Team Nicademia has emerged winner of the 2017 Changemaker Challenge, organised by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), a department of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Nicademia is an online distribution platform for African-inspired animations and cartoons that seek to promote African culture, traditions and values to the world.
The USPF Changemaker Challenge 2017 is a nationwide competition open to innovators, software developers, User Experience (UX) designers, students and other ICT enthusiasts from all over Nigeria.The organisers said the aims and objectives of the Challengewere to empower the Nigerian youth by challenging their tenacity to create technology-driven solutions for the needs of their Communities and the nation at large.
During the National Finals of the competition, which ended on Saturday in Lagos, the Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that the commission was committed to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria.Represented by Mr Kelechi Nwankwo, Head of Strategy and Corporate Performance Monitoring, USPF, Danbatta said that the development of ICT was the principle behind the creation of the USPF.He, however, assured that NCC would continue to use USPF as a platform in the promotion and application of innovation processes in ICT, to help empower the Nigerian youth.
According to him, one of the commission’s 8-point agenda is the promotion of ICT innovations and investment opportunities.
”We believe that there is no better way to propagate this than to proactively involve the new generation of tech-innovators and entrepreneurs.‘’Given the right platform and support, they can analyse and address everyday problems and find solutions to them. The innovation is already in them.
”This is in sync with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) policy objectives on telecommunications/ICT; to encourage rapid ICT penetration among all socioeconomic levels and increase broadband penetration.”The ERGP policy is to promote and encourage local production of ICT hard and software, to reduce import dependence and generate foreign exchange by exporting to the regional and continental markets.
”Indeed, the ERGP acknowledges that ICT and digital technology have the potential to ramp up, transform labour productivity and create new economic sectors.”It is our belief that the solutions and services that emerge from this changemaker challenge 2017 will demonstrate that fact,” he said.The Secretary of USPF, Mr Ayuba Shuaibu, said the fund received 226 applications from the six geo-political zones of the country for the contest.
Shuaibu said that the constructive implementation of the innovative project had been ongoing for eight months with about 720 participants, ”making it truly the first of its kind in Africa.”He said that innovation was at the centre of the current ICT and knowledge revolution and opportunities.According to him, USPF organises the competition with the conviction that the critical mass of the emerging information society resides in innovation and software know-how.
”The USPF organised this special challenge to spur national technology innovation development and deliver appropriate solutions-dependable instrument, tools and meaningful responses to global challenges presented by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”The maiden edition took place in 2015 and we are pleased to let you know that the three winning solutions are still in the market and expanding,” he said.
Daily Champion reports that Team Nicademia won the cash prize of N1 million with an acceptance into incubation programme superintended by NCC through the USPF. Team Jiggle came second while Team Kano Magenta made third position. Team Jiggle and Team Kano Magenta received N750, 000 and N500,000 and both will also undergo incubation programme.
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