Team Nicademia Wins 2017 USPF Changemaker Challenge

Team Nicademia has won the 2017 Changemaker Challenge, organised by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF). As overall winner, Team Nicademia receives a cash prize of 1 million Naira with an acceptance into incubation programme superintended in the 2017 Changemaker Challenge.

Nicademia is an online distribution platform for African-inspired animations and cartoons that seek to promote African culture, traditions and values to the world.

The USPF Changemaker Challenge 2017, an arm of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), is a nationwide competition open to innovators, software developers, User Experience (UX) designers, students and other ICT enthusiasts from all over Nigeria.

The Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta Represented by Head of Strategy and Corporate Performance Monitoring, USPF, Mr. Kelechi Nwankwo said the aims and objectives of the Challenge were to empower the Nigerian youths by challenging their tenacity to create technology-driven solutions for the needs of their Communities and the nation at large adding that the development of ICT was the reason for the creation of USPF.

He, however, assured that NCC would continue to use USPF as a platform in the promotion and application of innovation processes in ICT, to help empower the youth saying that one of the commission’s eight-point agenda is the promotion of ICT innovations and investment opportunities.

In his words:

“We believe that there is no better way to propagate this than to proactively involve the new generation of tech-innovators and entrepreneurs. Given the right platform and support, they can analyse and address everyday problems and find solutions to them. The innovation is already in them. This is in sync with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) policy objectives on telecommunications/ICT; to encourage rapid ICT penetration among all socioeconomic levels and increase broadband penetration.

“The ERGP policy is to promote and encourage local production of ICT hard and software, to reduce import dependence and generate foreign exchange by exporting to the regional and continental markets. Indeed, the ERGP acknowledges that ICT and digital technology have the potential to ramp up, transform labour productivity and create new economic sectors. It is our belief that the solutions and services that emerge from this changemaker challenge 2017 will demonstrate that fact.”

The Secretary of USPF, Mr. Ayuba Shuaibu, said 226 applications from the six geo-political zones of the country were received for the contest. He said innovation was at the centre of the current ICT and knowledge revolution and opportunities. According to him, USPF organises the competition with the conviction that the critical mass of the emerging information society resides in innovation and software know-how.

In his words:

“The USPF organised this special challenge to spur national technology innovation development and deliver appropriate solutions-dependable instrument, tools and meaningful responses to global challenges presented by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The maiden edition took place in 2015 and we are pleased to let you know that the three winning solutions are still in the market and expanding.”

Team Jiggle came second while Team Kano Magenta made third position. Team Jiggle and Team Kano Magenta received 750,000 and 500,000 respectively and both will also undergo incubation programme.

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