7 Nigerian start-ups receive presidential awards

President Muhammadu Buhari has honored seven innovative Nigerian start-ups with awards in recognition of the tremendous impact they have had in putting the country’s name on the global map of the ICT sector and digital economy.

Nigerian start-ups have won the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and World Information Technology Society (WITS) Championships/Awards in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Buhari said the champions have made Nigeria proud on the world stage and their stories have become testimonies that Nigeria can produce great innovators such as Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates in the near future.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami yesterday presented the awards on behalf of President Buhari at the Digital Economy Complex, Mbora, Abuja, pointing out that the prizes also involved cash prizes .

Pantami expressed his delight at the progress of the global winners of the awards in various categories in the ICT and digital innovation sector, especially those who won the awards at a time when he (Pantami) chairs the global body.

For those who won the 2022 awards, Pantami explained that 996 entries were submitted online with 360 selected for votes, while 1.3 million people voted across the world in 193 member countries for the winners to emerge. .

He led the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA and Galaxy Backbone Limited to select the award-winning solutions to help them become global brands.

The Minister said that President Buhari is currently reviewing the Startups Bill which would be a major achievement of the administration as it contains provisions that would transform the industry in terms of benefits, incentives, loans and grants.

“The Startups Bill, once passed, will become President Buhari’s major achievement of the digital transformation era, as some provisions of the Bill will change the narratives of the sector. There will be a Council on start-ups and Mr. President will be the Chairman.

“The private sector will work with the government to address the challenges and deliver the solutions for Nigeria to produce its own Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg,” Pantami said.

The champions are Chipsbrain Nigeria, 2020, Category 7, e-health, Mr. Oluwaseyi Akinola, Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre, 2020, Category 3, access to information and knowledge, Maryam Abdulsalam, and ICT for Indigenous Language, Afrilingo, 2020, e-empowerment, Franca Igwe.

The others are Association of Women in Technology in Nigeria, Category 7, 2022, ICT applications e-empowerment, Martha Alade, and Special Needs Initiative for Growth, (Africa), Career development initiative for mothers with cerebral palsy children in Nigeria, 2021, Category 6, enabling environment, Rachel Inegbedion.

The last two categories are: Top up & Get Reward Limited, Teleconomy, 2021, Category 2, ICT Infrastructure, Mr. Samuel Babatunde and Green Fresh Nigeria, Wizwish International Farm, Category 7, e-business, Mr. Wisdom Ikpechukwu.

Speaking on behalf of the winners, Martha Alade of the Women’s Technology Empowerment Center praised the current administration for its dedication to growing and developing the digital economy, noting that start-up owners are inspired and overwhelmed by government dedication.

Also speaking, Franca Igwe, who produced Afrilingo, expressed her gratitude to the federal government, adding that the awards have encouraged them to do more.

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