The African Teen Tech Festival (ATTF) made its maiden debut on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. The event, themed "Technology, Career, and the Future of Learning", was focused on nurturing young minds to usher in the next generation of innovators and leaders.
The festival featured panel sessions, keynote addresses, a startup pitch competition, a drone show, and a debate where participating secondary schools were represented. Notable dignitaries in attendance included Lagos State Commissioner of Education, Folashade Adefisayo, Permanent Secretary for the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Abayomi Abolaji, and Special Adviser for Education, Lagos State, Tokunbo Philip Wahab. Various secondary schools in Lagos State were also represented.
Delivering the opening address was the event's convener, Lanre Ogundipe, the co-founder and CEO of PaveHq and Founder of Imperial EdTech. He acknowledged everyone in attendance and emphasized that the goal of the event was to ensure that attendees learn something new, whether it's about their career or future profession. “The aim of this annual event, African Teen Tech, is to instil purposeful career choices and clear academic paths among the upcoming generation of teenagers in Africa" he said.
The African Teen Tech Festival is a platform that seeks to inspire and motivate young people to embrace technology, innovation, and leadership. The festival aims to foster creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills among young people, preparing them to be future leaders and change-makers. The event was a resounding success, and we look forward to future editions of the festival.
The Teen Star Start-Up Challenge, a startup pitch competition, was a highlight of the African Teen Tech Festival. The competition saw various young minds present their solutions in under one minute to three judges: Hakeem Hassan, Technical Adviser to the Special Adviser on innovation and technology to the Lagos State Governor; Olusegun Malegbemi, Chief Innovation Officer, Ouranos Lab; and Joba Oloba, Co-founder of Nest Hub.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Education, Folashade Adefisayo, also engaged the audience, emphasizing the importance of problem-solving skills and public speaking. “Knowledge evolves, so don't limit yourself to becoming a lawyer. As a lawyer, how will you differentiate yourself and provide innovative solutions?" she said. She added that it was essential for young people to become problem solvers and learn the art of reflection every day to improve their skills.
The African Teen Tech Festival was a resounding success, and we are proud to have provided a platform for young people to showcase their creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. We believe that the festival will inspire and motivate young people to embrace technology, innovation, and leadership, preparing them to be future leaders and change-makers.
The importance of time management, problem-solving skills, and a global mindset were emphasized by the Lagos State Commissioner of Education, Folashade Adefisayo, at the African Teen Tech Festival. Speaking at the Teen Star Start-Up Challenge, where young people had to pitch their solutions in under one minute, Adefisayo encouraged students to develop the skills needed to solve problems effectively. “Every skill can be taught and acquired, and every skill can be honed to mastery.” she said.
Adefisayo also urged attendees to stay informed and aware of current issues by listening to the news. "You must not stop learning," she said, adding that every moment is a teachable moment. She closed by cheering on the youngsters to go out and make a difference.
Be the smartest in the room
The first panel session of the event, "Digital Transformation of the Education Sector in Africa," was made up of an erudite team of educators and experts who work with educators. The panel discussed the challenges facing the education sector in Africa and the opportunities for digital transformation to improve learning outcomes. The session provided valuable insights and recommendations for policymakers, educators, and stakeholders to drive innovation and transformation in the education sector.
The African Teen Tech Festival featured two panel sessions that addressed critical issues facing the education sector and the future of work. The first session, titled "Digital Transformation of the Education Sector in Africa," was moderated by Damilola Emuze, COO of ScholarX. The panelists included Bolaji Osime, Bisi Esuruoso, Rhoda Odigboh, Nankling Danfulani, and Zola Okpara, who represented Chinonye Mba-Uzuokwu, Managing Partner, Grand Central. The panellists’ discussed the role of teachers in a digital world, the future of education, and ways to leverage technology to enhance learning outcomes. Nankling also highlighted initiatives by the Department of International Trade, the Lagos State Government, and the Nigerian Government aimed at improving education in the country.
The second panel session, titled "Navigating Tech and Non-Tech Careers," was moderated by Lanre Ogundipe and featured Sally Okogbo, Joba Oloba, Nathan Nwachukwu, and Justina Dika-Oha. The panellists’ discussed how young people can prepare for careers in tech and non-tech industries.
Speaking to Techpoint Africa, Ogundipe emphasized Imperial EdTech's commitment to leveraging technology to deliver quality education. The African Teen Tech Festival provided a platform for young people to learn from experts, share ideas, and explore opportunities in the rapidly evolving tech industry.
PaveHq, a cross-border education platform that helps students search for and apply to universities worldwide, partnered with EduFocal to organize the African Teen Tech Festival (ATTF). The festival aims to raise awareness among teenagers about career choices by providing a platform for learning and exploration. The event also seeks to encourage teachers to incorporate technology in the classroom and involve parents in their children's career decisions.
As part of its mission to promote technology in education, PaveHq has established a local original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that builds hardware devices such as tablets and laptops for schools and teachers. The company assembles these devices locally and provides schools with the tools they need to leverage technology in the classroom.
The EduFocal "Teach with Tech" program is designed to help teachers integrate technology into their lesson plans and improve learning outcomes. By working with teachers, PaveHq hopes to create a more engaging and interactive learning environment for students.
PaveHq is committed to continuing the African Teen Tech Festival every year to ensure that teenagers make informed decisions about their future careers. With a focus on technology, the festival provides a platform for students to learn about the latest trends and developments in the industry and explore opportunities for growth and development.
Ogundipe, a prominent figure in the edtech industry in Nigeria, is optimistic about the future of technology in education. He believes that with Nigeria's growing population, which is projected to reach 500 million by 2050, there will be a significant demand for edtech solutions.
According to Ogundipe, the key to success in the edtech industry is to focus on the younger generation. By introducing children to technology at an early age, they will be better equipped to leverage it for their learning in the future. He believes that edtech is here to stay and will play a critical role in shaping the future of education in Nigeria.
Ogundipe's vision for the future of edtech in Nigeria is based on the belief that technology will become an integral part of the learning process. He envisions a future where students have access to cutting-edge technology and are able to use it to enhance their learning experience. By investing in edtech solutions today, Nigeria can prepare the next generation of learners for the challenges of tomorrow.