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
UN Demands Immediate Release Of Kidnapped Victims of Borno BH Attack, Say Over Over 100 Persons Were Killed
The United Nations has said that the gruesome attack against civilians carried out by Boko Haram insurgents in villages near Maiduguri, the Borno State capital has left at least 110 civilians ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria Mr. Edward Kallon said this in a statement on Sunday.
While condemning the incident, Kallon also called for the immediate release of several persons who were kidnapped.
“We have also received reports that several women may have been kidnapped. I call for their immediate release and return to safety,” the UN Resident Coordinator said.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice.”
Kallon further stated that such direct attacks against innocent civilians, jeopardize the ability for the most vulnerable people to survive the adversity they are facing which the UN is striving to alleviate.
“The entire UN system and the humanitarian community working to provide life-saving and development assistance to the most vulnerable in Borno State is outraged by the incident,” he said.
“It is, unfortunately, one of too many such attacks targeting farmers, fishermen and families who are trying to recover some livelihood opportunity after over a decade of conflict.
“I strongly condemn this attack and any act of violence against innocent civilians and I firmly urge all actors on the ground to respect international laws and humanity.
“Rural communities in Borno State are facing untold hardships. Helping them to farmland and rebuild livelihoods are amongst our priorities and the only way to avoid the looming food crisis in Borno State. They and all other civilians need to be protected and spared from any kind of violence,” the statement added.
It had been reported earlier that about 43 farmers were killed on Saturday morning around Marrabati and Hammayya villages, near Zabarmari in Jere Local Government Area of the state.
The farmers were waylaid on their way to their rice farms which they were harvesting before the surprise attack happened.
Some other farmers were also taken away by the criminals.
Police Arrest Five For Robbing Church, Kidnapping Member In Ogun
Operatives of the Ogun State Police Command have arrested five members of a robbery syndicate who robbed members of Christ Apostolic Church, situated at Gudugbe Alagbon area of Wasimi in Ewekoro local government area of the state.
A statement by the command’s Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the suspects were arrested on Thursday, 26th November 2020.
Oyeyemi, said, the suspects, Abubakar Ibrahim, 38, Sulaiman Yusuf 32, Ismail Yusuf 20, Umar Aliu 26,hgi and Yinusa Musa were arrested following a distress call made by one Obisesan Seye, the shepherd in charge of the church.
He said, while vigil was going on in the church at about 1:30 am, six men who were armed with dangerous weapons invaded the church and attacked the church members.
He added that “the hoodlums beat some members of the church to stupor before dispossessing them of their valuables”.
“As if that was not enough, the hoodlums abducted one Mrs Mojisola Atolagbe while leaving the church”.
“Upon the distress call, policemen attached to Ewekoro division swiftly moved to the scene, combed the forest where the hoodlums escaped to thoroughly and their efforts paid off as five amongst the gang were apprehended in the bush”.
“The victim of the attack has identified all the arrested suspects while the sixth one is being hunted for”.
Items recovered from them included one cutlass, two sharp-pointed cudgels, and assorted dangerous charms.
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police, Edward Awolowo Ajogun has ordered the immediate transfer of the suspects to the state criminal investigation and intelligence department for discreet investigation.
He also directed an extensive routine patrol across the state so as to assure members of the public that police in the state are on the ground to ensure their safety.
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