The Federal Government through its Minister of Communications and Digital Economy who also doubles as the chairman of the World Summit on the Information Society Prof. Isa Pantami has instructed the seven champions of the WSIS to receive the support and collaboration of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Nigeria Communications Commission(NCC), and Galaxy Backbone Limited, to ensure that their innovative solutions are of global benefits. The WSIS event took place in Geneva, Switzerland, and had technical sessions that gave youths around the world the privilege to work and submit projects covering e-health, e-agriculture, e-education, and other fields. The seven-person who emerged winners were Afrilingo by Franca Umasoye Igwe, who came out tops as the winner of the WSIS 2022 Hackathon.
Others include Association of Women in Technology in Nigeria by Martha Alade (2022); Initiative for Mothers with Cerebal Palsy Children in Nigeria by Rachael Inegbedion (2021); Top Up and Get Reward Limited by Samuel Babatunde (2021); Wizwish International Farm by Wisdom Ikpechukwu (2020); Chipsnbrain by Oluwaseyi Akinolu (2020); and Makerspace Project by Oreoluwa Lesi (2020).
Pantami issued this directive during the awards presentation ceremony of WSIS Champions for 2020, 2021, and 2022 in Abuja “I want to use this opportunity, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, to direct NITDA, Galaxy Backbone, and NCC to look at your solutions and identify where you need support so that the solution will not just remain as a startup; rather, we want to build the solution here and become the tech giant at least in the next few years. This is our ambition,” he said.
Pantami explained that the winners and champions for 2020 and 2021 were also presented their awards during WSIS 2022 because there weren’t any formal sessions in the aforementioned years due to COVID-19. Pantami also noted that the Federal Government through the ministry and office of the Chief of Staff to the President had worked on, and presented the Nigerian startup bill to the national assembly.
The bill which has already been passed by both arms of the National Assembly is expected to be finally signed by the President so it can become a law and beneficial to the Nigerian tech ecosystem