On Friday 28th February, the Ken Saro-Wiwa Innovation Hub held an exhibition event where members of the technology center demonstrated some amazing problem solving Apps and virtual reality creations they had built with the skills they have acquired.
Located on Aggreey Road, at the heart of Old Port Harcourt Township, the Ken Saro-Wiwa Innovation Hub is a space specializing in Technology. The hub provides resources for creatives and entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta. The vision of the Innovation Hub is to champion and contribute to the development of a sustainable Tech Ecosystem in the Niger Delta.
KSIH is funded by Stakeholder Democracy Network and serves as a center where developers, designers, entrepreneurs and trainees come together to learn, practice, network and build innovative solutions to inherent challenges in the region. The Hub provides the following Activities: Tech Training’s and Meetups, Incubation Programme, Co-working Space and Community for aspiring techies
The hub runs a 6-month ‘incubation’ programme known as the Ken Jr Award for Innovation. The programme is designed for aspiring tech entrepreneurs, providing training, mentorship support, and soft skills to teams of people who have a business idea and minimum viable product that they want to take to market. The aim of the incubation programme is to help mid-stage startups to build on their idea/ prototype/ venture through technology mentoring, validation, intellectual property support, marketing strategy, team building, fundraising advisory etc.
At the end of the event, participants who spoke with FR News expressed gratitude to SDN and KSIH for helping them self reliant . One of the participant, Success, said as an entrepreneur, the training he has gotten will help him contribute to development of society
Interview with Hub manager
FR News threw some question at the hub manager, Osahon Gino Ediagbonya at the end of the event.
FR News: What’s happening at the Hub today?
HUB: Today we are trying to show case with member s of the hub have been able to build overtime. For the past two years we’ve been teaching them a lot of technology and they’ve been able to build some solutions from what they’ve learnt. We encourage them to look at the environment and see how they can proffer solutions to challenges in the environment.
FR News: Are you satisfied with the quality of demonstration today?
Hub: I am very proud of all of them. Like I said before, we need the young people in Nigeria to start thinking the way these guys are thinking. If we have a lot of young people thing like this, we will grow the economy and youth restiveness and other vices will reduce because as a young person, if you build a solution and you are being paid some good money, no politician will be able to influence you to carry guns for them. I am very proud of what they are doing.
FR News: What are challenges you have encountered in the course of training them?
HUB: A lot of them still don’t understand the opportunities that is been exposed to them. They don’t know the value of what we are giving to them. Because ai could remember there was a time when I could remember the time when I was very young, I was learning Tech too and I would go to Cyber Cafes to learn and it was a terrible experience. It slowed my learning experience. But having a space like this where people can come and enjoy power, internet yet some youths are yet to seize the opportunity. A lot of these young people don’t want to take their time to build themselves. Whatever we are doing here is not magic. If you come in here in the next one or two years, you will still be learning and equipping yourself. The young people don’t have that time, they are looking for fast ways of making money. These young people need a lot of mentorship and guidance but many of them don’t have this passion and motivation.
FR News: Do you have a system for mentorship or you just train them and send them out?
HUB: We are mentors ourselves and we grow more mentors. If you come into the Hub, after one year of learning from the Hub, we make you a mentor. Some of them volunteers to be mentors to help encourage other young ones.
FR News: Is technology lucrative in this part of the world?
HUB: Technology is amazing. The developed countries are running very fast with technology because no country can develop without technology. For now, and in the past, the acceptance has not been encouraging but I tell you the truth the time is coming when nobody can escape from technology. Is going to be everywhere. There’s technology in health, education, military, agriculture, commerce. There’s hope that in the nearest future people will appreciate the use of tech to solve problems more.
FR News: How can the government come in to encourage more young people to embrace technology as a way of generating revenue for themselves
HUB: Government has a major role to play and if they are not playing this role, the development of tech is going to be very slow. First of all, they need to upgrade our curriculum to fit industry standard. They should introduce and create awareness of opportunities in technology from primary school to make it easier for them to get a hand on it from the young age. To develop the technology ecosystem, government must identify and work with hubs.
FR News: You mentioned incubation, can you speak more about it?
We run this program called an incubation program. The incubation program is called Ken Jnr Incubation Programme. Every six months, we call for application from persons who have been able to use technology to solve issues in any sector, then we select the best four and incubate them. We the give each of the participating startups the basic support to help them grow through an enabling environment. We give them an office space, we give them power, internet and train them on marketing, legal, engineering and other areas that will help them to succeed and then we give them N500,000 to support them. The incubation programme was designed to support people who want to set up businesses that would help the Niger Delta economy grow.
FR News: When is your next incubation circle?
We are currently doing the second Cohort which is a group of people in a particular incubation program. The present set will graduate in the next two months and after that we will call for applications for the next cohort.
FR News: What’s the future of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Innovation Center in the next five to ten years?
HUB: in the next five to ten years if we keep doing what we are doing now, we would have been able to produce some of the best technology people in Port Harcourt and the Niger Delta. We hope to see startups that have become million dollar companies. Also we should have expanded to all the states in the Niger Delta
Gunmen scatter scheduled COVID-19 meeting in Kogi, steal documents, destroy offices
Unknown gunmen on Wednesday attacked staff of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja who were planning a press conference to pressure the Federal Government into establishing a COVID-19 screening centre in the state.
We gathered that the gunmen shot sporadically into the air to scare people away, then went to the records and admin department where they seized laptops and destroyed a few things. They ransacked the Medical Director’s office, too.
Horror on the loose: kidnapper who kills and deposits bodies of victims in septic tank arrested in Rivers
The Rivers State Police Command said its Anti-kidnapping Unit has arrested a notorious kidnapper and serial killer, Anthony Ndubuisi, during a sting operation.
Ndubuisi, who hails from Imo State but resides in Umuebulu Etche Local Council Area of Rivers, has carried out several kidnappings and killings of victims including three foreign nationals and a Nigerian.
A statement by the command said, “Operatives of the Anti-kidnapping Unit in a sting operation yesterday 29/6/20202 at about 1330hrs, arrested a notorious kidnapper and serial killer, one Anthony Ndubuisi from Ngo-Okpala in Imo State but who resides at Umuebulu Etche LGA.
“The suspect, who was arrested through intelligence, upon interrogation confessed to have carried out several kidnappings and killings of his victims including three foreign nationals and a Nigerian. The recent, being the kidnapping and killing of one Ajumiene Offor, who was lured from Aba to his house for a business transaction but kidnapped and killed on 9/6/2020.”
However, during the course of investigation, the suspect led policemen to his house at Umuebulu where he pointed to a septic tank that contained the bodies of his victims.
“On exhumation, we recovered three human skulls and decomposing body of his recent victim.
“They have been evacuated and taken to the mortuary for autopsy,” the police statement added.
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