Just so you know, Coder in Africa (Coderina) is coming to the National University of Lesotho (NUL). But who is CODERINA, by the way? It is an organisation best known for pushing the boundaries of innovation among young people in Africa.
Let us let Coderina Director, Mr Olajide Ademola Ajayi speak, “Our passion…facilitating a culture of innovation to enable young people transform the world they live in.”
Based in Dublin, Ireland, and Abuja, Nigeria, Coderina (coderina.org) will grace the NUL International Science, Technology and Innovation Conference and Expo (NULISTICE-2018) with an event that will include couching and competition between teams of young innovative minds!
[Submit your abstract to the NUL international Science, Technology and Innovation Conference and Expo & Africa-EU Renewable Energy Research and Innovation Symposium for Jan 2018 @ www.nulistice.org.ls]
Why did Coderina choose NUL? Mr Ajayi could never have been more succinct. “Our missions align,” he said.
In those three words, he did more than just summarize the marriage between the two institutions; actually, he laid a foundation for a long-term relationship. Now, listen to Mr Ajayi, as he explains the motives.
“We believe that Africans are creative,” he said. So what’s been missing? “We only need to nurture and create an enabling environment for innovation to thrive,” he added. “This is what we are bringing to NULISTICE-2018.”
But how is it done? Coderina organizes open or themed innovation challenge, to challenge the creativity of young people.
So in the upcoming event, expect the following for those who will take part: learning the design thinking process and ideas presentation, and taking part in business case development and programming competition, among others.
Prices for winners will be awarded during the NULISTICE Gala Dinner during the same week. And those really brilliant projects stand a good chance of being incubated.
But before you leave (after hearing the word programming), note this—Coderina is not only focused on IT, for those who are outside the field.
If you don’t believe us, let them say it, “creativity and innovation is our focus. In certain cases, IT tools can be deployed to aid creativity, but lack of IT skills is not a barrier to innovation and entrepreneurship.” Yep!
By now, the whiz kids amongst you are already salivating at the prospect of taking part in this event. Aren’t ya? So who will participate? Some of you are already asking. All interested young university and college students and graduates.
Not only from NUL, whiz kids from around the country, or even beyond, will take part. NUL may be leading innovation efforts in Lesotho. But it doesn’t believe it has a monopoly over innovation.
Be patient, more details will be provided on how to join.
It’s interesting to know that NUL and Coderina have actually signed an MOU to work together. Even more interesting is how the twosome innovators met.
“It was sheer providence,” Mr Ajayi said.
At one point, one NUL fourth year Economics student, Tshepang Khumalo, went to Ghana to represent NUL in a Tuning Africa event after beating her African peers in a fierce competition.
Hands up those who still remember this story, “NUL student beats African peers, wins a Tuning Africa race to Ghana.” You heard this story, right on this page—is that right?
It turns out Khumalo brought back more than just a trophy, she brought CODERINA to Lesotho. And she is now Coderina representative in Lesotho!
“One of our directors had a chance meeting in Ghana with a student from NUL who is passionate about innovation,” Mr Ajayi revealed. That student happened to be none other than Khumalo. “Introductions were made, MOU signed, and here we are!”
In case you didn’t know, Coderina events will be just some of the many events during the NULISTICE-2018 week. There will be NULISTICE (www.nulistice.org.ls) itself, a combination of an International Conference and an Expo.
“At the conference, people from around the world are expected to come and share their latest research in the area of Science, Technology and Innovation,” said Dr Mosotho George, the spokesperson for NULISTICE.
Local and international innovators and entrepreneurs from all walks of life will also have a chance to display their works at the Expo, where a plenty of stalls will fill the “Innovation Market.”
You won’t believe it!
Another huge event alongside NULISITICE will be the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Research and Innovation Symposium. Sponsored by EU, our local company, Enigma, and a host of other organisations, the event will also bring renewable energy enthusiasts from across the world. All these events will be held in Maseru.
After these events, Maseru will never be the same again!