SystemSpecs, Africa’s leading financial and human capital technology powerhouse, has revealed the list of inspiring personalities who will serve as judges in this year’s edition of its annual Children’s Day Essay Competition.
They include Bayo Adekanmbi, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Transformation Officer; Jumoke Lawoyin, techpreneur and Chief Executive Officer at Lucy.ng; and Emeka Okoye, Chief Semantic Architect and Knowledge Engineer at Cymantiks Nigeria.
This disclosure comes as the deadline for the submission of entries into the essay competition was also extended till April 30th, 2021. The extension is in response to requests by schools and students affected by the irregular school terms regime across Nigeria, to enable them participate in the competition.
Meanwhile, other judges appointed to the evaluation panel are Wale Fatade, accomplished journalist and country commissioning editor at The Conversation; Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr., technology entrepreneur, business coach and returning judge of the competition; Jide Ayegbusi, a social entrepreneur and founder of the tech-led education-focused platform, Edusko; and Funmi Oyatogun, celebrated travel experience creator and environment crusader.
“At SystemSpecs, we are convinced that a strong technology foundation is necessary to reposition Nigeria to compete favourably in the comity of nations and thrive in contemporary times. Through our Children’s Day Essay Competition, we seek to stimulate young Nigerians to become more technologically aware and better positioned to creatively apply technology as a natural response to everyday challenges around them,” said ‘Deremi Atanda, an Executive Director at SystemSpecs.
Bayo Adekanmbi, the Chief Transformation Officer of MTN Nigeria, also doubles as the convener of Data Science Nigeria, a non-profit that seeks to build a local AI-led ecosystem that will position Nigeria as a global outsourcing hub for Big Data projects. At MTN, he leads the team that proactively introduces specific measures to help accelerate the company’s business performance and innovations. Before then, he was the firms’ Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer.
A lawyer by training and a tech entrepreneur, Jumoke Lawoyin is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lucy.ng, arguably Nigeria’s largest online gift store. She is a graduate of the University of Ibadan and the University of London. At Lucy.ng, she combines her cherished experiences in procurement, research, business development, management, and critical thinking to drive the day-to-day operations of a business that powers the gift procurement needs of a large number of organisations in corporate Nigeria.
Emeka Okoye is the Chief Semantic Architect and Knowledge Engineer at Cymantiks Nigeria. He helps governments, private organisations and cities become smarter by using semantic technology to harness their data and information assets through contextual data modeling, knowledge representation and ontology engineering to exploit the opportunities possessed by data, AI and analytics for digital transformation.
Other judges on the evaluation panel are from various walks of life including technology, security, law, media, and the arts. They are financial and tech journalist, Abubakar Idris; media consultant and author, Ayodele Arowosegbe; co-founder of LeedsNG, Dr. Hafis Bello; tech content provider of repute and returning judge of the competition, Ifeoluwa Ogunfuwa; UK-based IT Governance, risk and control advisor, Dewale Otolorin; health law and bioethics enthusiast, Olo Egbokhare; and Chief Communications Consultant at The Comms Avenue, Adedoyin Jaiyesinmi.
It is the duty of the distinguished panel of judges to evaluate and select winning entries for the top prizes in the junior and senior categories of the competition. They have the responsibility of bringing to national consciousness and recommending implementation options of the bright ideas espoused by participants from across the country.
SystemSpecs, the organiser of the annual competition, is the 29-year-old software giant known for its innovative payment solution – Remita, payroll and HR solution – HumanManager, and Paylink – an e-commerce platform for SMEs, non-profits, and individuals.
Winners of the 2021 edition of the SystemSpecs Children’s Day Essay Competition will be announced on Children’s Day, May 27, 2021.
Danbatta Condoles with Emirs of Kano, Bichi over Mother’s Demise
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta on Friday, April 30, 2021 led a high-powered delegation of the Commission to condole with the Emirs of Kano and Bichi, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero and Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero respectively over the demise of their mother, late Hajiya Maryam Ado Bayero, Mai Babban Dakin Kano.
Danbatta, who also submitted two letters of condolence, one on behalf of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Isa Ibrahim Pantami and the other on behalf of the Management and Board of the Commission, stressed that the delegation was in Kano at the behest of the Minister.
The EVC, who personally led prayers for the repose of the soul of the late Mai Babban Daki during the visits, described her death as a monumental loss not only for the two emirates but also the whole country.
“An epitome of motherhood, a fountain of inspiration, a symbol of humility, a promoter of peace, unity and national integration, Late Mai Babban Daki was not only a mother of two Kings, but much more as she’s remembered for her virtues which stood her out like a pearl. Her life will continue to be celebrated by generations to come,” he observed.
Receiving the delegation at his palace in Kano, the Emir of Bichi expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Emirate to both the Minister and the Commission for the visit.
“We deeply appreciate the visit. We thank you for coming, and we hope you would convey our gratitude to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,” he said.
The EVC was accompanied by the Director, New Media and Information Security, Dr. Haru Alhassan; Director, Human Capital and Administration, Usman Malah and the Director, Public Affairs of the Commission, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde as well as his Chief of Staff, Hafiz Shehu.
Trans-African Youth Initiative Honours Tim Akano and New Horizons With Awards
The Trans-African Youth Initiative (TAYI) has honoured information technology expert and Mnagaing Director of New Horizons Nigeria, the world’s largest private information technology and e-business training company with the African Patriotic Leader of the Year award.
