Nigerian Wins ITU 2015 Young Innovators Competition | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigerian Wins ITU 2015 Young Innovators Competition

Posted: Oct 3, 2015 at 12:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By: Emmanuel Okwuke,


The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has announced a Nigerian, Ogbonnaya Bassey, as the winner of the final Telecom World 2015 Young Innovators Competition challenge.

A Turkish innovator, Ugur Can Bastik, whose entry also won an ITU award, would join Bassey.

The duo are expected to take part in ITU Telecom World 2015, the global ICT innovation platform for government, corporates and SMEs to be held from October 12 to 15 in Budapest, Hungary.

According to a statement from ITU, the winning entries were selected from 124 applications from 34 countries on the basis of their demonstrated innovation, business potential and clear social value proposition.

“Ogbonnaya Bassey’s entry, SolarKobo, provides solar power systems with zero-upfront financing in Nigeria as a cheaper, more reliable and cleaner electricity source than the private oil generators that are widely used to supplement the insufficient public electricity supply.

It will allow small businesses and families to benefit from solar systems for relatively low monthly fees and will use single board devices for remote monitoring and customer payment systems.”

Ugur Can Bastik’s entry, TactiX, is a single board powered smartphone, which focuses on connectivity through cellular WiFi and mobile Internet connection. With a tactile display it can display shapes, smileys and 100+ braille characters.

With a new kind of braille typing area, one can write rapidly in braille using the phone. There are multi-functional hotkeys on the side areas, which can be set up beforehand. It will include braille interfaces for social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.

“Most of the ingredients for our success exist: the need is critical, the demand for our solution is proven, the technology is tested and we have a sustainable model,” Bassey stated.

“We applied to the Young Innovators Competition to create awareness for our cause, get seed funding, investment, mentorship, and get help from Intel in developing smarter systems”.

The duo will receive seed funding, as well as networking, showcasing and pitching opportunities with potential investors at ITU Telecom World 2015.

The event brings together policy makers, regulators, industry leaders, SMEs and entrepreneurs to explore accelerating ICT innovations for social and economic development.

The Young Innovators Competition is an integral part of ITU Telecom World events and seeks gifted young entrepreneurs with ideas for innovative social enterprises, in response to a series of development challenges.