Taofeek Olalekan Afeez & Alayande Abdulwaheed Abiola Win 2018 Microsoft Imagine Cup [National]

Taofeek Olalekan Afeez and Alayande Abdulwaheed Abiola, of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) have emerged winners of the 2018 Microsoft Imagine Cup National Finals in Nigeria.

The two undergraduates of Physics Electronics and Electrical Electronics who jointly formed TEAM TREP had presented a solution called Real Drip – a device that reduces the risk of blood clot or deep vein thrombosis. The non-invasive device monitors the flow of intravenous fluid during IV treatment and notifies medical staff in real time. The device monitors the rate at which intravenous fluid drops (flow rate) and notifies the medical staff on duty in real time, for the timely removal of intravenous needle to prevent back flow of blood, which may lead to pulmonary embolism if necessary action is not taken on time.

With this development, the team proceeds to the second round of the competition and if successful, they will join other students for global finals taking place in Redmond, Seattle in July [2018]. The competition is regarded as one of the biggest software competition for undergraduates in the world.

Now in its 16th year, Microsoft Imagine Cup, aims to give young developers the opportunity to acquire new and critical technical, business and team-building skills all while having fun along the way. However, the competition is segmented into three rounds, the National Finals which is round one, regional finals, round two and the World finals, round three (with a $100,000 cash prize).

Speaking on this development, Mr. Akin Banuso, General Manager, Microsoft Nigeria stated:

“Today’s students are the makers and doers that will build and change the world, as we know it. At Microsoft, we believe this new generation of innovators have the potential to address some of humanity’s most pressing problems; from how to predict and monitor diseases like Alzheimer’s and depression, to identifying ‘fake news’ or increasing response times during natural disasters.

Through Imagine Cup, the world’s young, aspiring entrepreneurs and developers collaborate to build a technology application, create a business plan and gain a keen understanding of what is needed to bring a concept to market. In a cloud-first, mobile-first world, creators and makers must work together to create a cloud for global good.”

Taofeek Olalekan Afeez, The Team Head for Team TREP, who was full of excitement said:

“We are excited about this win. We would like to thank Microsoft for this opportunity. We look forward to competing at the global stage and do our country proud.”

Also speaking, Mr. Damola Solanke, Principal Azure Apps & Infrastructure Lead, Microsoft Nigeria and Chief Judge of the competition said the winning idea was assessed based on four key areas – Technology, Innovation, Concept and Feasibility.

Mr. Damola Solanke said:

“We would like to commend TEAM TREP for satisfying the requirements of the competition. Their idea was well articulated and we look forward to seeing more homegrown solutions to our pressing needs as a country.”

The National entries for the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition opened in February 2018, and is available in 29 countries across the world including Nigeria. Participants create or join a team of up to three eligible students. Together, they make an original technology project from start to finish. The process involves coming up with a great idea, putting together a plan, building a project and submitting it.

Organized by Microsoft subsidiaries in-country, the National Finals select the best teams from each participating country as they pitch and demo their ideas to experts to vie for a coveted spot at the Imagine Cup World Finals.

Winners Of Nigerian Triathlon Championship [2018]

Winners have emerged in the 5th edition of the Nigerian Triathlon Championship, which was concluded at the Lagos National Stadium Surulere.

Williams Gbekemiye emerged champion as he beat Perelate Gbagi and Ibrahim Akinlabi to the second and third places respectively in the Elite triathlon event.

In the female Elite Triathlon, Rosemary Marcus finished first, Gloria Odiaze came second, while Joy Tonjor finished third. In the Male Junior Triathlon, only two participants contested for hours. Sadiq Yahaya finished first while Osamuyiwa Uyi finished second.

In the Junior Duathlon (female), Alabi Yemisi won the gold, Kate Oyewole picked the silver while Adedotun Oluwapelumi won the bronze. In the Elite Duathlon (male), Adeniran Opeyemi won the bronze, Odunayo Adeyemi finished second, while Oke Itunu Joseph finished third.

In Elite Duathlon (female), Ukpeseraye Ese finished first, Happy Okafor was second while Glory Effiong finished third. In the Junior Duathlon (male), Aluko Kehinde finished first, Michael Segun ended second, Masud Garba picked the bronze.

In the Cadet Duathlon (male) Akinsemoyin Faruk finished first, while Malik Sanni picked the silver.

Apart from medals, the athletes got cash prizes and gift items made available by the sponsors.

According to the outgoing President of the Nigeria Triathlon Union, Dr. Lanre Glover:

“I must commend everyone that contributed to the success of the event. First, I must thanks the athletes who turned out in large number, our officials and the members of the NTU board.

I must also thank our sponsors – Linkage Assurance, DHL, De United (Indomie), Grand Oak Nigeria Limited for their unflinching support.”

About 106 athletes from 21 states and seven clubs took part in the championship.

Nigeria Wins 12 Medals In The 1st African Para-Badminton Championships

Nigeria para-badminton athletes has won a total of 12 medals – seven gold and five silver at the 1st African Para-Badminton Championships which was held in Kampala, Uganda between April 30 and May 4.

