The Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Lagos State, Hon. Tolani Sule, has emphasised the need for collaboration between technology and tertiary institutions.
He noted that due to the universal curriculum, there is need for connections which can only take place through the help of technology.
Sule said this at the Payaza Fintech Hackathon 2.0, themed ‘Empowering Africa: Leveraging Generative AI for a Tailored Financial Journey’, held in Lagos.
He explained that the tech industry operates on the cutting edge, and students need exposure to the latest trends, tools and methodologies.
He added that collaboration between tech companies and tertiary institutions ensures that students are not only well-versed in theory but also equipped with practical skills that are directly applicable in the workforce.
“By partnering with academic institutions, companies can tap into the vast pool of research talent that exists within these institutions, accelerating the pace of technological advancement,” he said.
The Product Marketing Manager, Payaza, Margaret Cole, stated that the Hackathon sought to bridge the gap between young talents and an ecosystem that can incubate, grow and establish them.
“The tech industry is almost always interested in established, experienced and ready to use talent and this leaves little or no room for young nascent talents with so much potential and hunger with no opportunity to nuture, grow and demonstrate their skills in the right environment,” she said.
On the reason behind the theme, she said, “the future of AI is today, it is this very moment as we speak. AI will soon become the new way of life transcending across all sectors and industry. And Payaza is in the business of providing payment solutions using up to date technologies and infrastructure so our customers’ needs are met. It is only logical that we begin to seek solutions that are AI embedded so we can achieve this goal.”
The wining team, Iya Finance, was awarded $5,000. The first runner-up, Naya, received $3,000, while the second runner-up, Enigma, went home with $1,500. All the teams present at the finale received $100 for participation and other cash gifts.