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Nigerian team loses out in Imagine Cup 2011

By Emeka Aginam, in New York
Despite good outing,  Nigerian students  have  failed  to scale the hurdle to round two  of ongoing  Imagine Cup 2011 in the software design category.

Out of  67 teams  in the  software  design category that earlier    presented their  solutions before international  panel of judges  in the first round on Saturday evening  in New York,  only  18 teams made the list for second round.

Meanwhile, only Morocco made it in the second out of 8 African countries that contested in the first round of software design competion that was keenly contested by creative software incubators whose works if fully developed could solve the world’s toughest problems including hunger, disease, natural disaster, among others.

From left Alaba Oluwazemi, Kolawole Toluwanimi, David Olanizo, and Taiwo Orogbangba fixing their PCs before their presention, Saturday at the ongoing Imagine Cup competition. Photo by Emeka Aginam.

Although    Team Nerds Inc from the Federal University of Technology Akure( FUTA)  that  represented Nigeria put up a good performance   that was applauded by the panel of Judges shortly after their presentation,  thier  solution, according to keen observers,  has the capacity to  further  solve some  of primary health care challenges in Nigeria and the rest of African sub-region.

However,  Nigerian team  is still hopeful in the  People’s choice award  having been ranked  4th position  in the online voting that will end by 12th of July, 2011.

Morocco, Jordan, Finland, Brazil, Romania, US, Ireland, China, Ukraine, Malasia, New Zealand, India, among others were the countries that scaled the hurdle in the first round.

With this development, the successful 18 teams will do another presentation that will be  accessed by panel of judges after which the best  6 teams will make the list for the final round.

In the embeded development category,  India, Singapore, Brasil, Egytp,  UK,, USA, France, Romania, Columbia  among others also qualified for  second .

Speaking shortly the first round, the Nigerian team leader, David Olaniyan with optimism told Vanguard Hi-Tech that they  will still work on the project after which it will be deployed  for effective use in the Nigerian health sector.

According to him, their team will not be intimidated  for losing out in the competition  given the fact that some organizations were  already expressing interest for the product.

“The judges were pleased with our presentation and they applauded our project. But just as in all competitions, winners have to emerge. We were informed that the decision to select the qualifiers was a keen one and that most of the teams had really great projects. It is a competion and people have to qualify for the next round.

“We are disappointed for not  making it to the  second round but we are not discouraged towards achieving our main goal. But despite all these, we are still strongly determined to impact our society using technology and attending the Imagine Cup has been a big leap to achieving this goal. The exposure has been an amazing experience because of the interactions with other creative minds and listening to some of the best people in the ICT indusry all over the world”.

For   the team mentor, Dr. Kayode Alese ,  it was a good outing for the students having made  their mark in the international competition.

“What is next now  is to take the solution to the next level so that it can be taken to a level of deployment which calls for partnership between the University, Microsoft, Nigerian Government and International Agencies. We also have to start preparing for the next competition. In all the students have done  brilliantly well within the avilable tools. This was well applauded by the panel of judges. We are now focusing on the People’s choice award where we currently ranked 4th position” he said.


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