Key challenge areas;
Insecurity of Lives and Properties: Herdsmen-Farmer clashes, kidnapping, and religious conflict are few of the many threats to lives and properties in the North-West. There is an urgent need to address these issues bearing in mind the complexity of the security systems due to cultural and ethnic differences across the region. Inventive ideas must take bold approach to bring lasting peace to the North-West.
Improving Food Security: Access to food , through increasing farm yields and creating self-reliance in food production and processing. The response must address affordable irrigation during the dry season, measures to reduce post-harvest losses, how child nutrition can be addressed in vulnerable populations, and methods of food production and processing which would add value and increase yield.
Lack of basic assets and inputs into food production: What sustainable measures or innovations can be used to make agricultural inputs accessible and affordable? (livestock, grains, fishing, seedlings, fertilizers, manure, pesticides, farm equipment etc.)
Lack of quality public education, or lack of educational resources: The challenge thus centers on the need to address the educational needs of children, young women, and youths across the North-West with emphasis paid on ensuring affordable, accessible and quality education. What innovations can eliminate brick and mortar classroom without the loss of quality teacher-student interaction at an affordable cost? Such solutions would reach the last mile and change the education narrative in the region forever.
Maternal and Child Mortality: High Maternal mortality and Child Mortality rate due to lack of care of pregnant mothers, poor health awareness on, insufficient funds and access to healthcare facilities make this a serious challenge for the populations in the North-West especially the vulnerable IDPs. What innovations can address this challenge for the mothers and children in the North-West?
Early Childhood Development (ECD): All human beings fall on a spectrum of talents and capabilities. Not everybody is able to climb Kilimanjaro, solve complicated mathematical equations and socialise effortlessly. We would like to make sure that all children have the best start at life, no matter where they fall on the spectrum. For that to happen, it is important that children have access to inclusive support and services that promote positive early learning opportunities especially within their first 1000 days till the age of 5 years.
Drug Abuse: 3 million bottles of codeine are consumed by Nigerians across the country, same with the intake of tramadol, rohypnol, marijuana, and other opioids, an alarming trend that has subtly eaten deeply into the Nigerian fabric. About 60 percent of substance abuses in the country is perpetrated in the Northern part; specifically, places like Kano, Kaduna, and Katsina. How can we leverage technology to significantly reduce illegal distribution of drugs, peer pressure, and capture perpetrators?
Diversifying Livelihoods: The challenge is to introduce technology as a tool to scale small and medium scale businesses in the region. This would be achieved by finding innovative solutions that addresses (i) the financial needs of small and medium scale businesses, (ii) how the region can tap into resources to link up markets and create cluster business hubs across industries in the North-West, (iii) what off-grid solution for energy be enabled to support livelihood activities at a household level, (iv) how skills acquisition and training can be used to drive economic empowerment of youths and women in the North-West.