alumni Nigeria President, and erstwhile General Manager – Dangote Industries Limited, said that young Nigerians must be applauded for their contributions to the nation’s economy; from Fintech founders, healthtech, ecommerce, agritech, to edutech founders who are using the power of the internet to steer the ship of innovation towards national development as that may deliver the economic independence we desire.
Hon Sani Haruna Sani, SSA on ICT to the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State charged the youths to come out and get busy with creative exploits that can help grow the digital economy dream in Nigeria.
He craves the support of the government towards the Incubation-2030 initiative of Programos Foundation that has started so it can scale across the country.
Impressed by the speakers’ devotion to helping the African youth to innovate especially in Nigeria, Professor Amjad Umar, who admitted of having worked with Programos boss on the UN ICT4SIDS (SPACE4ICT – Computer-Aided Planning for Digital Transformation Programme) in Working Group for more than 10 years, said, “What Programos is doing with its Innovationbed Initiative is important to us in the education and entrepreneurship space. We are very interested in how digital transformation can be done and replicated in developing countries and small islands without failure. Therefore, Programos Foundation has done noble work and we are still interested in working with Amos’ Innovationbed Incubation programme to link startups to international partners and assist them to scale”.
Prof Amjad Umar expressed happiness to have re-connected with Arch Pierpaolo, President OCCAM at the Programos event, as the initiatives and the testimonies from home and abroad are in line with the tenets of Infopoverty World Conference which had identified our contributions in the integrated community declaration during the session of the 14th Infopoverty World Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Emmanuel Amos, World Summit Awards Grand Jury member and National Expert for Nigeria, announced the winners.
The President, InnovationbedAfrica said : “We are happy to share that some of our national nominees whom we have nominated to represent NIGERIA have been shortlisted in the 2nd stage of the ongoing World Summit Awards Grand Jury meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia”, Mr. Emmanuel Amos, the President of Programos Foundation, told the high-power delegates during the Innovation Showcase.
The winning states from which nominated innovations in WSA Nigeria 2022 have come from are Abia, Benue, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Ogun, Osun, Taraba, Zamfara States. The nominated innovations cover Open Government and Citizens Engagement, eBusiness and Commerce, Health and Lifestyle, Education and eLearning, Green Energy and Environment, Smart Settlement and Urbanization, Inclusion and Empowerment:
- eGardens (PRODUCER: ABDUL’AZEEZ SAMARU)
- LaborHack (PRODUCER: OARE EHIEMUA-OCHUI)
- Jekinraa(PRODUCER: DAVID AJIBADE)
- eNHIA (PRODUCER: FAITH AKPAN)
- MecTech (PRODUCER: ISUWA HUSSAINI)
- ZamTrackA (PRODUCER: FAUZUDDEEN MAHMOUD)
- Wind Turbine (PRODUCER: ABAH EMMANUEL)
- Igede Market Place (PRODUCER: IKANDE SAMUEL)
- Other pitches including TopNotchers Hub, AAG Affiliate, and Learnaholics in Programos National Day Innovation Showcase 2022
WSA is a global nomination based award system. This year, the WSA National Experts from 79 countries submitted nearly 350 nominations.
WSA 2022 National Nominations by regions and countries
The WSA nominees are selected carefully and highly competitive by the WSA National Experts from more than 184 UN member states.
The WSA National Experts nominate up to eight projects for each country – one for every WSA category.
In line with the tradition, The WSA 2022 nominees will be evaluated based on seven fundamental criteria: Content, Functionality, Design, Technology, Innovation, Impact and Value.
WSA combines two major perspectives in its initiative – first the commitment on the UN SDGs, and how to use ICTs for development.
And second, the development of a global knowledge society. The UN SDGs must be our measurement – in terms of what to look at and where to look.
Today we are living in a completely different environment – through the mobile revolution, through the emergence of the algorithmic age – data has become a capital as much as labour, land money and machinery. Hence, it is more important than ever to evaluate what is excellent content that really offers solutions and impact.
Qualitative, local content has become the key and permanent issue. WSA presents innovation that uses ICT for social connectivity.
Hon. Mohammed Yahaya Tambura, The Director-General, Zamfara Information Technology Development Agency, ZITDA, was represented by the Zamfara state Innovationbed Incubation-2030 Lead, Asmau’ Mailafiya shared quite a passionate message on the national incubation project scaling.
The event which was for a selected audience created so much impact and a great revelation of the potentials in our youths.
Other State governments who registered and deserve our appreciation for next edition include Bauchi, Kano, Abia, Edand Anambra State governments.
Mr Amos Emmanuel is also the Chief Software Architect for Programos Software Group and the Author of Africa’s pioneer Capital Market Solutions called CloudIntegra.