• Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Innovate Nigeria – An imperative for corporate innovation in the age of AI

Adedamola Giwa

Peter F. Drucker made this bold declaration, “Innovate or Die’’ in his 1985 book, “Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” This statement, which highlights the critical role of innovation in the survival and success of an organisation is as relevant today as it was 39 years ago.

Moreso in the current age of artificial intelligence where the pace of change is unprecedented, businesses who fail to adapt are simply gone, ‘o ti lo’ in local parlance.

According to a PWC Global Artificial Intelligence study, AI is projected to contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, and 70 percent of this gain would come from China and North America. Africa and Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind. To achieve our goal of making Nigeria a trillion-dollar economy within the next decade, we must harness the power of technology, especially artificial intelligence to solve our perennial problems, enhance productivity across public and private institutions and accelerate National growth and prosperity. This must start with leveraging AI to build meaningful solutions to improve access and quality of education, healthcare, financial services, food, water etc.

To achieve this, we must all come together—startups, corporate, investors, governments, and other stakeholders to foster collaboration and leverage the power of the collective to accelerate collective growth and prosperity.

This is why Innovate Nigeria, Nigeria’s biggest corporate innovation conference and expo held at the Landmark Event Centre, Lagos, Nigeria on 6th-7th February 2024 is considered by many experts as a timely platform to accelerate corporate innovation and start-up-corporate collaboration in Nigeria.

With the theme “Accelerating Business Transformation in the Age of AI,” Innovate Nigeria featured cross-sectoral conversations about innovation and artificial intelligence and how Nigerian startups, corporations, and private and public institutions can leverage its transformative power for social good and global competitiveness.

Furthermore, the conference stood out by uniquely focusing on corporate innovation and corporate venturing as an alternative source of capital for startups in Nigeria. Considering the current state of the global market and the difficulties faced by founders in Nigeria and other emerging markets seeking to raise capital, Innovate Nigeria was a timely intervention for the continuous development of the Nigerian startup and innovation ecosystem.

Innovate Nigeria had a lineup of top local and international speakers and panellists who explored different industries and tracks, including AI, Fintech, Healthtech, Ed-Tech, Manufacturing & Automation, Finance & Trade, Smart City & Infrastructure, Future of Work & Talent, CivicTech & E-Gov, Foodtech/Agric, Corporate Venture & M&A.

The conference featured an array of offerings, including enlightening conference sessions, dynamic exhibitions, exclusive studio tours, enriching masterclasses, investor dinners, innovation pitch competitions, and more.

The Innovate Nigeria conference hosted an intriguing and timely discussion on how startups, corporations, and governments can leverage the transformative power of artificial intelligence to accelerate growth in Nigeria. A panel of seasoned professionals and startup founders delved into the enormous opportunities for accelerated growth and social good presented by AI. This session, alongside numerous other enriching keynotes, panel discussions, masterclasses, and exhibitions, contributed to making Innovate Nigeria an unforgettable experience for countless participants.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of business and technology, Nigeria stands at the threshold of a new era where embracing innovation is not just a choice but a necessity. The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has ushered in unprecedented opportunities and challenges, making it imperative for Nigerian startups, businesses, governments, and policymakers to prioritise innovation to stay competitive and relevant.

The Innovate Nigeria conference and expo presented a unique opportunity for thought leadership on innovation, artificial intelligence, and its transformative power for Nigerian growth while creating a unique platform for networking, deal-making, startup-corporate collaboration, partnerships, and investments. So, in the spirit of Innovate Nigeria, let the connections, innovation, co-creation, collaboration, and partnerships continue.

Adedamola Giwa is an accomplished business and thought leader in the fintech and technology space in Nigeria and across Africa. He is currently the Managing Director of the Fintech subsidiary of the ARM Group where he is leading the development of innovative financial services offerings within Nigeria’s biggest non-bank financial services group.