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I4G HACKFEST 2022: Tech experts, innovators harps on industry collaboration to drive innovation, local entrepreneurship

By Guardian Nigeria
24 November 2022   |   1:58 am
It's no gain say that collaboration enhances the implementation of innovative ideas and solutions by creating joint ownership, and spreading the risks to a larger group of actors.

It’s no gain say that collaboration enhances the implementation of innovative ideas and solutions by creating joint ownership, and spreading the risks to a larger group of actors.

Reiterating the goal to empower one million African youths in tech, Ingressive For Good (14G) recently hosted its first physical conference, HACKFEST 2022, with speakers and business leaders at the event emphasizing the need for collaborations and partnerships to draw new investments and develop tech talents in Africa for global opportunities.

Themed ‘No Techies Left Behind’, the event focused on how industry stakeholders can transform Africa, as entrepreneurs spoke on building successful tech careers while leveraging global opportunities.

Emphasizing the importance of making an impact, the Keynote Speaker and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Piggyvest, Odun Eweniyi, said the theme for the conference calls everyone to know that there is a space for every techie.

“We are all contributing and building the ecosystem as we go, and this is the time to create a chain reaction of change,” she added.
During the first panel session moderated by Quartz’s West Africa Correspondent, Alexander Onukwe, the panelist, Sean Burrowes, Maya Horgan-Famodu and Blessing Abeng, co-founders of Ingressive For Good spoke on ‘Transforming Africa, One Techie At A Time’. They explained the impact of the non-profit in advancing African technology.

“The information you need to grow and learn is out there for free, but typically you find that it is not necessarily created from the African perspective,” said Sean Burrowes.

“What Ingressive for Good does is to identify and curate these opportunities and learning resources, but we also use community and our shared experiences to drill down these lessons and adapt them for the African perspective,” he added.

On her part, Horgan-Famodu said, “the vision of the non-profit organisation is to provide talent for African startups in the same way they provided capital and advisory services.”

Commenting on the tech firm’s community-driven approach, Abeng stated that a critical factor in the community’s growth — over 250,000 people, up from less than 20,000 in 2020 — was due to members’ willingness to support each other.

She emphasized that “every talent, religion, gender, or socioeconomic status, has a place in the tech industry.” During the ‘Web3 and Why You Should Care’ session, Ayomide Shodipo, a developer at Polygon said, “If crypto would work in Africa, there has to be collaboration with the government.”

Executive Director at Tech4Dev, Oladiwura Oladepo noted that technology and entrepreneurship have the potential of taking people out of poverty.

“There is a place for everyone. Technology is fast advancing, and we need to catch up,” she said. On creating content to access global opportunities, content creator and storyteller, Alma Asinobi said, “You have to know what motivates you to show up everyday. Why do you do what you do? What are the consequences of not showing up? Think about that and keep pushing.”

Speaking on building a tech career and prioritizing mental health, clinical psychologist and founder of Ndidi, Amanda Iheme, emphasized the importance of therapy saying “you are taking care of yourself from where you are to where you need to be. You can be stable and still win at business.”

Highpoint of the event was award of prizes to winners of the hackathon sponsored by Verified Africa, with Team Meraki winning the first prize, Team One Secure as first runner-up, while Team Optimus in third place.

Awards were also presented to exceptional individuals and organisations that have made an impact within the African tech ecosystem, while I4Gee of the Year awards were given to Muhammad Tajudeen and Augustina Okonkwo, beneficiaries of I4G’s micro-scholarships. Both were also empowered with laptops to enable them to build successful tech careers.

The event also featured exhibitions by 500 chow, Taeillo, Exponential Destiny, Chimoney, Mainstack, Mara, Verified Africa, Prembly, and SwiftXR.

As one of Africa’s leading non-profit edtech organisations, Ingressive For Good has made a commitment to provide tech training and micro-scholarships for young Africans, with more than 200,000 techies impacted. The initiative is still on a mission to empower one million Africans.

The I4G HACKFEST 2022 was sponsored by TeamApt, Propel, Mara, Mainstack, Kibo, SeamFix and Mono.