Emeka Nelson Ugwueze & Martin Mbamalu Win 2017 Ola ndi Igbo Inventions and Innovations Fair

Akpaike (power box) – a portable hydro electric generator by Emeka Nelson Ugwueze and Firewood Saving Stove by Martin Mbamalu have emerged as joint overall winners of the 2017 Ola Ndi Igbo Inventions and Innovations Fair.

The pitch event had “Alignment Gauge and Oil Pump Machine” by Timothy Kogbara as the People’s Choice Award.

The 2017 Ola Ndi Igbo inventions and innovations fair was hosted by South Saharan Social Development Organisation held at the Oakland Amusement Park & Events Centre, Enugu.

Ola ndi igbo is an initiative established by a group of passionate, credible and committed young Igbo professionals. The idea behind this initiative is to honour and celebrate individuals of Igbo descent who have distinguished themselves in their profession on a global stage and therefore deserve to be recognized as its global best.

The 2017 edition, themed: “Revitalizing the can-do Igbo spirit: Showcasing inventions and innovations from the South East,” provided a platform for entrepreneurs, inventors and tech innovators to pitch their ideas and attract financial and mentorship support from the sponsors – Fidelity Bank Plc, MTN Nigeria, Ford Foundation, Ellington Electric, Nigerian Breweries Plc and South East Society of Professionals (SESOP).

25 innovations were pitched at the event to a panel of judges made up of Professor Barth Okolo, former Vice Chancellor University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN); Engr. CN Agulanna, DG/CEO Projects Development Agency (PRODA); Fred ‘CFA’ Agbata, Producer/Presenter Channels Television Tech Trends; Udo Jude Ilo, Head of Nigeria Office, Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA); Dr. Jacinta Johnson, Technical Consultant United Nations Development Programme; and Obiora Okolo, Regional Manager Nigerian Breweries.

Delivering the keynote address, former Minister of Education, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, admonished Ndi Igbo to make values the bedrock of their attitude.

In her words:

“If we are desirous of revitalizing the can-do Igbo Spirit, we must begin to look away from oil and develop human capacity. A [nation’s] backbone is built on events like this. We must make human development a foundational value.

The values of the people are the bedrock of their attitude. As such, every system is a function of the values that form the underlying structures of her people. If everything is taken away from you, the only thing that will remain is character. Values must never be compromised.”

Other speakers at the event included: Dr. Jahlil Tafawa Balewa, who spoke on “A country united in the progress of its people” and Dr. Jacinta Johnson, “Be inspired to become an innovative leader.”

The 2017 Ola Ndi Igbo inventions and innovations fair witnessed cultural performances from Ikeogu Oke, the winner of 2017 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature,; Deji Ige, Performance Poet; Amarachi Atama, founder of OJA Cultural Development Initiative; and Udu Bunch Dance Group.

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