The 2019 Regional Technovation Challenge has come to a close in Calabar, with four teams making it to the semi-final stages of this year’s competition.
The technovation challenge which held Saturday, at the Tinapa Knowledge City, Tinapa; had 26 teams from Calabar and Aba who embarked on a live stage battle in a bid to represent Nigeria at the annual Technovation World Pitch Summit in California, USA.
Team Harryfield and Team Paradise made the junior category while Team Valeria and Explicit Innovators were top picks for the senior category; and will join other Technovation teams round the globe who scale the semi-final stages to represent Nigeria at the annual Technovation World Pitch Summit in August, 2019, at the Silicon Valley; where they will be flown in and invited to pitch their apps and business plans to a panel of tech industry experts for a chance to win scholarships to advance their education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects.
Announcing the winners for this year’s regional technovation challenge, the Cultural Affairs Specialist at the Embassy of the United States of America, Nigeria; Bella Anne Nduibuisi, said the US Embassy is delighted to be part of the partners and supporters of the program.
She said the US Embassy is very proactive to support the idea of more girls getting involved in science, technology, engineering and maths.
“The US Embassy is very proactive to support the idea of more girls getting involved in science, technology, engineering and maths and this is one way to open doors, the doors and opportunities, the floodgate of opportunities for girls to realise that they too can be part of those who are pushing technology.”
Also speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Stella Odey expressed delight at the initiative, and lauded the efforts of the organisers to seeing that girls are empowered with the needed technology skills to drive change in the society.
The commissioner said government on it’s part will do everything within it’s reach to empower women and girls who are doing great and amazing exploits in innovation and technology.
“I must say that I’m excited being here.
For us as government we will not relent, we will do all in our reach to support Technovation and sponsor innovative ideas that will put our state on the global map.”
The commissioner admonished the students to be of good behavior and take their studies seriously; even as she praised the Convener for the choice to empower women and girls through technology.
“We can make a change. Don’t ever get Intimidated. That you are a girl does not mean you cannot make a change. You all can become governors, you can become president’s. All you have to do is to stay focused. And one secret to success is making God your source. Focus on your academics, respect your teachers and your parents.
“I want to thank the beautiful and delectable Grace Ihejiamaizu for being the brain behind this idea. She has blown my mind. Wonderful workaholic young lady who has chosen to mentor young ladies. Undaunted and focused on her vision,” the Women Affairs Commissioner said.
Speaking at the sidelines of the event, the host, Mrs. Grace Ihejiamaizu said the main aim of technovation is to mentor, young girls on how they can use innovation and technology to proffer solutions to problems found within their immediate communities.
According to her: “This event is just to show how much women can accomplish. If they are given the right environment, if they are given the safe space, if they are given the right set of skills and encouraged, imagine how much they could achieve.
“So I want to use this opportunity to encourage all young girls out there not to look down on their abilities but to seek for opportunities and take advantage of them like the technovation platform.
“We hope to host this same program next year and get more girls accros the South South region of Nigeria to get involved in technology,” said Ihejiamaizu who is also the founder of IKapture Networks.
One of the participants whose team won for the junior category, Miss Jacintha Daniels said she was happy to be part of the event, and asked for more support as they proceed to the semi-final stages of the event.
Another participant, Veronica Simon who couldn’t hide her feelings after her team emerged winners from the senior category, said she was more than happy to have advanced to the semi’s. She said they will try their best at the semi-final stage to see that they return victorious at the competition.
Other notable personalities present at the event are, Senior Pastor, Honeystream’s Christian Centre & International Development Speaker, Akomaye Ugar, Associate Professor, Christiana Ihejiamaizu of the University of Calabar.
Others are, Mrs. Esther Eshiet, Faculty Lead; Afterschool Centre for Career Development, Mr. Okorn Okorn, founder of The LiftHub Africa, Journalist & Broadcaster, Ukeh Ogar, Elizabeth Kalu and Eti Demas who all served as Judges.
Highlights of the event was the presentation of certificates and plaques to participants, mentors, and winning teams; as well as presentation of Teacher achievements award; and Award of recognition to partners.