Nigeria Communication Satellite (NigComSat) hosted the 2020 edition of ActInSpace, a two-day hackathon for space enthusiasts, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The hackathon is an international brainchild of the European Space Agency (ESA), National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), and ActInSpace.
At the event, Team Astromania, a team of five young Nigerians were declared as the winner of the challenge, earning a cash prize of N750,000 (USD1,900), laptops, ICT internship programme and an all-expense-paid trip to represent Nigeria in France.
Team Astronomia was one of the four finalist teams at the event, and their project was on how to harness car and satellite data to develop an innovative application. They beat Teams Floews, Team FutureGeneration and Team Pyloop to clinch the prize.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, was ably represented by the Managing Director (MD) of Galaxy Backbone, Prof Muhammad Abubakar, who urged the winners to work hard to emerge global winners as they represent the country in France.
“This competition is intended to develop skills and drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the space centre. Since the inception of this competition in 2014 by the French Space Agency and European Space Agency has led to the establishment of over 45 successful startups, that’s why the African Aeronautics and Space Organisation (AASO) has started executing this competition in Africa which we are keying into,” he said.
The Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, Dr Abimbola Alale, speaking to newsmen said the competition aims to encourage innovative ideas and stir up build strong entrepreneurs by empowering both the winners and those who didn’t win with the necessary support to promote their ideas.
“Just like the Minister, we are passionate about skills development and this initiative challenges the youths to make use of their minds and harness skills and talents. It is also bringing out the entrepreneurship spirit in them because when you see the presentation, they all talked about the Capital required to start-up as well as what they project to be able to make within a period of time.”
“So they aren’t just looking at employment, they are looking at becoming employers themselves. This, we believe will encourage other youths that are all waiting for jobs here and there to harness digital skills. We are trying to build a generation of people who won’t be dependent on people rather will be employers of labour themselves.”