Nigerian wins UK innovation prize, mentorship with Richard Branson

Mr. Yammama says he’s thrilled to have emerged winner in the keenly contested competition.

A Nigerian postgraduate student of Creative Technology at Middlesex University, United Kingdom, has emerged first place winner in the British Council’s Enterprise Challenge competition.

Nasir Yammama, who is an indigene of Katsina state, won the U.K. leg of the competition, out of over 2,000 contestants, with his invention of a farming support application that can help farmers with information about weather and how to take care of their farmlands.

Mr. Yammama on July 1 had a mentoring session with renowned entrepreneur and chairman of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, as part of the reward for the competition. He is also to attend entrepreneurship training at the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africa.

In a statement posted on its website, the British Council noted that “Nasir’s ability to think outside the box and develop digital solutions to everyday problems has earned him the respect of his peers and prizes and various international competitions (e.g. Oracles Thinkquest, Digital Peers International’s Digites etc.)”

The judging panel averred that “What struck us about Nasir was that unlike a lot of young people his age, he is actively thinking about solutions to Nigeria’s current problems and he has taken a different perspective to what he believes this solutions might be.

“At the moment the Nigeria agricultural sector is one of the most underfunded with the greatest potential to boost the country’s economy. In terms of our question, Nasir proved to us that not only is he aware of the current issues, his proposed product seeks to plug into and piggy back on the foundation of recently launched government initiatives.

“His product is a knowledge sharing mobile application which seeks to ensure that Nigerian farmers make informed decisions about their business based on what is available to them in their local environments, for example the farmers will receive information about the best soil types to use for their various agricultural products, weather and its effect on crops etc.

“This product is very much in the developmental stages, but we are excited to embark on this journey with Nasir. He proved to us during his presentation and board interview that he has done his research and we look forward to what the future brings and will support him in any way we can.”

In his reaction to winning the prize, Mr. Yammama said that he’s thrilled to have emerged winner in the keenly contested competition.

“I was very delighted when I received a letter notifying that I’ve emerged the first place winner of the competition in UK. But then, such delight always comes with a certain responsibility. It has challenged me to work harder and stay focused on my goals,” he said.


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