His company, New Horizons Nigeria was also awarded the ‘Most productive ICT Company in Africa’.
Country Representative of TAYI, Bakare Luqman, while presenting the awards, said that the awards were in recognition of the contributions of New Horizon in the development of ICT and nation building in Africa. He added that students of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana in the TAYI’s youth convention held recently nominated Mr. Akano.
He noted that the dream of building a better society is sacrosanct and tedious but can be achieved through a collective and collaboration effort from all parts of the society.
“A society can be moved to greater heights and higher ideas only by the number and strength of dreamers, thinkers, and achievers available to it. Giving expression to these dreams require continuous dose of patriotism, selflessness, determination and courage to trudge on against all odds, as being exemplified by our recipient of today’s award,” he stated.
Responding after his investiture, Akano said with what the Africa youths are doing in the financial technology segment and startup ecosystems, the continent would not be left behind in the emerging fourth industrial revolution.
“To go far in life, you must pay the price. Don’t look for quick success but lasting one because the deeper your roots the difficult it becomes to eliminate you. And this depth is gotten through exposure to knowledge. Our brain capacity is as big as that of the whites, but the missing link is in the development of our mindset,” he said.
Akano added that instead of blaming the leaders, efforts should be made towards individual mindset development. “If you decide to be focused in achieving your goals, nothing can stop you. What has been affecting us is that we have small ambition, and believe the lies the western world has sold to us of incapability. The danger with that is that we would not go the extra mile,” Akano said.
Google Arts & Culture’s Eko for Show to Showcase Lagos’s Creative Genius to the World
Profiling over 100 creatives across the spectrum of music, art, photography, fashion, musicals, literature and food, the online exhibition will shine a light on the city’s thriving creative communities and aims to inspire the next generation of creatives.
In partnership with seven of Lagos’s top cultural institutions, the Eko for Show online exhibition will enable audiences to virtually “meet” some of the city’s music makers, visual artists, trendsetters, storytellers and foodies.
The seven cultural institutions include the African Artists Foundation, Homecoming, Lagos Fashion Week, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Rele Arts Foundation, Terra Kulture and the Centenary Project. The partners have shared over 8000 photographs, 80 online stories, 3 Street View experiences and 175 videos, which is presented in one unified online experience.
Eko for Show can be explored via g.co/ekoforshow and by downloading the free Google Arts & Culture app. Highlights include essays by ten women writers who share their personal reflections on Lagos, including Mọlará Wood and Lọlá Shónẹ́yìn. Watch behind-the-scenes interviews with Afrobeats stars Teni the Entertainer, Kizz Daniel and Reekado Banks. Explore an exhibition by artist Victor Ehikamenor and step inside the galleries at the African Artists Foundation, Rele Arts Foundation and Terra Kulture with Street View. Let paintings of Lagos lagoon take your breath away with the Art Camera, and learn more about the thriving arts scene with curator Azu Nwagbogu, artist Nike Davies-Okundaye and creative director Bolanle Austen-Peters. Learn more about Nigerian culture though its musicals, movies, Alté sounds and Homecoming festival with Grace Ladoja.
“Google Arts & Culture’s mission is to preserve and promote the world’s art and culture online to everyone, anywhere in the world. With Eko for Show, we celebrate the creative industry of Lagos and share the buzz, even if virtually, through the works and stories of its incredible youth and culture” says Amit Sood, Director, Google Arts & Culture.
Lagos is one of Africa’s fastest growing cities and a major financial hub on the continent, boasting the fourth highest GDP. In the past, it has garnered international attention for being a hub for creativity, thanks to the more than 25 million people who comprise this community of talent and excellence.
“The coronavirus regrettably resulted in the cancellation of many creative events in Lagos State, which is why I am so excited about the Eko for Show project, a continuation of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation’s partnership with Google Arts & Culture. It highlights the impressive body of creative talent to which Lagos is home, spreading the news across the world,” says Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State.
Folorunsho Coker, Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, adds: “The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation is committed to fuelling Nigeria’s economy by supporting creativity, youth and entrepreneurs. Since 2020, we have collaborated with Google Arts & Culture on a programme to shine a light on Nigeria’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, spectacular nature, bustling cities and our welcoming spirit.
“Our partnership with Google Arts & Culture has a crucial role to play in seeing us achieve our mission of accelerating growth of domestic tourism, and fostering economic development in Nigeria,” Coker says.
Juliet Ehimuan, Google Director West Africa, credited the Taste of Nigeria project, announced in 2019, for giving people across the world the chance to experience Nigerian arts and culture. “The launch of Eko for Show further reinforces Google’s commitment to Nigeria’s art and creative industry, and its support for the recovery and growth of Nigeria’s tourism sector ,” she says.
Nigeria’s fast growing tech, music, film and fashion sectors have become strong exporters of culture, with music sales revenues estimated to reach $88 million by 2019. The creative industry in Nigeria is teeming with the potential for economic growth, and the Eko for Show project is focused on spotlighting Lagos as home to some of Africa’s most brilliant creatives.
Eko for Show is available free online via g.co/ekoforshow. Google Arts & Culture is available free to everyone on the web or via the Arts & Culture App on iOS and Android. Google Arts & Culture is a new way to experience art, history, culture, and world wonders from over 1000 organisations worldwide.
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