Participants in the Akwa Ibom tech community narrated their challenges last week during a meetup organized by techpoint.ng at Root Hub, Uyo. Over 150 key players in the community gathered for the meetup organized by the high-profile media organization whose area of specialization is in technology.
Narrating the various challenges in the ecosystem, some of the participants alleged that the level of ICT illiteracy in Akwa Ibom State is still high and this has pose a great challenge to the successful marketing of tech innovations and ideas to the people. Gabriel Ekpo of Hubitz narrated how it took him several months to convince Akwa Ibomites of his Auto Diagnostic technology which is aimed at improving car maintenance and repairs services. Several months later, most car owners did not actually understand what it was and why they needed such technology to know exactly where and what was wrong with their cars.
Another challenge identified by the participants was poor internet penetration in our communities. Edjo Okonubin an active member of the 085 BTC team opined that his team had desired to launch an app which intends to solve local problems, but presently has to put a hold to it as internet penetration in the rural areas is still very poor. He suggested that techpoint can help draw the attention of certain key players in the Akwa Ibom ecosystem to the need of investing in the provision of internet.
On the level of illiteracy and the irresoluteness of Akwa Ibom people to adapt to and flow with the latest technology, we have reported earlier that such applications as the Afropot, an online food ordering platform developed by Emem Brownson has not gotten the traction it deserves from various quarters. Expected to be a key patron to such innovativeness, the Ministry of Women Affairs who has been orgainising events for women in the state would have used this app as a major supplier of food and snacks to participants during their events. Major reason being that Emem Brownson is a girl child in technology and should expect such patronage.
This would have encouraged other girls to be fruitfully engaged in technology having witnessed the success of such application. It was therefore observed that the government seems not interested in promoting tech entrepreneurs and ideas from the tech domain. Unfortunately, such low patronage from the government has hindered the rapid growth of the tech communities in Akwa Ibom State. However, in an ecosystem where individuals and various communities believe in government’s endorsements of an idea before patronage from the society, it would be pertinent if the government has given consents to the activities within the tech communities, encouraging, endorsing and even using various products churned out in the community.
Techpoint co-founder and tours team leader, Muyiwa Matuluko however promised to make good the reports gathered during the three days visit to Uyo. Giving guides and strategies on how techies can survive in an ecosystem like Akwa Ibom, he encouraged participants to start early. Iboro Otu of Alert Nigeria also encouraged participants to keep doing what they were doing and expressed optimism that sooner or later the narrative will eventually change. The future, he emphasized, was for techies and tech enthusiasts.