The Gage Company has concluded Co-Create 2022 International Tech Exhibition, bringing together some of Africa’s biggest tech innovators, at Landmark Event Centre in Lagos, to celebrate the collaborative processes that help realise phenomenal solutions, and nurture the growth of the tech ecosystem.
The event hosted tech experts, exhibitors, government representatives including the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, representing the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Pantami; and the Special Adviser for Innovation and Technology, Lagos, Tubosun Alake.
During his welcome address, Inuwa Abdullahi argued that innovation involves more than providing solutions, as the impact and commercialisation of the solution is also pertinent.
Innovation is a process of taking an idea from inception all the way to impact and while many people think innovation and invention mean the same thing, innovation is actually creating a market or democratising access to your solution, product or services.Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, DG, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) at Co-Create 2022
He added that the tech ecosystem needs to be more innovative with its solutions, so as to solve the many problems plaguing the country.
“In Nigeria, we have many problems and we need more innovations to solve them. These kinds of collaborations we are having here today can open doors for this because you cannot survive in isolation. Everything is about the ecosystem.”
Abdullahi said the current administration is committed to collaborating with innovators in the tech industry, and the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) is underway. He said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has given approval for the Ministry of Communications and agencies under its supervision to co-create solutions with the ecosystem in areas of procurement, IP & Patenting and giving Incentives to encourage the startups.
Speaking during this welcome address, Tunbosun Alake stated that the Lagos Government is poised to make the state a tech hub as soon as possible.
“In the past two to three years, we’ve been able to do some things in the ecosystem to drive the amount of activity in terms of funding,” he said. He also spoke about the work that his office has been doing with the Lagos Science, Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC).
The Lagos Science, Research and Innovation Council, he said, is “primarily focused on driving science research and innovation in Lagos with the goal of increasing the number of patents that are coming out of Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.”
He added that from February 2020 to date the council has funded “about 60 startups with grand sizes between 9 to 10 thousand dollars.”
Speaking on one of the Co-Create 2022 panels tagged “Technology, Regulations and Control,” both Abdullahi and Alake agreed that the ecosystem cannot experience growth without regulations. They also made the argument that stakeholders in the tech industry should be participants in the formulation of the regulations.
“We believe that regulation is not to stifle innovation, but rather to unlock opportunities. Whatever we do, we don’t do in isolation,” the DG said. “We work with the ecosystem to co-create policies and co-create the regulations. Whatever we do, we do together. We believe that together, we can do greater things. That is why we are here to work with you and to co-create our future”
The 2-day expo served as a platform for companies to expand their network base, generate news leads, and increase brand awareness.
Co-Create 2022 was launched ahead of the Gage Awards scheduled to hold Saturday June 11, 2022. It also featured a fireside chat with tech influencers, innovators, and policymakers to learn, share, and address critical issues in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem.
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