The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, on Saturday advised young Nigerians to develop their skills and drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the space sector.
Pantami gave the advice at the closing ceremony of the Actinspace Hackathon Contest organized by NIGCOMSAT Limited in Abuja.
The minister, who was represented by Galaxy Backbone Managing Director Prof. Mohammed Abubakar, said the competition approach was critical to the needs of the space industry and humanity.
“It provides us with a great opportunity to become important participants in the growing global digital economy, so ICT is not just an enabler but a catalyst for economic growth,” he said.
Pantami said the competition was aimed at the creativity of the participants and also sharpened their business initiatives.
He said that the various teams that participated in the competition were challenged to conceive and design innovative services and products derived from space technologies and data acquired in space.
The minister advised young people to develop specialized skills to empower themselves, saying it would allow them to build a workforce and establish new companies for the communication industry.
He advised the six teams and 25 participants to work hard as they have demonstrated capabilities in different projects.
NIGCOMSAT Managing Director, Dr. Abimbola Alale, said that the competition had made the participants more creative and brought out the best in themselves.
Alale said that digital skills could boost the country’s digital economy.
He said it was necessary to expand and domesticate the satellite ecosystem in Nigeria.
Ms Alma Okpelefa, Chairperson of the Local Organizing Committee, said that although space technology seemed a bit abstract, the competition was meant to make participants understand the benefits of the sector.
Okpelefa, who named the winning group Kaduna state Team Astromania, said it would represent the country in France next year in a global competition.
The leader of the winning team, Mr. Lamba Emmanuel, a telecommunications engineering student at the Federal University of Technology in Minna, advised the youth to never be discouraged, but to continue learning new ideas.
Actinspance is an international competition targeting college students, IT startups, and entrepreneurs to use space technologies to create solutions that improve everyday life.