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AIF Tables  $ 185 000 for Innovation Prize for Africa 2018 Awards

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By peter oluka

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has announced the seventh edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) www.InnovationPrizeForAfrica.org themed “investing in inclusive innovation ecosystems” thereby inviting submissionsto reward the best home-grown innovations on the continent.

The annual Award seeks to celebrate outstanding breakthroughs that deliver practical, and commercially viable African solutions that are innovative and sustainable.

Affirming AIF’s purpose to catalyse the innovation spirit in Africa, Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, the IPA Director commented, “We are pleased to launch IPA 2018 and are confident that this edition will prove bigger and better in terms of participation and quality of submissions.

With each edition, IPA has gone from strength to strength attracting innovators across disciplines and with outstanding solutions to African challenges.

For this seventh edition, we also look forward to expanding our ever-growing network of innovators, enablers and partners in order to join hands and build stronger, more sustainable innovation ecosystems that will propel the continent forward.”

IPA Awards timeline and eligibility

The call for entries will run for three months starting from 10 October 2017 with a submission deadline of 10 January 2018 at 23:59pm GMT.

IPA’s goal is to strengthen African innovation ecosystems by supporting a culture of innovation and competitiveness, whilst spurring growth of innovative, market-driven African solutions to African challenges.

Specifically, IPA honours and encourages pioneering achievements that contribute towards developing new products, increasing efficiency and/or saving cost in Africa. Applications will be accepted from all Africans including those living in the diaspora.

This edition encourages greater participation from women innovators who are increasingly playing a key role in driving African economies forward through business and entrepreneurship.

The submissions will be judged on the backdrop of IPA’s themes supporting social and economic innovation in the following five categories: manufacturing and service industry; health and well-being; agriculture and agri-business; environment, energy and water; and ICT showcasing ground-breaking innovations.

IPA 2018 winners will be announced at an annual ceremony in July 2018 (exact dates and country to be confirmed).

The Award is the leading innovation event on the African calendar, bringing together some of Africa’s most inspiring innovators and entrepreneurs, leaders of hubs and accelerators, angel and venture capital investors, development institutions, government leaders, media practitioners and  other game changers.

Creating an enabling environment for local innovators

This year’s theme ‘Investing in Inclusive Innovation Ecosystems’ calls for African governments and innovation stakeholders to invest in building bridges for more inclusive ecosystems that will accelerate and scale African innovation at all levels of society.

The aim is to increase access to innovative financing and know-how and to enhance collaboration between African nations to enable local innovators to access higher value markets for their solutions at a faster rate.

“IPA is a platform to showcase the inherent ingenuity that exists in Africa,” said Walter Fust, Chairman of the AIF Board. “Each year, several hundred participants submit their entries with new solutions to overcome African-specific challenges. This year we want to drive greater pan-African synergies across our network of enablers and partners to create inclusive opportunities for local innovators and together disrupt business models, empower people and drive positive social impact across the continent.”

Register NOW for IPA 2018

Last year saw over 2 500 applications from across the continent, with the highest number of women applicants (482 representing 19%).

This year promises to be even bigger. To date, IPA has attracted more than 7 500 innovators spanning 52 countries featuring 55 of the continent’s top innovators and 400+ innovation enablers making it a truly a pan-African initiative.

Previously AIF has supported past winners and nominees with over US$ 1 million to move their innovations forward. Due to the exposure received via IPA, past winners have gone on to secure over US$ 30 million in investments to grow and scale their businesses.

In addition to the lucrative share prize of US$ 185 000 cash, selected innovators are offered many opportunities including access to the AIF networks via its platform, ZuaHub (www.ZuaHub.org), where AIF connects innovators with resources and help them grow.

AIF has contributed to building African innovation ecosystems and has witnessed increased opportunities for African innovators in comparison to 2011 when IPA was launched.

