The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has supported five Nigerian local startups to participate in the annual Consumer Electronics Show, CES, a U.S.-based technology event.
CES is a U.S.-based technology event that provides a platform for breakthroughs in technologies and global innovators, that holds January every year in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
The year’s CES, which was scheduled to hold from Jan. 11 to Jan. 14, is being organised virtually due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The selected startups are Vinsighte, a digital health startup which makes use of Artificial Intelligence and assistive technology to prevent visual impairment and aid the activities of the visually impaired.
Others are VNTS, an all-in-one designed device for Home/SME LTE Broadband deployment and easy networking and Traceroot, a facial recognition solution that helps law enforcement agents to accurately identify criminal suspects.
Also participating is LexChain, an initiative using Blockchain technology that provides individuals, businesses, governments the ability to verify and securely exchange digital assets and Powerstove Energy, a startup on off-grid clean energy were also part of the startups that were supported to CES.
Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of NITDA, said six startups are from Africa, with five coming out of Nigeria and one from South Africa.
According to Inuwa, this will be the first time Nigerian startups will be exhibiting at CES and showcase to the world what Nigeria has achieved in the technology sector.
“It is also an opportunity to woo potential investors and attract Foreign Direct Investments to the country,” he said.
He, however, said the country had always sponsored startups to feature at different global innovative platforms like at Silicon Valley Roadshow and the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX), but securing an opportunity at CES will further project ideas from the country.
Mr Inuwa added that with the current COVID-19 pandemic, digitisation is being accelerated, while Nigeria sees it as an opportunity to expose its startups to the world so they could think globally.
The D-G, while commenting on the virtual CES, said the trend is accelerating the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“Having virtual event is not a hindrance, rather it creates an opportunity to look at the silver lines and how people can benefit from it.
“Virtual events have eased so many activities; you can conveniently join a programme wherever you are in the world. It cuts travelling cost and other things,” he added.
He called on organisers of CES to expand the programme and give room for more participants from different parts of the world.