Bello Oyebanji clinched three gold medals in three events while Eze Chukwuebuka won two gold medals in the championships.

Also, Dixon Dada increased the country’s gold medals to seven after winning two gold medals while Umar Baba and Chinyere Okoro won two silver each. Ijeoma Chukwuemeka also added two silver to the country medal haul.

According to Samuel Ekeoma, National Coordinator of Nigeria Para-Badminton:

“This is a very good outing and I’m proud of what the athletes have been able to achieve. I hope the government and corporate bodies will reward the athletes for the fantastic performance in Uganda.”

Nigeria had earlier won 7 medals (one gold, three silver and three bronze) in the 2nd Uganda Para-badminton International Championships held from April 25 to April 29.

Nigeria won a total of 19 medals in the two competitions sanctioned by the Badminton world body.

4 Nigerian Students Emerge Winners Of US Conrad Spirit Of Innovation Challenge [2018]

Four students of Whitesands School, Lekki (William Afolabi {Team Leader}, Mordi Menashi, Famobiwo Olubusuyi and Ugbo Osagumwenro) – Team Neon who represented Nigeria and Africa at the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge have emerged the 2018 Power Pitch winner of the Smoke-Free World category of the competition at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Florida, USA.

The Smoke-Free category challenged students who are presently in JSS2 to develop a marketable and innovative idea that can help in reducing smoking and at the same time provide an economic solution to challenges facing tobacco farmers in developing countries.

Thus, the students with the supervision of their coach, Mr. Matthew Omostosho developed an app they called Virtual Farm, which they presented at the final of the science competition. They were the only representatives from Nigeria and Africa in the finals and they have reportedly received Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Good Citizen award among other prizes.

The US Conrad Spirit Of Innovation Challenge is an international innovation competition comprised of five categories: Aerospace Aviation, Cyber Technology and Security, Energy and Environment, Health and Nutrition, and Smoke-Free World.

Participants are expected to develop a marketable and innovative idea that can solve a real-world problem by using Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) principles.

This annual competition challenges teams to use science, technology, engineering and math innovation, as well as entrepreneurship, to create a more sustainable world for today and the future generations.

The global decline of smoking have many positive health impacts, but also brought negative economic consequences to tobacco farmers, many of whom are in developing nations. Students were invited to design 21st Century solutions to farmlands currently used for tobacco production, especially in African countries.

Peters Emuze Elected To UN CESCR [2018]

Ambassador Peters Emuze has been elected to the United Nations (UN) Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) to represent the African continent for a four-year tenure, in a keenly-contested election held at the UN Headquarters, New York.

CESCR is the body of 18 independent experts that monitors countries’ compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of citizens by its States parties. The committee was established under the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Resolution 1985/17 of May 28, 1985, to carry out the monitoring functions assigned to the UN ECOSOC.

Peters Emuze, who entered the race barely two months to the election, beat candidates of six other countries; Algeria, Sudan, Niger, Uganda, Cameroon and Mauritius, who had been campaigning for upward of one year. His victory, in securing the first of the two seats for Africa is seen as a ‘feather’ for Nigeria which would also improve Nigeria’s future “diplomatic leverage”.

However, Cameroon withdrew at the last minute while Mauritius’ candidate defeated Algeria’s in a run-off to secure  the second seat for Africa.

Fielding candidates for CESCR would require the country’s permanent mission to the UN. In this instance, the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN at New York and Geneva, in conjunction with all the 54 Nigerian missions in ECOSOC member states, coordinated the process and canvassed for votes for the position.

Nigeria’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande, wrote to all the 54-Member States of ECOSOC, seeking their support for Nigeria’s candidate.

Nigeria’s Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Samson Itegboje, said it became impossible to get countries to step down for Nigeria, as all of them wanted to “go for broke”.

According to Nigeria’s Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN:

“The victory has raised our profile on the international stage. I don’t think there are many countries that can pull such outing, two months to the election. We can call it a miracle but it was a result of hard work, strategy and good relations.

Also, we presented the best, as our candidate has got the required experience including being the former Charge d’Affaires at the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN Offices in Geneva.”

After the election, Ambassador Peters Emuze pledged:

“Nigeria long signed the treaty and that means Nigeria is ready to comply with various international human rights instruments as a responsible member of the international community.

It is also fulfilling one of its foreign policy options.

Nigeria is also in tune with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Charter and the African Human Rights Charter.

So, Nigeria cannot be aloof to these issues of human rights because they are contemporary, modern times.

Nigeria has always believed in the covenants of the United Nations with regards to human rights.”

Peters Emuze, a retired career diplomat for 33 years, rose to become a Special Grade Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and served as Head of Mission at Nigeria’s Permanent Mission in Geneva.

Emuze had also served in Nigeria’s diplomatic missions in Zambia, the Netherlands, Italy, Hong Kong, and proficient in human rights issues.

He was President, Conference on Disarmament and Coordinator of the African Group of Ambassadors on World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), leading to the establishment of WIPO offices in Nigeria and Algeria.