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Fostering Tech Enthusiasm: Anambra Welcomes Dawn of Tech Innovation at KODEX AFRICA’s Grand Opening

By Angela Nwanodu :

The future seems bright for the tech ecosystem in Anambra State as various stakeholders, including tech-savvy students, tech lovers, and Hub owners, converged on Aug. 29 for the first-ever Anambra State Meetup organized by the Innovation Support Network and hosted by KODEX AFRICA.

The meetup aimed at establishing a platform for Hubs and other ecosystem stakeholders to share experiences, network, learn, and collaborate to drive innovation in the state.

The event, which doubled as the official launch of KODEX AFRICA was well attended by major stakeholders in government, a testament to Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s vision of making Anambra the creative hub of Nigeria, with everything and everywhere bearing the stamp of technology.

Cutting the ribbon to officially launch KODEX AFRICA, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Anambra State ICT Agency, Mr. Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata (CFA), emphasized the need for people in the tech ecosystem to embrace collaboration, which he said is key for success in the tech space.

“Everything I have ever achieved in the tech space has been because of collaboration; brilliance helps, but collaboration and execution are key, execution sets you apart.

“You must also be disciplined. I have seen Lagos evolve, and the fact that government policy can lead to transformations, just like the removal of Right Of Way (RoW) and the approval of a zero-cost policy for broadband access by the then Lagos State Governor, Babajide Fashola, made it possible for Funke Okpeke to take high-speed broadband to Yaba and expand connectivity.

“Likewise, if you look around various areas in Anambra, you will discover that fibre duct laying is ongoing and aimed at boosting internet connectivity across the state.

“The agency’s commitment to fostering a culture of collaboration is undeniable, which is why we would continually explore interesting areas of collaboration with as many people as possible,” he concluded.

CFA also encouraged more hubs to sign up with the Innovation Support Network (ISN) so that they could collectively build a thriving tech ecosystem in Anambra State.

The Managing Director of the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Mr. Mark Okoye, stressed the need for identification of the challenges within the ecosystem as well as ways to surmount them while optimizing the myriad of opportunities therein.

“I like that we are telling our stories right now, we must continue to collaboratively push out positive narratives about us with one voice so that soonest, all the negative stories will fizzle out.

“I tell you, we are at the beginning of something great, and we owe it to ourselves to create a thriving, more productive, and sustainable ecosystem.

“We also need to evolve new funding models to further support start-ups within the ecosystem, maybe by next year, we can launch a crowdfunding platform for start-ups in Anambra State,” he said.

On his part, the Director of Partnerships with the Innovation Support Network and the founder of ROA Hub, the first hub in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Mr., Charles Emembolu, expressed his excitement about the meet-up and the prospects it holds for the tech ecosystem in Anambra.

Emembolu also encouraged more hubs to join ISN in order to expand their networks and experience new and faster ways of achieving great feats within the ecosystem.

“In today’s digital world, you need to have an open mind and imbibe the spirit of collaboration in order to grow; there are lots of tech skills, but most people find it hard selling them out there, hence the need to come together.”

Also, the Managing Director of Founders Institute Lagos, Mr. Ifedy Ralph Eze, while welcoming everyone to the event, stressed that the gathering is pertinent and timely to eliminate all forms of working in silos and achieving less by working collaboratively for the common good of all in the ecosystem.

“We must eliminate unhealthy competition in all its forms, which is the reason the ecosystem is not thriving as it should; we must think differently and work differently to achieve better results and chart a pathway for success.

“This gathering is about how to expand the ecosystem, and KODEX, on their part, is committed to opening their doors to ensure that the ecosystem thrives”, he added.

In his remarks, the Managing director of KODEX AFRICA, Mr. Stanley Aroh explained that KODEX AFRICA was born out of the need to build an ecosystem of people and products to drive the digital transformation of Africa through strategic alignments with customers, institutions, and communities.

He further explained that to achieve this, Kodex Academy, which focuses on tech talent development and upskilling, and Kodex Build, which is positioned to build digital products and solutions for clients, as well as through which it is building a vibrant and thriving ecosystem for young creatives, entrepreneurs, and talents across the South East, were created.

“There is a need for everyone in the tech ecosystem to work together, leveraging the environment KODEX already provides.

“Do not be afraid to explore and do not forget your days of humble beginnings; dream big and collaborate with like-minded people in the ecosystem,” he advised.

The Managing Director, of Trunk Digital Media, Mr. Uche Okoye, aka “Anambra first son”, on his part encouraged the tech enthusiasts to maximize the limitless power of social media and the importance of storytelling as a means to ensure appropriate visibility for all the valuable feats they are achieving in the ecosystem

“Story-telling is a very powerful tool, and people connect more with it, so you must leverage it.

“If you cannot, seek those who can and collaborate with them so that your solutions can be well publicized.

He further stressed the need for people in the ecosystem to sit together and talk about the problems of the ecosystem, as this can create solutions for them, encouraging Anambra techies to establish their presence on Twitter.

Highlights of the event were the panel discussions as well as the tour around the facility, KODEX AFRICA (Ministry of Information)

The information officer reports from Anambra ICT Agency, Awka


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