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I4G HACKFEST 2022: Tech Experts, Others Assert Industry Collaboration To Drive Innovation, Local Entrepreneurship

Ingressive For Good recently hosted her first physical conference, HACKFEST 2022, with speakers and business leaders at the event emphasizing the need for collaborations and partnerships to draw new investments and develop tech talents in Africa for global opportunities

The event themed ‘No Techies Left Behind’, focused on how industry stakeholders can transform Africa, and entrepreneurs spoke on building successful tech careers while leveraging global opportunities. 

Emphasizing the importance of making an impact, the Keynote Speaker and COO of Piggyvest, Odun Eweniyi, said the theme for the conference calls everyone to know that there is a space for every techie.

“We are all contributing and building the ecosystem as we go, and this is the time to create a chain reaction of change” she added.

During the first-panel session moderated by Alexander Onukwe, Quartz’s West Africa Correspondent, Sean Burrowes, Maya Horgan-Famodu and Blessing Abeng, co-founders of Ingressive For Good spoke on ‘Transforming Africa, One Techie At A Time’ as the leaders explained the impact of the non-profit in advancing African technology.

“The information you need to grow and learn is out there for free, but typically you find that it is not necessarily created from the African perspective”, said Sean Burrowes.

“What Ingressive for Good does is to identify and curate these opportunities and learning resources, but we also use community and our shared experiences to drill down these lessons and adapt them for the African perspective”.

According to Horgan-Famodu, “the vision of the non-profit is to provide talent for African startups in the same way they provided capital and advisory services”.

Commenting on its community-driven approach, Abeng noted that a critical factor in the community’s growth — over 250,000 people, up from less than 20,000 in 2020 — was members’ willingness to support each other.

She emphasized that every talent, religion, gender, or socioeconomic status, has a place in the tech industry. 

During a session on “Web3 and Why You Should Care”, one of the speakers, Ayomide Shodipo, a developer at Polygon said, “If crypto would work in Africa, there has to be collaboration with the government”.

Oladiwura Oladepo, Executive Director at Tech4Dev noted, “Technology and entrepreneurship have the potential of taking people out of poverty. There is a place for everyone. Technology is fast advancing, and we need to catch up”.

On creating content to access global opportunities, content creator and storyteller, Alma Asinobi also stated that “You have to know what motivates you to show up everyday. Why do you do what you do? What are the consequences of not showing up? Think about that and keep pushing”.

Speaking on building a tech career and prioritizing mental health, clinical psychologist and founder of Ndidi, Amanda Iheme, emphasized the importance of therapy saying “you are taking care of yourself from where you are to where you need to be. You can be stable and still win at business”.

Prizes were given out to winners of the hackathon sponsored by Verified Africa, with Team Optimus in third place, Team One Secure in second, and Team Meraki in first.

Awards were presented to exceptional individuals and organisations that have impacted the African tech ecosystem, while I4Gee of the Year awards were given to Muhammad Tajudeen and Augustina Okonkwo, beneficiaries of I4G’s micro-scholarships who have also been empowered with laptops to enable them to build successful tech careers. The event also featured exhibitions by 500 chow, Taeillo, Exponential Destiny, Chimoney, Mainstack, Mara, Verified Africa, Prembly, and SwiftXR.

As one of the continent’s leading non-profit edtech organizations, Ingressive For Good has made a commitment to provide tech training and micro-scholarships for young Africans, with more than 200,000 techies impacted. The initiative is still on a mission to empower 1 million Africans. 

I4G HACKFEST 2022 is sponsored by TeamApt, Propel, Mara, Mainstack, Kibo, SeamFix and Mono.

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