What Went Down At Mainone’s #NerdsUnite2019; Accelerating Digital Transformation
#NerdsUnite2019 has come and gone, but it leaves behind a host of important ideas and words that are sure to inspire.
Started in 2016, Nerds Unite is a yearly tech conference organised by Mainone, a leading connectivity solutions provider. The event brings together the most innovative tech minds through conferences, exhibitions, breakout sessions and networking activities.
The theme for #NerdsUnite2019 is Accelerating Digital Transformation. This year’s event promised to expose guests to the latest radical technologies and insightful talks.
And it didn’t disappoint.
With an impressive cadre of speakers, NerdsUnite2019 was a hit amongst geeks. The original list of speakers and panelists included names like Ife Oyedele (CEO Kobo 360), Deji Balogun (CTO Terragon Group), Dr Olayinka D. W (Senior Fellow at Lagos Business School), Obinna Ekezie (CEO Wakanow).
Aaron Fu (MD, MEST Africa), Victor Okigbo (CTO, FBN Quest) and Niyi Ajao (Ag. CEO of NIBSS) were also expected to speak.
Held at Oriental Hotel Victoria Island, the event hosted several important sessions that provided deep insights into particular technologies.
The event kicked off with the keynote speech by the CEO of Mainone, Ms Funke Opeke. In her speech Ms Opeke speaks fondly about using technology to make improvements in the agricultural value chain.
Following Funke’s speech, Toby Shapshak, who writes for Forbes Magazine, hits the stage for his keynote speech on Lessons for a fully-connected Africa. He starts off by pointing out the peculiar situation of Africa and why it is important for the continent to innovate.
“Why are we getting electricity from fossil fuel when in Africa, we have 300 days of sunshine every year?” he asks.
Panelist discussions began soon after, beginning with the session titled Connecting the next billion to the Internet and beyond to transform the face of Africa.”
Moderated by Shapshak, the speakers for this session included Libby Barr, COO of Avanti Comm, and Funke Opeke. Ms Opeke takes an important swipe at the challenges facing the Nigerian ecommerce sector.
“For e-commerce to really scale in Nigeria, we’ll need additional innovation that can be adopted for the market,” she says.
The next session hosted an equally interesting conversation and an impressive panel chaired by Dr. Olayinka David-West of the Lagos Business School. Also included on the panel are Bayo Adekanmbi, Chief Transformation Officer at MTN; Deji Balogun, CTO Terragon Group; and Ernest Terry, from Flutterwave. They treated the topic: How AI can revolutionize your business model and create new revenue streams.
The first bone of contention was on the uncertainties about AI. But speaking on stage, Mr Bayo says there is more to gain from AI than there is to lose, and that man would have to adapt. The panel also emphasized democratizing the internet to accelerate AI growth in Nigeria, especially for students.
A third session focused on the Cloud technology and Cybersecurity. Chaired by Ms Funke Opeke, the panelists included Niyi Ajao from NIBSS and Adedayo Adesanya, Lead Consultant at Virtual Nigeria.
Cybersecurity is a hot discussion in Nigeria and it will only get hotter. But the panelists lamented that the requisite expertise is relatively scarce in Nigeria. But they agree that cloud adoption is on the increase and emphasized the role of partnerships and government support for more growth.
But it wasn’t all talk though as #NerdsUnite2019 also gave ample exhibition slots to the media and startups to showcase their offerings.
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