Meet the ten finalists from Global Alliance Africa’s Youth Innovators Support Programme in Ekiti State, Nigeria
Global Alliance Africa project are delighted to introduce you to ten new young innovators from Ekiti State.
Home to more than 200 million people, Nigeria is well known as the largest and most youthful country in Africa – but did you know that, by 2050, Nigeria’s population is expected to nearly double, reaching 377 million people?
Of this number, young people will account for roughly 70% of the population. This youth bulge presents a serious challenge to overcoming poverty and inequality in Nigeria, with demand for jobs expected to skyrocket while unemployment remains the reality for many Nigerians.
To help prepare Nigerians for this demographic shift – and inspire an appetite for innovation and entrepreneurship as both a viable career option and a step towards creating jobs and new opportunities for their peers – Innovate UK KTN, as part of the Global Alliance Africa project, recently partnered with the Lagos Business School’s Enterprise Development Centre to upskill the entrepreneurial expertise of ten young innovators from the Ekiti State region.
Part of the project’s focus on unlocking ‘Place-Based Innovation’, a selected group of finalists will now go through one final round of pitch training before being given the opportunity to showcase their unique ideas to a global platform of innovation investors, advocates and enablers.
Ahead of then, Global Alliance Africa is excited to share the list of ten innovators enrolled in this initiative and the various efforts they are taking to drive impact in their communities:
TechHead Nigeria is a one-stop shop for automated household devices, bringing endless possibilities to homes with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and an ecosystem of smart devices.
This idea was born out of a passion for engineering and modern technology. To the team, while AI is still in its developing stages, and as every day sees new innovations and devices emerge, the technology is ready to be commercialised for home-use and TechHead aims to ensure that Ado Ekiti and Nigeria are not left behind.
ORMD Datalab is a company trading in memes – an AI-powered mobile application that uses automated algorithms to create memes and humorous captions, including videos, graphics, animations, fliers, and any graphics from any event or situation, and shares them with your friends for view.
Users can also trade their memes for money and any intellectual property they create using ORMD Datalab’s AI algorithms.
Gigsdev is building an innovation and technology incubation centre (a “technology village”) where innovation can be fostered in Ekiti State. They want to provide 24 hours of uninterrupted electricity and internet connection for continuous and unbroken research and development for innovators and computer technology personnel.
In doing so, the village hopes to be an enabling environment for mentorship and solution incubation with locally sourced raw materials.
Motivar is a social enterprise focused on solving the distribution problem of digital skill training and education, especially for young people with limited access due to their financial or social situation.
Launched in 2014, the company seeks to provide learner-support services and be the easiest way for students to find, start and complete digital courses. The team of five has just completed the first of four stages of their pilot, with the idea to distribute the service via software products and community centres.
The Health City
The idea behind The Health City emerged from a survey the team conducted, which showed that more than 70% of respondents take care of the majority of their sexual-related health issues on their own or with the help of their friends. This inspired the team to develop a chatbot on their website for the Nigerian youth to speak with a doctor about their sexual health concerns for free.
The Health City had to place restrictions on this chat box due to the overwhelming demand, which inspired them to develop a complete solution. For a fee, the youth can access a variety of sexual health services, including virtual consultations, referrals for physical services (including lab testing and pharmacies), and read accurate sexual health information via a health blog.
The Rice Inventory Storage and Exchange (or RISE for short) is a commodity storage system that issues electronic receipts to people storing their goods on the premises. These receipts can then be traded between farmers or buyers and later redeemed when taking goods out of storage.
This is all in an effort to support farmers in their post-harvest stage by giving them access to storage facilities and harvest protection products, such as Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) storage bags and chemicals like Actellic Super. In the future, RISE also hopes to provide farmers with access to short-term loans and create opportunities for smallholder farmers to store their paddy for a longer time before selling, thus generating maximum revenue on their produce.
School curriculums are often criticised for not focusing enough on the non-academic elements of raising a child – so to address this issue, Raising Royals is using internet-based communications technology to provide non-academic lessons to young people across the county.
Focusing on topics such as leadership, financial education, sex education, resilience and character, the idea behind Raising Royals was born from the belief that more could be done to better prepare students for life ahead, with the team committed to realising this mission.
Solarify Africa is an inclusive youth-led organisation with two unique missions: To eradicate energy poverty across rural communities and institutions of learning in Nigeria, and to provide secondary school students with access to the internet, tech gadgets, educational software and pieces of training to bring the education system into the 21st Century.
This vision was triggered by the initiative of the former Governor of Ekiti State (Mr Ayodele Fayose), who provided the team with laptops, internet access and software while they were studying at Ekiti State Government College.
wRide is a transport innovation which creates a better bike transportation system in Ekiti State using digitisation and data science. In the next three years, wRide wants to see Ekiti bike transportation system digitised and corporate.
Safebuy is a digital marketplace that connects farmers, vendors and customers looking for a quick and dependable platform to buy, sell and trade fresh produce. This is all in an effort to improve the visibility of food-providers by giving users a space to browse all of their regular items, order them for same-day delivery, and pay for them in a safe and affordable manner.
While still in its development stage, SafeBuy is on track to deliver a roadmap this year with all the essential features and start its journey towards becoming a leader in the Nigerian market.
Remarking on the participants, Joshua Adedeji, Knowledge Transfer Manager for Nigeria at Global Alliance Africa, says that: “The potential for youth innovation to accelerate inclusive socio-economic growth cannot be understated in Nigeria. By developing entirely new products, businesses, and even industries, these young entrepreneurs will usher in a whole new reality for the country’s future. Now, it is up to us – those with the knowledge, networks and resources – to unite behind them and support their growth on this journey through Innovate UK KTN’s global network.”
If you would like to learn more about Global Alliance Africa’s efforts to support youth innovation in Nigeria, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Global Alliance Africa, a project by Innovate UK KTN
Global Alliance Africa is a six-year project funded by UK Aid and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) through Innovate UK KTN. With presence in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, the project seeks to build stronger local innovation ecosystems and enhanced UK-Africa collaborations that lead to self-sustaining economic growth in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa with a focus on harnessing the potential of innovation to meet current and future socio-economic challenges.
Global Alliance Africa will achieve this through building new and stronger UK-African partnerships to maximise the creation of inclusive market access, funding and investment opportunities through innovation knowledge transfer.
To learn more about Global Alliance Africa and its Place-Based Innovation intervention, go to www.iuk.ktn-uk.org/programme/africa
Global Alliance Africa partners with Innovation Support Network to host the inaugural Innovation Canvas training in Nigeria
Earlier this month, Global Alliance Africa – a six-year project delivered by Innovate UK KTN partnered with the Innovation Support Network (ISN) to host the first-ever Innovation Canvas training event in Nigeria, which took place on 7 December at the Coworkstyle in Lagos.
Global Alliance Africa
Global Alliance Africa is a six-year project funded by UK Aid through Innovate UK (GCRF) and FCDO.