Nigerian start-up, Chiniki Guard, grabs $10,000 winning prize for AI at GITEX 2019

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  • Communications Minister, Pantami,  commends the winning spirit of Nigerian youth

By Nwakaego Alajemba

Nigerian tech startup, Chiniki Guard is the winner of the USD 10,000 best prize in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) category at the Global Future Stars (GFS) Supernova competition – part of the highlights of Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) 2019 which is ending today.  

Chiniki Guard leverages AI to monitor a human activity; it is a recognition service that provides real-time update by analysing a video feed. It helps to detect and instantly prevent crimes or violations. The video analysis software can easily classify what action a shopper is taking; suspicious actions are flagged and reported instantly.

The GITEX Technology Week is an annual 5-day event touted as the biggest global technology gathering in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. This year’s theme is: “Synergising the Mind and Technology Economy.”

Pantami praises Bashir, Nigerian youths

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, leader of the Nigerian delegation to GITEX 2019, has congratulated the winner of the startup innovation competition, Abdulkarim Bashir.

The minister praised the winning spirit of Nigerian youth and challenged them to do more tech exploits.

Bashir defeated 750 other contestants from 73 countries at the biggest technology and innovation show in the Middle East, Africa and Asia with his AI security solution, Chiniki Guard, aimed at detecting and alerting business owners of security breaches in their shops.

The startup was among the 34 other start-ups including 247Medic (another Nigerian startup focusing on tech for health services) that made the Supanova finalists at the GFS. As an AI platform, Chiniki Guard security solution will help save large retail stores or small supermarkets heavy losses recorded daily as a result of activities of shoplifters.

Bashir said the GFS offered him a rare global opportunity to showcase his solution and widen his knowledge of how the solution could best be improved. He plans to formally launch the app after GITEX and migrate the service to the cloud.

About six Nigerian start-ups were sponsored to the GFS by the Nigeian government. They are Blue Circle of Notitia, Zowasel, an agritech application, Naira Packet, a solution that reduces the cost of micro-transactions and Sublime Square.

The GFS is part of the Global Startup Movement initiated by the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) organisers of GITEX over five years ago and Nigeria, through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has consistently participated as a way to expose the country’s startup ecosystem.

This year, the grand prize of USD 100,000 for the overall start-ups competition went to Mr. Jose Rubinger, a co-Founder of Key2Enable, a startup operating in the United States and Brazil. Key2Enable was adjudged best for its assistive technology enabling the physically challenged to write and type with keyboard.

NITDA, OIIE commended

While praising the achievements of Bashir and what it symbolically means for millions of young Nigerians, Pantami also commended the efforts of the NITDA for its support through provision of sponsorships for the country’s young innovators to the GFS.

At a dinner to round up the country’s participation at this year’s GITEX, the communication minister thanked the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), a subsidiary of NITDA, charged with promoting startups and indigenous technology innovation in Nigeria.  

“NITDA as regulator of the IT Sector has continued to empower, promote and invest in young talent in the industry through the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) in a bid to drive the president’s vision for technological advancement in Nigeria. This is a national success worthy of celebration as our efforts have begun yielding the desired results. The success is a clear testimony of the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in promoting our youths and other Nigerians as prioritized by the Executive Orders 003 and 005,” said Pantami.

“We will continue to support and encourage local content development and promotion in our determination to transform our economy from a resource-based to knowledge-based society,” he added.

Nigerian managed two pavilions at this year’s GITEX – the GFS Startup Pavilion featuring about 97 countries and the Country Pavilion to join more than 144 other countries. The Country Pavilion hosted agencies that include Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Galaxy Backbone, NIPEX, Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), and Nigeria Petroleum Exchange Commission and Petroleum Equalization Fund.


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