The Nigeria Innovation Summit/Awards was held in Sheraton Hotel, Lagos on the 7th of September and was themed Technology, Innovation &Entrepreneurship; Only Hope for Nigeria Survival.
The Nigeria Innovation Summit conveyed messages on the need for Nigeria, businesses and entrepreneurs, to embrace technology and innovation so as to drive a sustainable economic growth. This is the unanimous thought of participants at the summit this year. Each year, the event brings together the major drivers of Nigeria’s innovation ecosystem, namely; the government, the academics, the industry and entrepreneurs to share ideas, connect, network and more importantly work together to do practical projects that will drive innovation in Nigeria.
Mr. Kenneth Omeruo, CEO of Emerging Media, said Technology and innovation thrive well in a healthy ecosystem,who further explained why they held the Summit. He said, ‘Nigeria has human, natural and the financial resources to become a leader in technology and innovation in the comity of nations but we are nowhere to be found even among many African nations. This is largely to the fact that government do not truly support or invest in technology and innovation in Nigeria. They are yet to understand its importance as to give it all it takes to create an enabling environment that will naturally attract the needed foreign investments. “Based on that Nigeria is yet to witness major capital investments from top technology and innovation companies like GE, Google, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, etc. who have had their presence in Nigeria for several years now. I will leave you to ponder on why some of these companies are investing in other countries in Africa and not in Nigeria. “Just to remind us that Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship is the only hope for Africa’s survival, and Nigeria should wake up to play a leading role. With Emerging Technologies like Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Genomics, Internet of Things, increased awareness on Crytocurrency, Cybersecurity, Data Mining and Analysis, it is obvious that the next 20 years within the Fourth Industrial revolution will create a whole new economy and new industries. “This is so evident in what countries like Japan, China, US, South Korea, Germany, Israel and innovators and game changers like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos are all investing in.
He said that stories of young Nigerians, who against all odds are doing their best to build a bright future, are shaping how Nigeria and indeed Africa is looked at globally, and they are attracting global attention and investments. We have gathered such young Nigerian Startup founders who are exploring opportunities in Fintech, EduTech, Health Innovations, Green Energy, Open Innovation etc. to share their insight.
On his part, Mr. Tony Ajah, Director, Nigeria Innovation Summit (NIS), reflected on the 2016 Global Innovation Index, where Nigeria was ranked 114 out of 128 countries based on the investment in research and development, infrastructure, ICTs, political environment, regulatory effectiveness, knowledge and technology output, market sophistication etc.
The Nigeria Innovation Summit, is a brainchild of Emerging Media, attracted participants 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; Lagos Business School; University of Lagos; Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Caleb University; Crescent University; Nasarawa State University; Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria, amongst others.