The selection process will be led by an expert panel based on their knowledge and experience within the aforementioned IPA five key sectors as well as their influence and contributions to the tech and business industry on the African continent.

Get involved and sponsor IPA 2018

In the last six years, the IPA has recognized numerous Africans for their innovative solutions aimed at improving the lives of people across the continent. The IPA Awards celebrate African ingenuity by showcasing and rewarding the very best African innovators solving African challenges and creating new opportunities which lead to inclusive growth across the continent.

For this edition, the IPA will bring together select stakeholders comprising of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, leaders of innovation hubs and technology parks, policy makers as well cutting-edge African training institutions. It is an opportunity for companies to forge important partnerships, synergies and collaborations with innovation enablers from across the continent to strengthen Africa’s investment climate through innovation.

Organizations can register their interest in supporting African innovation by contacting AIF for more details on the IPA sponsorship opportunities available.

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FG Urged to Use Nigerian Communications Consultants to Frame Economic Narratives

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The Federal Government has been called upon to use Nigerian Public Relations and Marketing consultants to frame the nation’s economic narratives.

The appealed was made by one of Africa’s leading economists, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, at a Fireside Chat, organised by the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN) at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, recently.

Speaking on the theme of the session, “Macro-economic Factors That Will Impact the Nigerian Marketing Communications Industry in 2018,” Adedipe counselled the Muhammadu Buhari administration to tap into the expertise of Nigerian PR and Marketing Communications consultants to help the government frame its economic narratives and distill the message for better understanding of the populace.

Adedipe said: “Nigeria has exited recession going by the GDP growth recorded in the last two quarters. Government will therefore need to communicate better than it has ever done to be able to receive social approval for some of its policy initiatives and options.”

He cited the example of the initial opposition to the government borrowing plan as an example of how using communications consultants could have made the task easy for the Federal Government. “It took a single session with members of the Nigerian Senate for them to understand the wisdom in using long-term loans for infrastructure development. The Nigerian Senate approved the borrowing plan immediately the economic case for taking such a loan was well articulated before them. This is your job. This is what the Nigerian government should rely on you for,” he said.

Adedipe also counselled communications consultants in Nigeria not to wait for the invitation from government. He advised them to always put forward their professional opinions on what government should be saying and doing per time. He said: “You must always have a voice in the room. Your professional opinion on key national issues must always be articulated and put forward to the government, whether solicited or not.”

On the economic outlook for 2018, Adedipe said there was no doubt about the fact that Nigeria had exited recession. “We have had two quarters of positive growth back-to-back and there are strong indications that the last quarter of the year 2017 will record more GDP growth too,” he stated. He advised businesses to begin to watch out for recovery signs.

Adedipe further said: “A nation can go through the different phases of boom, recession and slump to recovery. So, there are recovery signs you need to begin to watch out for. Nigeria now has a brighter outlook. You must keep your eyes on sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, ICT, real estate, mining and trade amongst others.” He explained that these were dominant contributors to the nation’s GDP as they were of interest for government.

Adedipe also advised PR and communications consultants to commit to research, best practices, top quality services, relentless improvement and to conduct proper diagnosis on the businesses of the clients they hope to service.

In staying true to its values, PRCAN used the opportunity presented by the event to induct a new PR agency, Media Panache, into its membership at the event. The Public and Social Relations agency is led by Timilehin Bello.

PRCAN is legally chartered by By Law No. 3 (1993) of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), to cater to the interests of the consultancy side of PR practice in Nigeria. It currently has a membership of 51 PR consultancy firms providing services across at least 21 PR practice areas.

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Three Startups Win GenesysIgnite $10,000 Innovation cash Prize

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(R-l): Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, minister of Science and Technology, in company of Senator Ken Nnamani, president of the Senate of Nigeria, presenting cheque to GenesysIgnite winners while Kingsley Eze watches on. 

