The power to change the African narrative rests primarily in the hands of Africans. This belief is the driving force of the InterswitchSPAK initiative powered by Interswitch, Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company, in partnership with JustMedia Productions.
Now in its fifth year, the competition continues to significantly impact Africa’s journey toward nurturing the next generation of innovators. The competition was established to encourage and incentivize an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in Senior Secondary School- age students.
By design, the winner of the competition will receive N7.5 million in scholarships for five years, a laptop, and monthly stipends. The runner-up will get N4 million in scholarships over a three-year period, a laptop, and monthly stipends, while the third-place winner will cart away N1 million in scholarships for a period of one year, a laptop, and monthly stipends.
As an initiative that champions innovation and ingenious thinking, this year, the organizers will be expanding the pool of prize winnings, an improvement upon the previous seasons’ model. As such, this edition will see more than 100 winners, including students and their teachers, receive various cash prizes and recognition awards for their participation in the competition.
Also worthy of note is the fact that 54 top participating students will receive free JAMB e-PINS towards their preparations for higher education in any Nigerian institution of their choice.
At the press conference that marked the launch of the InterswitchSPAK 5.0 edition, Cherry Eromosele, Executive Vice President, Group Marketing and Corporate Communications at Interswitch, shared that the competition was a manifestation of Interswitch’s desire to aid the prioritization of STEM education not only in Nigeria but in Africa.
She added that the competition’s importance led to the introduction of a Kenya edition, where the show has successfully run for three seasons and is about to embark on a fourth, empowering and rewarding secondary-school students in the East African country.
Eromosele explained, “We had come to understand that STEM education is a driver for the economic performance of a nation and will be crucial in helping Africa’s growing and emerging economies take their place on the world stage.
“Armed with this knowledge, we set to work with our technical partners at Just Media, and the InterswitchSPAK National Science competition was thereafter launched as an annual competition for SS2 (Year 11) students between the ages of 14-17 years in both government-owned and private schools in Nigeria.
“As we kick off the 5th run of the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition, Interswitch is excited to reaffirm its commitment to encouraging STEM education beyond just Nigeria and Kenya but across Africa, in line with our purpose which is to inspire Africa to greatness through innovation, excellence, and value-creation.”
InterswitchSPAK remains a value driver and an active supporter of the dreams and aspirations of young Africans who are positioned to harness the vast potential of our African continent. In doing this, they are primed to channel their efforts to change the African narrative, one dream and deliberate step at a time.