MTN launches ARDIC

MTN Nigeria launched the Academic Research Development and Innovation Challenge (ARDIC) recently, a unique effort aimed at promoting educational research development in Nigeria. Over the past two decades, MTN has been a leading promoter of science and technology in Nigeria. Its scholarship initiative has seen 8,811 grants worth N1.762 billion benefit 3,040 students across the country as at the end of 2018.

The ARDIC initiative was created to enhance local innovation by leveraging on MTN’s assets to enable post-graduate students transform their ideas into high-impact solutions. The major aim of ARDIC is to assist young motivated researchers in Nigerian universities to build and develop their research ideas into sustainable products and initiatives, and we can say that they may have started something!

The process began with a call for entry that saw hundreds of applications from post-graduate researchers in various universities. Young Nigerians rose to the challenge in Abuja on Thursday, November 28, 2019, and intellectuals worldwide could not be prouder. Nigerian dignitaries in academia, ICT and other related fields gathered in Abuja to watch history unfold. A pitch session took place on Thursday, November 28, 2019 at the Nile University, Abuja, where ten finalists were given the opportunity to pitch their works of research before a panel of seasoned technology and ICT experts and innovators.

One commendable aspect of this initiative was the freedom of thought that the contestants were given and the lack of restriction to any particular field of interest. The contestants were handed a free rein to present ideas on any subject matter and they came through. The ideas cut across Agri-tech, Fin-tech, Behavioural Management, Media Optimisation and a whole lot more.

MTN Nigeria has, in the maiden edition of ARDIC, selected six lucky winners from the pool of competitors in its Academic Research and Innovative Challenge (ARDIC). Itoro Akpan, Taiwo Amoo, Zainab Musa, Toyin Oshaniwa, Angela Ebirim and Ibitoye Ayodeji were the lucky recipients of the scholarship.

The initiative was officially launched at the Merry Makers Event Centre, Wuse, Abuja. The event was attended by the company’s CEO, Ferdi Moolman; Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, Olubayo Adekanmbi; Clerk Senate Committee on Communications – representing Senate Committee on Communications, Mr. Kolawole Kayode;  Chairman House Committee on Telecommunications, Akeem Adeyemi and Director, Research & Development Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ephraim C Nwokonneya.

Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, Olubayo Adekanmbi, had earlier shared that “MTN Nigeria believes that some of the solutions to the bottlenecks that currently exist on the continent, especially in Nigeria, can be solved through qualitative research and driving innovation. However, the academic community often hit a brick wall in translating their game changing ideas to workable solutions.”

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