Stories by Olabisi Olaleye
At the just concluded 2017 edition of the Nigeria Innovation Summit with the theme: ‘Transforming Nigeria’s Economy through Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship’, experts through a communique agreed sailent points which include the fact that technology, innovation and entrepreneurship are key to a sustainable economy.
The event was organised by Emerging Media, in Lagos recently, Unfolding the communique, Director, Nigeria Innovation Summit, Tony Ajah, highlights the submissions and recommendations that:
* Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship is key to growing a sustainable economy. And there is a great need for Nigeria to embrace such to grow her economy across all sectors as Nigeria’s economic growth will impact on Africa.
* The role of government in driving technology and innovation in Nigeria was emphasised and government at all levels should start investing in technology and Innovation as Nigeria has the human, natural and the financial resources to become a leader in innovation. Government should also create the enabling environment and build the infrastructure like power that will attract investments and also grow local economies.
* Nigeria is in dire need of growing her own innovative and disruptive ideas that will transform the country and bring in foreign investments.
*Lack of a clear cut policy that encourages technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria has been a major set back for the country in realising her potentials and leverage emerging technologies to drive economic growth.
*Technology and Innovation thrive on healthy innovation ecosystems where there is collaboration between the public and the private sector. The summit calls for greater collaborations between the government, private sectors, the academics, the media and entrepreneurs. The efforts of Private Health Sector Alliance of Nigeria is galvanising private sector coalition to drive Health innovations in Nigeria.
*The role of the academics in driving technology research, incubation and development was also brought to light. Nigerian universities, research centers and higher education community should take up the responsibility and contribute their quota.
* Nigerian youths should be supported and encouraged to embrace technology, innovation and entrepreneurship so as to build the future of Nigeria.
*The Summit welcomes and encourages collaborations with the government, corporate organizations, international organizations and the academic community towards promoting open innovation in Nigeria.
*The Summit organisers in collaboration with Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS) South Africa officially launched the Nigeria-South Africa Innovation Network, which aimed at promoting Open Innovation among the two countries.
The summit, according to him, had over 350 delegates and stakeholders in attendance. The delegates cut across Federal and State government, International organisations, Diplomats, businesses, investors, academia, business leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, students and from within and outside Nigeria in attendance.
The over all objective of the summit focuses on the need for the country, businesses, organisations, entrepreneurs in Nigeria to become more innovative and apply innovation to drive sustainable development and bridge the digital divide. And to help Nigeria embrace innovation and move in the direction of digital transformation through the use of Emerging Technologies and Trends, Research, Development, Commercialization, Entrepreneurship and Investments as the key drivers of an innovation ecosystem.
The Summit program included Keynote Sessions, Workshops, Panel Discussions/Interactive Sessions which focused on: Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Driving Economic Growth, Building Innovation Ecosystems and Collaborations; Innovation by Young Nigerians and the Nigeria Innovation Landscape; Innovations in Media Industry in Nigeria. There were also Networking Session, Start-ups and Innovative Business Presentations and the Nigeria Innovation Awards.
The speakers include: Davis Cook, CEO, Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS) South Africa; Dr Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq CEO, Private Health Sector Alliance of Nigeria; Prof Bongo Adi of Lagos Business School; Gossy Ukanwoke, Founder of BAU Research and Development; Kaosiso Anaekwe of Google Business Group (GBG), Nigeria; Bankole Oloruntoba, Founder Enspire Incubator Abuja; Kendall Ananyi, Founder Tizeti; Adenike Akinsemolu, Founder Green Institute; Tunde Alawode, Co-Founder Dot Learn; Celestine Achi of CIHAN Group.
The Nigeria Innovation Summit is a brainchild of Emerging Media, also attracted delegates from Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability, South Africa; the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria; Anambra State Government; Kaduna State; Google Business Group; Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; UNIDO/NIRP; Enspire Business Incubator, Abuja; Oxford Business Group, UK; British High Commission; South Africa, United Nations Information Centre, Lagos Business School; University of Lagos; Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Caleb University; Crescent University; Nasarawa State University; Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria, amongst others.