The Innovation Forum is a platform for stakeholders in the Public and Private sector to discuss how innovation and technology-driven solutions can spur Nigeria’s global competitiveness . It is the result of a partnership between Microsoft, Nokia and Dalberg Global Development Advisors, a niche management consultancy firm with a focus on public/private partnerships. The maiden edition of the Innovation Forum was held in 2012 in Abuja. The second edition will hold this Friday, 11th April, 2014 at the Tinapa Lakeside Hotel, Calabar, with the full support of the Cross River State government.

Speaking at the pre-event conference last Friday, the Corporate Affairs Manager for Microsoft Nigeria, Mrs Ijeoma Abazie emphasized the focus of this year’s discuss in aligning with the Nigerian government’s transformation agenda, particularly in the educational and agricultural sectors. There will be discussions around educational curriculum digitization and effective distribution of content via broadband infrastructure. She mentioned that Microsoft is already in talks with regulators on how they can trial TV white spaces that can be used to deliver cheaper broadband. In agriculture, discussions will centre round how technology can be used to attract more youths into the agricultural space. 12 local startups will be on ground to showcase their existing solutions, and also draw inspiration from the discussions held in the course of the Innovation Forum. The idea is to spur collaboration between ministries and the private sector.

Speaking on behalf of the Cross River State government, the Special Adviser on ICT Development, Mr Odo Effiong expressed their full support of the initiative. He said Cross River State is excited about hosting the Innovation Forum, especially as they see technology as a critical enabler towards achieving Cross River’s socioeconomic vision of developing a non-oil, service driven economy.

Also in attendance were Olumide Balogun, the ‎Senior Manager, Product Marketing for Nokia West Africa and  Chuma Ukeagu, Director of Public Sector, Microsoft Nigeria.

Muyiwa Matuluko Author

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