Virtually every Nigerian, West African and African media platform is pumping with accolades and celebratory clauses in honor of five young girls who have done well to bring a win home at an international tech event. While females, in general, are still wondering whether or not there is a chance for them in the tech scene of Nigeria, this team of brilliant girls has cemented their place on the world front of the 2018 Technovation Competition and has aroused determination amongst their equals and even indust5ry superiors. From now on, when they speak of technology and innovation in Nigeria, their names would hardly be missed in the gist.
Wowing the crowd, stunning the world and hoisting the pride flag for their home country, these five Nigerian school girls from a college in Anambra developed an app that helped them bag the junior category title in what was an epic event in Silicon Valley, California. These students hail from Regina Pacis College in Onitsha, Anambra State. As India won for the senior category, Nigeria won a top honor in the junior section at the world’s largest tech entrepreneurship program for girls between the ages of 10 and 18.
After the win was announced during the Global Innovation Celebration held in San Jose Theatre on August 9, social media platforms, Twitter mostly, were decorated and busied with posts on pride, motivation, thanks, and sheer joy. Even Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is a tech enthusiast himself, celebrated the young girls on his Twitter handle, to finally make it rock-solid that the government couldn’t be more proud.
The event was the final lap in the Weeklong World Pitch Summit which ran from August 6 through to the 10th. Finalists and visiting teams had traveled from around the world to grace the event with the purpose of networking, a field trip to tech companies and workshops on career building.
With research, intelligence, originality and most of all, determination, Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku Ossa, Adaeze Onuigbo and Vivian Okoye, all of whom comprised #TeamSaveASoul, built an app to combat the fake drug problem battling Nigeria. They created an FD Detector with the hope of using the innovation to help consumers determine and entirely avoid fake drug intake in Nigeria.
Going forward, the girls plan to collaborate with the agency saddled with the responsibility of drug regulation in Nigeria, as well as NAFDAC, to tackle the fake drug challenge once and for all. According to this team, Nigeria has one of the largest fake drug markets, and that is why Team Save-A-Soul is leveraging technology to save lives- as a matter of priority. They decided to fully maximize the international opportunity to bring about a lasting solution to the damming death rate caused by the intake of fake drugs.
The senior category title was claimed by India, with an app called Eedo, built to track and dispose of electronic waste in an eco-friendly way through an end-to-end connection between e-waste producers and authorized recyclers.
Iridescent organized the event, a non-profit organization founded and CEO’d by Tara Chklovski to empower underrepresented young people globally to become innovators and leaders.
The Technovation Challenge tasks girls between the ages as mentioned earlier with creating a mobile application to tackle a pressing problem in their communities. This final is the product of seven months of hard work, innovation and problem-solving by over 19,000 girls from 115 countries supported by more than 5,000 mentors. The finalists were pitching for seed funding and scholarships. More than USD 50 K was award across the teams.