Tunde Oso

AN Information and Communications Technology ICT expert has urged start-ups to acquire the requisite education to enable them engage Nigeria’s legal system to protect their patents.

The Managing Director of The Gage Company, Johnson Anorh, who said this at the beginning of the two-day Co-Create tech exhibition in Lagos, said it is human nature. You cannot work so hard to come up with something interesting, and you fail to find a way to protect it.

According to Anorh, “Our legal system is there already. I mean, we have an adequate legal system: are we taking advantage of it? How do we take advantage of the legal system that we have to protect our innovations and patents?

He advised tech start-ups to acquire and have this education that: if people come up with novel ideas or patents, you don’t have a choice than to own it and protect it.

The Gage boss, who revealed that there are over 30 brands, fintech, tech companies and marketing communications firms, like Multichoice, Afromedia, TRACE, Mtv Base, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Lagos State showcasing their brands, products and innovations at the exhibition, added that “it is an interesting time for technology in Africa. There is therefore the need to create opportunities to network, set the environment for critical thinking that would spark new solutions by brands, fintechs, start-ups as exhibitors.

“With Nigeria becoming the tech hub in Africa, as one the ICT investments running into billions of Dollars, there’s a need to create a platform where this original innovations, original ideas are celebrated, where they are brought together under one roof, and then also used to create a learning process.

He added, “We know that the frictions that exist in the African environment are a laboratory for the most innovative solutions and Co-Create 2022 has started a journey that organises our solutions to the most critical problems that exist here in Africa.”

He revealed that the exhibition is supported by a 2-day open learning programme with panel sessions and presentations covering 11 content tracks.

Anorh said “The awards will now be the grand culmination of these wonderful expositions, where they are not only just exhibited, but they are amplified and celebrated by a recognition that boasts of an unparalleled pedigree not only within the borders of Nigeria, but beyond the shores of Africa.

“Co-Create is an idea that has become the driving force of this platform and is also created to define most hopes, technology and ideas.

“In San Francisco, you have your tech hub, some governments now are creating one in Saudi Arabia and they’re creating hubs deliberately. We want to do this with this hub, to create the right environment, to attract some of the best thinking minds and some of the best tech minds in the clime.

“So, what we are what we’re doing with Co-Create now is to get people from the tech world, from the FinTech space, from the agri tech space, the ad tech space, all these different parts of tech technology, bring them under one roof and you’ll be surprised the kinds of things that can spark off from that roof.

“Let me give you an example. Like we don’t have lights and for someone to come up with an innovative idea that makes light available, I can just put one gadget on top of my table and life becomes available 24/7, no matter the megawatts.”

Anorh lamented that “if we look at the private sector, it has not been too interesting showing interest in this exercise. I’ll tell you the truth because this is a very niche space, technology space. So, you don’t have people putting money in this vision. No, it’s not that it’s only about innovation, it’s about change in our perception of technology. The tech people don’t even put their money here, apparently because they don’t believe so much in this, but are gradually being supportive because of our consistency. However, we draw strength from the government: NCC and NITDA have rendered very strong support to us. Both parastatals give us the strength to keep on going.

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