SystemSpecs, Africa’s leading financial and human capital technology firm, has announced winners of the 2020 edition of its Children’s Day Essay Competition.
The competition was organised to create opportunities for children from ages 9 to 16 to share innovative ideas capable of driving the attainment of a sustainable, technology-driven economy in Nigeria which would be the pride of Africa and the envy of the world.
Of the submissions of about 2000 entries received within 2 weeks from over 500 public and private secondary schools across 29 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, 11-year-old Onuoha-Okoro N. David of St Anthony Grammar School (Private) in Esure, Ijebu Imushin, Ogun state, emerged winner in the junior category, while 15-year-old Kalu Derrick Ugochukwu of Fosla Academy, Karshi, Abuja emerged in the senior category.
Toluwalase Aremu (10) of Blooming Lights Montessori School, Lagos and 12-year-old Akorede Otufowora of Corona Secondary School, Agbara, Ogun state emerged first and second runners-up respectively in the junior category. While Aisha Folashade Adebayo (14) of Aflon Digital Academy, Abuja and 14-year-old Shoniran Toluwase Oluwasemilore of Baptist Academy, Obanikoro, Lagos emerged first and second runners-up respectively in the senior category.
The winners in the first position for both categories each receive a high-performance laptop and headphone. The first runners-up receive tablet and a headphone while the second runners-up receive a tablet.
In its first year and themed “Nigeria of my Dream: Making it Happen with Technology”, the entries espoused brilliant ideas detailed in 1ooo and 1500 words for the junior and senior categories respectively of how Nigeria can swiftly transition from its current state to emerge as a fully technology-led prosperous nation which all would be proud to call home.
“We believe that the development of the country lies not only in the hands of our leaders, but also in those of our children. This competition is one step towards helping our youngsters express qualitative thoughts that would enhance life as a Nigerian. And as technology remains a potent tool to hasten development, we are convinced that their dreams would become a reality,” said Akor Akpenyi, SystemSpecs’ CSR programme administrator.
Akpenyi reiterated the firm’s commitment to actively collaborate with relevant stakeholders in its corporate social responsibility goal of advancing capacity development for Nigeria across various levels.
Speaking on behalf of the judges, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata (CFA) said the judges were impressed by the quality of the submissions received.
“The entries gave a soothing assurance that despite the mounting odds, there is hope on the horizon, especially through these young ones. On behalf of other distinguished members of the panel of judges, I celebrate and congratulate all who sent in entries and encourage them to keep championing causes that would help to reposition Nigeria for good.”
The 2020 Children’s Day Essay Competition is the first in the series and is part of SystemSpecs’ overall drive to contribute to capacity development towards the economic advancement of the country.
SystemSpecs, providers of innovative solutions – Remita, Paylink and HumanManager, has remained at the forefront of providing fintech and HR technology solutions for individuals, businesses and government in Nigeria.
To continue adding value during the crisis, companies need to shift their thinking. Public-private partnerships are emerging, supported by a surge in solidarity funds across the continent. COVID-19 is creating new needs, while enforcing enormous financial pressures across a broad spectrum of society. From medical and public health needs related to the response, to economic uncertainty impacting vulnerable populations, COVID-19 is creating unmet needs above and beyond the standard.
As such, non-profit organisations working directly to meet those needs require more resources to do so, however, all charitable entities are feeling this pressure, even if they are not directly responding to the crisis. The economic uncertainty may cause many donors to dial back. Many non-profits have had to cancel their usual programmes and fundraising events out of concern for public safety, while most of them have limited financial reserves to carry them through lean times ahead, putting them in a difficult predicament. To aid in the continuation of their philanthropic efforts, banks can strengthen their sense of purpose as they fulfil a social mission that supports households and businesses with access to credit and reclaim the bank’s value proposition.
Similarly, containing the pandemic’s economic impact is not only a government task, but a collective action that the private sector must play a role in. Businesses throughout the region are contributing to this shared cause and are constantly working in unity to ensure that support is provided in as many countries and areas as possible.
The bank is in touch with manufacturers and distributors in the pharmaceutical industry through to healthcare providers to help provide our communities with these vital funds. This commitment has already seen Joint Medical Store, a leading Ugandan not-for-profit organisation, become the first client to make a drawdown under the bank’s $1 billion financing commitment.
As the fallout from the crisis continues, the private sector must continue to partner with non-profit organisations and government institutions to ensure the resiliency and stability of local communities. Through the provision of financial relief programmes and medical support, these measures must be implemented as a collective responsibility. As the industry adjusts to shifts in the economic landscape, reimagining may be essential, given emerging challenges facing communities, businesses, and the healthcare industry. These efforts can play out in the informal sector as well. From financial services to health issues, value chains have multiple entry points to change the relationship between businesses and citizens.
To that end, organisations can no longer remain focused on their products and services. They serve as a vital piece of a dynamic puzzle and can make a significant difference by collaborating with a purpose. The question for all leaders to address will be how to partner with the public sector to adapt and learn from the plethora of innovations and experiments applied to supporting and uplifting the local community in times of uncertainty On the African continent, specifically in Kenya, the United Nations launched a flash appeal alongside numerous NGOs seeking over $267 million to aid in the relief of 10 million of the country’s most vulnerable people, which is complementary of the ongoing efforts extended by the nation’s government authorities. Similarly, in Kenya, the UN has built a model to catalyse public private action: the SDG Partnership Platform, led by the government’s leadership.
While companies’ actions will be remembered during this time for communities and businesses, so will words. As organisations operating within these communities, there is a duty to care for them. The financial world can be taunting for many and difficult to navigate, when the matter is, in fact, a simple one. In times of uncertainty, people are looking to ensure that their money is safe, and are, more than ever, seeking guidance regarding their financial statuses. We must remember that we are institutions that communicate largely with communities that face significant fears and need reassurance. We have made sure that our customers are aware of their options across all of our channels. We have a duty of care which is to inform and reassure as well as listen.
Only by listening to our communities do we know what is keeping people awake at night and knowing how we can address these issues and find solutions will keep our economy going and instill confidence in our consumers. What we do today determines what we become tomorrow. This serves as the primary reason for our continued action today to support businesses, communities, and individuals, as we aim to foster a better tomorrow.