Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has charged the country’s youth to be creative and more enterprising by leveraging the mass of digital skills now readily available.
He spoke at the weekend as Team Astromania, a team of five young Nigerians based in Kaduna, emerged the winner of the ActinSpace Innovation Challenge with a cash prize of N750, 000.00, laptops, and ICT internship programme.
As Nigeria’s first place winner, Team Astromania gets the winning ticket for all-expense-paid trip to represent the country at the global ActinSpace event in Paris, France in 2021.
Actinspance is an international competition targeted at students of tertiary institutions, IT startups, and entrepreneurs to utilize space technologies to create solutions that improve everyday life.
While commending Team Astromania, the minister urged young people to develop specialized skills in order to empower themselves, be able to be part of the functional skill sets in the ICT industry.
NIGCOMSAT hosted the event in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, African Aeronautics & Space Organization (AASO), CNES (The National Centre for Space Studies– France), European Space Agency (ESA), Airbus and others.
Team Astromania’s solution, an innovative application which harnesses car and satellite data to enhance location and security mobility, was voted as the winning solution at the hackaton.
Team FutureGeneration emerged as 1st runner-up with a cash prize of N500, 000.00 and laptops; Team Pyloops came 3rd with a cash prize of N350,000.00 and laptops and the fourth runners up, Team Floews were awarded with N200,000.
“[This event] gives us great opportunity to become major participants in the growing global digital economy, thereby making ICT not just an enabler but a catalyst for economic growth,” said Pantami. He was represented at the award ceremony by the Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Limited, Prof. Mohammed Abubakar.
According to Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, Dr. Abimbola Alale, the competition is designed to make participants more creative and be able to firm up their digital skills which she touted as the foundation of the country’s digital economy.
Her words: “Just like the minister, we are passionate about skills development and this initiative challenges the youths to make use of their minds and harness skills and talents. It is also bringing out the entrepreneurship spirit in them because when you see the presentation, they all talked about the capital required to start-up as well as what they project to be able to make within a period of time.
“So they aren’t just looking at employment, they are looking at becoming employers themselves. This, we believe will encourage other youths that are all waiting for jobs here and there to harness digital skills. We are trying to build a generation of people who won’t be dependent on people rather will be employers of labour themselves.”
Additional report: News Agency of Nigeria