For evolving innovative and technological solutions towards ensuring sustainable development of Africa, nine students of the University of Ibadan have received cash awards ranging from N25,000 to N100,000.
The winners emerged at the finals of the geo-hackathon competition held at the University of Ibadan for their innovations on monitoring consumption patterns on LDPE packaged products and LDPE waste, developed by Abigael Anaza-Mark; smart pump which prevents wastage of water once storage tanks are full by David Idajili; and a kidnap alert mechanism evolved by Chukwuemeka John.
Emmanuel Aniala was the winner in the industrial research category for carrying out vulnerability analysis of catchment of River Ona, at Moniya-Eleyele axis, Ibadan; followed by Nwaezuoke Anastasia, for his solutions to addressing the nation’s challenges of plastic pollution and Fatayo Opeyemi who gave recommendations on effectively fighting flood.
Other tech-solutions espoused by the 22 university students who made the finals included a geo-app for road accident management presented by Olawuyi Dorcas; a sportswear that once charged with sweat served as source of electric supply developed by Olutosoye Taiwo and “healthAfriqueai” developed by Abegunde Nathaniel which predicted disease prevalence using artificial intelligence and geographical information system.
Asked what plans were in place to ensure that the students’ ideas come to fruition, Geo-Hackathon Implementation Partner, David Afolayan gave the assurance that the student innovators will be supported until their innovations become marketable
Pointing to assurances of support from industry partners, Afolayan said the student innovators will subsequently go through an incubation process featuring training, patents, 3D prototyping, developing products, entering markets.
“Through the Geohackathon, we are promoting Geo-Literacy and Geographic Information System as enabling technology to stimulate innovation across all disciplines. We believe this will revolutionise the education system to produce solution-oriented graduates. It is time for Africa to arise with solutions for Africa and indeed the world,” Afolayan said.
In her welcome address, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships (RISP), University of Ibadan, Professor Olanike Adeyemo, said the university was in sync with the geo-hackathon initiative because of its intent to promote research, innovation and develop environmental and industry viable solutions for sustainable development.
In embracing into the geo-hackathon initiative, Adeyemo said over 4,500 staff and students of the university had been impacted by the initiative.
She particularly identified the uniqueness of GIS as a platform for leveraging advanced methodologies, innovative tools and configurable applications to solve complex spatial problems.