The finals of the Universal Provision Fund (USPF) Changemaker Challenge 2017 was held at the Digital Bridge Institute, Oshodi, Lagos State on Saturday 28th October, 2017 following the emergence of 10 finalists who emerged from the initial 30 teams that contested the Semi Finals on Friday 27th October, 2017.
The USPF Changemaker Challenge is a nationwide competition opened to young aspiring innovators, software developers, techpreneurs and other ICT enthusiasts from the six (6) geographical zones of Nigeria. The major objective of the competition is to identify young talents offering modern ICT ideas and solutions that can be used to tackle a selection of identified problems based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they apply to Nigeria and offer solutions accordingly. Consequently, the contestants are given a golden opportunity for various sponsorship deals and also mentorship by some of the finest ICT professionals the industry has to offer as this will guarantee the success of various identified smart ideas and innovations in ICT.
A total of thirty (30) teams, five (5) from each of the six (6) geopolitical zones of Nigeria, comprising two (2) to four (4) team members, showcased their applications and software which cuts across major sectors of the economy ranging from Agriculture, Health, Education, E-Government, E-Commerce, Cyber Security, Environment, amongst others, in the Semi Finals and Finals of the event in Lagos.
Out of the thirty (30) Semi Finalists that contested, ten (10) teams made it to the Finals after an extensive battle whereby the three (3) best teams emerged to claim various prizes plus acceptance into incubation programme.
The three winning teams are:
1st Position = NICADEMIA (A video platform that offers over 200 Animations in seven (7) Nigerian local dialects that help children learn more about Western/African Education, History, Culture, etc.)
2nd Position = JIGGLE (An innovative platform that provides students in Tertiary Institutions 3 square meals daily through the purchase of 3 available Jiggle plans which in turn generates meal credits.
3rd Position = KANO MAGENTA (A mobile/web application for ordering water from local vendors popularly known as "Garuwas", additionally the Garuwa application can help report leakages and also sanitize water)
Please visit www.uspfchangemaker.ng for more information.
“Our agenda for Universal Service Provision is based on the tripod of Availability, Accessibility and Affordability” - Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC)/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, FNSE, who was represented by Kelechi Nwankwo, Head of Strategy and Corporate Performance Monitoring at the USPF Secretariat, has said the strategic activities of the USPF are targeted at ensuring availability of service, accessibility of service and affordability of service which are the constitutive hallmarks of universal access.
The EVC stated this at Calabar, the venue of the South-South Zonal Workshop on ICT Utilisation and Sustainability organized by USPF.
He noted that the workshop was designed to enrich the experience of USPF’s implementing partners (managers) of Community Resource Centres (CRC) and School Knowledge Centres (SKC) State desk officers, teachers, students and other stakeholders interested in deepening ICT penetration.
Prof. Danbatta invited opinion leaders including community leaders, government functionaries, civil societies and tech enthusiasts to align with rural ICT projects that are capable of achieving developmental goals and also addressing the peculiar needs of the beneficiary communities and institutions. His address ignited enthusiasm and determination in the assembly of over 250 youths, representatives of community-based organisations, government officials, media and development workers who gathered in Calabar from 27th to 28th September, 2017, for the two-day knowledge-sharing interaction designed to deliver concrete results in the determination to expand the frontiers of ICT penetration and usage among the citizens of Nigeria, irrespective of where they live.
Similarly, the Secretary of USPF, Mr. Ayuba Shuaibu, who was also represented by Adejoke Atte, Principal Manager, Strategy and Corporate Performance Monitoring, amplified the USPF mandate to promote availability of ICT services in rural, unserved and underserved areas, the achievement of which will contribute measurably to the objectives of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERPG) on telecommunications and ICT.
These objectives are to: develop sufficient, efficient, affordable and critical ICT infrastructure as well as encourage rapid ICT penetration among all socio-economic levels and increase the current coverage of the active mobile broadband subscription per 100 from 20.95 to 50 percent by the Year 2020.
The second day of the workshop was a technology Bootcamp devoted wholly to training and technology transfer on web development, Android App development and Arduino Robotics and Artificial Intelligence also known as Machine Learning. The Bootcamp was a practical session on the application of ICT to enhance agriculture, health, education, early disaster warning, etc.
At the end of the workshop, which was the third in the series planned for all the geopolitical zones in Nigeria, the participants created the Calabar Innovation Hub to harness and sustain the gains of the programme.