MTC in partnership with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), UNDP and other stakeholders awarded prizes to the most promising local innovators on Monday through the annual Innovation Bazaar.
Established last year by NUST, the Innovation Bazaar is aimed at ensuring that viable innovations are accelerated, incubated, marketed, financed and absorbed into the market.
The prestigious award ceremony saw 13 vivid innovators walking away with rewards after a tough competition of presenting their innovations to a panel of judges in September.
The online bazaar featured interactive sessions such as pitch sessions, zoom den, investor sessions and an open bazaar, which showcased video clips of various inventions and later provided opportunities for parties interested in the particular invention to discuss it.
In his welcoming remarks, MTC chief commercial officer Melvin Angula said that with the Innovation Centre, MTC aims to help find quicker solutions to pressing ICT issues and creating an ecosystem to test new technologies and new approaches to deliver better results and innovation for development.
“For us to make Namibia one of the most innovative African nations, we need to accelerate the private sector-led economic growth and increased productivity through promoting local industrialisation and attaining a structural shift to grow the exportation of our ICT skills and become a knowledgeable society,” he said, adding that young innovators have a role to play in tackling existing industrial challenges and developing technology-based solutions with a social impact that is ‘By Namibians; For Namibians’.
Speaking at the same event, lecturer at NUST, Prof Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, said the bazaar attracted a huge number of 154 submissions of which only 55 were successful.
“We create many brilliant and fascinating ideas but due to lack of funding, those ideas do not reach greater markets,” she said.
Winschiers-Theophilus is also calling on private stakeholders to invest in innovative minds and she further advised innovators to be persistent.
“Go out there, make sure they see/hear what you have created,” she said.
Winners at the bazaar included tech wizz and entrepreneur, Werner Alweendo, who won the best presentation award in the Communications and Media category for his project called ‘Wow Spaces’.