A pan-African platform, Innovation Festival, (IFest) has been launched in Nigeria as an empowerment platform curated to harness talents that will advance the course of humanity and address the societal problems and challenges facing Africa in some critical sectors.

IFest, in its inaugural edition themed: “Exploring the possibilities of innovation”, is powered by Maxxconnection, an experience marketing company. The platform is launched today Tuesday, 11 February, 2020 at Radisson Blu, Ikeja to the media, government officials, corporate organisations and other critical stakeholders across Africa.

Speaking on the challenges plaguing Africa, the chairman of IFest, Prince Dapo Adelegan stated that, for long, Africa has been struggling with major societal issues ranging from insecurity, power, health unemployment, food scarcity etc. To find solutions to these issues, government institutions and corporate organisations have been taking steps in addressing these issues by orgainsing conferences, seminars, summits and meetings without a major action in proffering solutions.

On the other hand, he said, technology events, summits and hubs, have also been created in areas of IT and financial services, yet none of these have been able to address these challenges as Technology is just a driver.

Introducing the platform to the media, Prince Adelegan said, “IFest is an empowerment platform created to showcase and incubate African talents/ideas and to harness those talents to full potential while solving our societal issues.

“Africans are talented and it is evident in the way and manner African youths have been able to advance the course in other western countries. Young talented Africans and Nigerians are all over without necessary support, exposure and capacity building to unbundle their hidden talent,” Mustapha said.

According to him, IFest as a platform would encourage and collate great innovative works from young Africans, especially in key areas that would assist to drive the continent out of poverty, and create jobs opportunities for millions of Nigerians/Africans through the convergence of all stakeholders- government, venture capitalists, businesses and innovators and implementing some of the great ideas discovered.

At IFest, the executive director of the Innovation Festival Mr. Owolabi Mustapha stated that “We recognise that the possibilities of the human imagination are infinite and the only way to get our desired utopia is to unleash the latest innovative potential innate in all of us,” adding that “We are creating a platform that brings together all stakeholders to explore the possibilities of innovation.”

L-R: Dapo Oluwaseyi Adelegan, chairman, Creativexone Limited; Aruya Temilade, assistant director, public affairs, Lagos State ministry of information; Doyin Adewumi, managing director, Creativexone Limited; Owolabi Mustapha, executive director, iFEST, and Jahswill Osondu, managing director, Mind Innovations, at the launch of iFEST in Lagos, yesterday.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State, Mr. Tunji Bello, represented by Aruya Temilade, assistant director, public affairs, Lagos State ministry of information said that Lagos State is excited to be part of the project.

According to her,  “IFest could not have come at the right time as Lagos is moving in the same direction of innovation. The mega city project requires innovative ideas to achieve it, therefore we are very excited to be part of this project,” she said.

Some of the key take away at the IFest will be that to educate and showcase to all stakeholders what innovation really is, harness the potential of the innovation to address important societal issues such as unemployment, insecurity and power and to open doors of opportunity by giving innovators a platform to showcase their innovation to different investors who will help bring crafts to life.

Apart from providing opportunities for budding innovators in most areas of business and trade, IFest also has potential to throw up fun memory and entertaining collaterals such as networking opportunity, sales and exhibition opportunity and entertainment.

The IFest experience encompasses an innovation pitch, a showcase of innovative products (product launch), innovative features, upcoming technology, and discussions on the effect of present and future innovations in the business community.

“The festival isn’t complete without IFest Night Market. The Night Market  is the first of its kind, offering local and global brands an exclusive platform to organise promotional campaigns, product showcase, publicity for upcoming offerings or conduct sales,” Mustapha revealed.

The Night Market is targeted at individuals and corporate bodies, and as the name implies, it would remain accessible to consumers after work hours.