Nigerian start-up wins Future Stars challenge at Gitex Technology Week with Chiniki Guard programme

NIGERIA has emerged the winner of the Future Stars challenge held at the ongoing Gitex Technology Week in Dubai with Abdulhakim Bashir clinching the top prize with his Chiniki Guard programme designed to tackle the menace of shoplifting.


Chinki Guard is a solution that has the capacity to detect shoplifting and provides real analysis on activities going on in a shop. It analyses the information from CCTV camera using artificial intelligence and reports instantly via a connected video application.


It was developed similar to a manner whereby you can get a consultant and he will give you a prescription to carry out a test and then send you to a doctor who will give you a prescription for treatment. According to Mr Bashir, the idea is to ease all the processes of moving to the hospital from your house or office.


For claiming top spot, he won $10,000 in prize money. According to Mr Bashir, Chiniki Guard reports instantly via a connected video application. Chiniki Guard had alongside another Nigerian innovation, 247MEDIC developed by Stephen Osawaru emerged as semi-finalists on Monday out of 108 contestants that participated in the innovation challenge.


Meanwhile, the overall winner in the contest was Jose Rubinger of Brazil, the chief executive and co-founder of Key2Enabler Assistive Technology for assisting disabled persons to write and type with a keyboard. He went home with $100,000 for his efforts.


Nigeria's communications minister, Dr Isa Pantami described the development as a victory for Nigeria and attestation to the hard work and effort of government to make digital transformation a reality. He reiterated his stance on increased support for start-ups and called on relevant agencies to give them the necessary support.


Mr Pantami said: "The start-ups need seed funding and enforcement to get to the level they ought to be. Nigerians are so much addicted to foreign products by neglecting our own products so we should use the Gitex experience to upgrade our systems.


"I am happy to announce to you that two of our start-ups that came for this Gitex have emerged as semi-finalists. Our youths in Nigeria have crazy and disruptive ideas and what they need is mentorship as it helps to avoid a lot of mistakes."


Rashifu Inuwa, the director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (Nitda), said it would sponsor start-ups every year to Gitex to expose them to global realities. He added that this will allow them to share experiences with their peers in line with the agency’s mandate  to digitize the country.


Nigeria sponsored 10 Start-up to the global event. According to Mr Inuwa, the performance of the Nigerian representatives was an attestation to the fact that Nigeria has youths that can impact the world with innovative ideas.


He added: "What they need is the right environment and mentorship for them to achieve what they want to achieve. A lot of start-ups are coming on in Lagos, the work we have been doing have started manifesting.


"Before oil was major contributor to gross domestic product but now information and communication technology has taken over with 13.6% as against 8% of oil and gas. To achieve digital transformation, we need to consider the technology, the process and the people."