Turning an uncertain landscape into a world of opportunity
NIAMEY (Niger), 1stFebruary 2019– The top winner of the youth technology competition e-Takara was announced today at the Presidential Palace in Niamey, the Capital city. The competition’s winner, Ousman Seydou Gnaly from the region of Tahoua, has created a mobile application, called e-Bani, a device connected to smartphone that allows to digitally detect the presence of malaria in a non-invasive way. He received a financial grant of XOF 20 million from the President of the Republic to help him scale-up his project and accelerate its implementation.
“Through this national competition, we want to support innovative project proposals using ICT to address the challenges facing the youth” says HE. Issoufou Mahamadou, President of the Republic of Niger, at the award ceremony.
Implemented by the National Agency of Information (ANSI), this year’s challenge has seen the participation of more than 500 contestants. Selected by a high-level panel of judges, upon successful presentation and demo of their solutions, ten of them were selected and received a wide range of prizes, including cash, ICT materials and trip to an international innovation conference or forum.
Along with other partners, UNICEF has supported this competition to help the country identify, co-create and support solutions that have potential to deliver results at scale for young people. UNICEF will support the project incubation of the two first winners and facilitate their participation to an international youth innovation forum.
“When young people are prepared, and empowered, they can use their energy, creativity and talent to turn an uncertain landscape into a world of opportunity – for themselves and us all,” stated Félicité Tchibindat, UNICEF Representative in Niger.
Niger’s youth are becoming a force to be reckoned with. The country has more than half of its population less than 18 years of age (58%), and most of its citizens under 24. One of the most noticeable trends is also the growth of information and communication technology. Almost half of the population have access to mobile phone (more than 8 million) and startups and innovation hubs are proliferating in the country, especially in the capital, Niamey.
“Where others saw obstacles, I saw a chance to make a difference. A chance to use my skills to help people. And when I think about the future of my country, all I see is possibility, all I see is hope. Because we are a generation of young people, with the power to change the world,” concluded last year’s winner, Latifah Salissou Hassane, 24.
"When young people are prepared, and empowered, they can use their energy, creativity and talent to turn an uncertain landscape into a world of opportunity – for themselves and us all." Félicité Tchibindat, UNICEF Representative in Niger