The Africa Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence Challenge (Africa IoT & AI Challenge) officially kicks off its local activities in Nigeria on Sunday 10th of July, with the aim of building the capacity of qualified and young calibers in the technology field to accelerate the process of digital transformation and serve the goal of digitally uniting Africa. The challenge covers a number of countries in Africa and the Middle East including Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, and South Africa.
The opening ceremony was held virtually in the presence of Dr. Evans Woherem, Chair of Digital Africa - the local challenge organizer in Nigeria, Mr. Mohamed Aboud, Chair of Africa IoT & AI Challenge, Mr. Muhammad Sameh, Vice President for Innovations and Business Growth at Benya Group, the official sponsor of the challenge across Africa, Mr. Amr Karim, Managing Director of WAKANDAI Ventures - the founding organizing partner of the challenge. In addition to Mr. Ramah Kipkorir, Director of ICT committee in Nigeria Industry and Commerce Chamber as well as other honoring representatives from different public and private organizations in the ecosystem of innovation and technology.
With a vision towards developing an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship, Africa IoT & AI Challenge provides all the technical and logistical support to the participating youth starting from equipping them with advanced technical information in the fields of Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence to supporting innovative projects and startups to be ready for investment. The program also established the ‘IoT & AI Knowledge Hub’, a knowledge complex that provides online workshops, lectures and online learning resources for the IoT & AI community in Africa. Through the hub, the participants learn from the success stories of African engineers and developers working in giant technology companies, and follow their steps to grow in their own careers.
Africa IoT & AI Challenge applies an innovative regional capacity building and a pre-incubation program model, which makes the challenge not just a competition but a digital transformation movement. The challenge goes through two stages, where participants compete on the local level, followed by regional finals through which winners from each country meet. The regional finals are held annually as part of the activities of the IEEE Global Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things (IEEE GCAIoT).
With the support of different regional partners, the challenge represents a model of orchestrated efforts starting from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as the challenge owner, in partnership with the organizing partners WAKANDAI Ventures, Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Company (GIE) and Ideaspace. This successful program received the consideration of prominent business entities including Benya Group, the leading digital solutions and ICT infrastructure provider in Egypt and the MEA region, FinTech pioneer, Banque Misr. The challenge also joins forces with a number of academic partners and universities in each country.
Nigeria IoT & AI Challenge is supported and organized by Digital Africa, putting its extensive experience in the technology management and support field to help the Nigerian youth lead the next steps in Nigeria’s future. Nigeria IoT & AI Challenge capitalizes on its partners expertise, as the challenge has Nigeria University and Abuja University as academic partners, the ICT operator MTN Nigeria as the main sponsor, and the challenge is run under the auspices of Dr. Nneoma, the Minister of ICT in Nigeria
The challenge, which was launched past May, comes in line with the global direction towards the exploitation of technology in various spheres of life, as the technologies of the Fourth Generation Industrial Revolution have transformed societies over the past 30 years; creating new opportunities to move towards a sustainable economic growth and achieving the goal of a united digital africa.