The Federal Government has requested the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Galaxy Backbone Limited and the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) to collaborate with the Seven Global Summit Champions on the Society Forum of Information (WSIS) which includes the winner of WSIS 2022 to ensure that their innovative solutions have global benefits.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and Chair of WSIS 2022, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) made this known in Abuja during the WSIS Champions Awards Ceremony for 2020, 2021 and 2022.
“I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria to request NITDA, Galaxy Backbone and NCC to review your solutions and identify where you need assistance so that the solution does not remain just a startup, but rather we want to build the solution here and become the tech giant at least in the next few years and that is our ambition,” the minister said.
Prof Pantami said he hoped that after the three government institutions have had sessions with the WSIS champions, their performance will be reviewed and supported where necessary so that their solutions go beyond what they currently are. and benefit globally.
He said the WSIS event, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, featured technical sessions where young people from around the world were challenged to submit their projects covering e-health, e -agriculture, e-education and other fields.
“Technical session leaders presented their results to me in Geneva and I’m happy to say that some of our young innovators emerged as winners and world champions,” he said.
The winner of the WSIS Hackathon 2022 is Franca Umasoye Igwe’s Afrilingo while the other six champions were Martha Alade’s Association of Women in Technology in Nigeria (2022); Initiative for Mothers with Cerebral Palsy in Nigeria by Rachael Inegbedion (2021); Recharge and get a limited reward from Samuel Babatunde (2021); Wizwish International Farm by Wisdom Ikpechukwu (2020); Chipsnbrain by Oluwaseyi Akinolu (2020); and Makerspace Project by Oreoluwa Lesi (2020)
Professor Pantami said that due to the absence of official sessions for 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, the winners and champions of the aforementioned years received their awards during WSIS 2022.
“Furthermore, we all know that the Federal Government through the Ministry and Office of the President’s Chief of Staff has been working on the Nigerian Startups Bill which has already been passed by both branches of the government. National Assembly; we believe that in the next few days, Mr. President will examine it and that it will become law.
He felt that when the Startups Bill is finally passed, it will be one of the major achievements not only of this administration, but of the entire history of the digital economy and ICT in Nigeria.
“In this bill there are provisions of so many benefits for our young innovators and startups like pioneer status, grants, incentives, loans and also the law when approved will establish a board presidential where Mr. President will chair the council and he will be supported by the vice-president and the minister in charge of the digital economy will be the vice-president, where the government, the private sector and the young innovators will meet; look at their challenges and Mr. President will give direction on the spot so that the sector continues to perform very well”, Professor Pantami.
Afrilingo CEO Franca Umasoye Igwe thanked the Federal Minister of Nigeria for this recognition.
The WSIS is the biggest ICT event where the development of the sector is highlighted. All 193 countries of the United Nations are members.