By peter oluka

 

Winners have emerged after pressure-filled GenesysIGNITE pitch sessions. The three winners- PlayJoor, TutorFinder and House of Uwe were unveiled on Friday at the South East Startup Convergence, one of the biggest technology conferences in the region put together by Genesys Tech Hub in collaboration with CFAtech.ng.

 

Presenting the cheques to the winners, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, minister of Science and Technology, in company of Senator Ken Nnamani, president of the Senate of Nigeria, and other dignitaries, applauded Genesys Hub for the providing financial assistance to the startups, which has remained one of the painpoints of Startups in the region.

 

“Any nation that produces science and technology experts is always the toast of the world. Teneces is doing what the Government has in mind with regards youths development- capacity building, incubation, venture capitals, and other supports.

 

The winners are:

Tutor Finder NG

Tutor Finder NG is the leading home tutors in South East Nigeria with reach in Owerri, Awka, Enugu and Aba and over 54 professional tutors .  

They provide learners with the advantage of quality, experienced and innovative teachings that make them become the finished articles, far beyond the limitation of class room learning.

They simply bridge the gap!

Tutor Finder provide support to classroom instruction and assignments and go back and deal with building blocks that were missed.

One-to-one tutoring helps students build confidence, and get individualized support and better grades.

 

PlayJoor

PlayJoor is a platform for real time multiplayer games. The developers make it possible for players to earn while competing against other players at a game they are skilled at.

The startups founders believe that people should enjoy games they are skilled at and to cap it up, earn while playing the games.

Tagline: Real-time games with real people

 

House of Uwe (cloth)  

This is an e-commerce shop selling made-to-order African apparels proudly designed in Africa by very experienced African designers.

 

House of Uwe provides a solution to the need of the fashion market by allowing shoppers order a custom made, individually tailored piece they truly love.

 

Earler, Senator Nnamani, said that the future of Nigeria belongs in the digital age, adding that it will become visible if the country strategizes properly.

 

Senator Nnamani, said that the educational institutions, charged universities in the zone to strive in research and development as panacea for digital revolution in the area.

 

He said: “What Tenece is trying to ignite in the South East and Enugu State in particular is awesome, by projecting and opening the eyes of our young people to tech disruptions.

 

 

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FG Plans N180bn Investment on National Science, Technology Roadmap

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Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, has said that the Federal Government is committed to investing N180 billion to ensure successful implementation of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmap (NSTIR) 2030.

Onu said this at the ongoing 15th meeting of the National Council on Science and Technology in Benin.

He said the amount, which would be over a period of three budget years, would be in the short term basis of the roadmap.

Onu said the ministry was keen on implementing the roadmap, in collaboration with wide variety of stakeholders, including public and private research development centres.

He expressed optimism that the implementation of the planned NSTIR 2030 programmes and increased investment in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) would help actualise Nigeria’s dream to join the top 20 of technologically advanced countries in the world.

Onu noted that though the country was yet to reach its full potentials in the deployment of STI deliverables into projects and programmes due to some identified challenges, it had been able to attain some mileage within the past few years.

He also said that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 to 2020 recently launched by the present administration, focused on macroeconomic policy improvement, economic diversification, competitiveness, improvement, social inclusion and job creation.

The Minister said the ERGP targeted that the Nigerian economy would recover strongly with a GDP growth of seven per cent, driven by non oil sector growth of 7.2 per cent by 2020.

This, he said, would also help in the steady expansion of the agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors, adding that approximately 15 million net jobs would be created with poverty reduction from 61 per cent to 50-55 per cent by 2020.

Onu said the ministry was committed to playing its required role in ensuring that the ERGP strategies were STI driven and successfully implemented.

He said that the theme of the meeting “Nigerian Economy Driven by Science and Innovation”, was apt and captured the new direction the country had resolved to follow, in the quest to revive and strengthen the economy.

Onu explained that it was aimed at “helping to strengthen and diversify the economy in a sustainable manner by encouraging the harnessing and application of STI apparatus in the Nation’s development process’’.

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