The Akwa Ibom Tech Week 2023 went into session on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at 4 Points By Sheraton, Ikot Ekpene, with discussions by panelists at the conference.
One of the discussions was on, “Building a Sustainable Talent Pipeline”.
The panelists include Unyime Tommy, Managing Partner, Assurdly; Mark Essien CEO Hotels.ng/Founder HNG Summit; Richmond Bassey, Co-founder & CEO Bamboo and Adriane Marden – Rapid River Software, Maine, USA, with Aniebiet Udoh, Founder KodeHauz moderating the discussion.
The discussion centered around the challenges faced in recruiting the required hands in the tech ecosystem and how to surmount those challenges.
Some of the challenges identified by the panelists include the quality of those hired, inflated cost of hiring, lack of good communication skills, dearth of funding the talent within the pipeline, lack of accountability and inadequate in skill acquisition by the talents in the pipeline, among others.
The panel went on to proffer solutions to these challenges, which include the acquisition of relevant tech skills by members of the tech ecosystem, having a good understanding of the business they want to go into, learning strong communication skills and slowing down how they speak, especially, when on global platforms or with global teams, so they could be well understood by others in the team that come from other climes.
Other solutions proffered include organizing training and coaching sessions for the hirings, the hirings should build the character for learning on the job and picking up quickly.
Other solutions proffered include having a standardized framework for quality control, loan to trainees, internship to keep the ecosystem busy within the pipeline before they land good jobs in the ecosystem, collaborating with their peers and think long-term.
Hiring within the pipeline were also advised to be accountable, put in the work, don’t overate themselves and be able to solve a broad range of problems.
Another discussion was held on “Funding Innovation: Attracting Funding for Startups, Business and Ventures”, which is key to keeping the tech ecosystem in Nigeria growing.
The panelists were Uwem Uwemakpan, Head of Investment Launch Africa, Blessing Abeng, Branding & Communications Expert and Victoria Fabunmi, Principal Atlantica Ventures, who moderated the discussion.
The speakers praised the pivotal roles that the likes of Paystack, Flutterwave and Moniepoint have done, in creating opportunities for Nigerian Startups to be funded.
The panel of discussants, the, made it known that, for an investor to fund a tech startup, they will have to see that the startup has certain attributes, so the fund they intend to invest will not go down the drain.
Some of the attributes highlighted by members of the panel include the ability of the startup to differentiate between its target audience and its clients that pay them, what their paying clients need and how to meet those needs, putting the interest of the paying clients over the Founder’s sole vision, possession of leadership skills and an organizational structure, knowing their numbers in and out and defining the most important metrics to track what represents their growth for business and document it.
Other attributes that the investors look for include putting progress over perfection, which entails being open to building with other people to make progress, recognizing when to outsource some tasks to freelancers and use tech tools to minimize costs.
The panel agreed that the role of government in facilitating innovation is to create enabling environment through the provision of infrastructures such as power, fast internet connectivity, good rads, etc.
They, however, concluded that the government should ensure that the funds allocated to assist innovation gets to the right people and this should be tracked for accountability.
Events at the weeklong tech week continue until Sunday, November 5, 2023.