Diamond Bank Plc on Tuesday gathered some of Nigeria’s techpreneurs and users at the Landmark Event Centre for Techfest 2018, a programme that seeks to chart a new course for the country’s tech ecosystem by examining how technology can help businesses grow and perform better.

The two-day event, which was an initiative of the bank, was made possible by the collaborative of companies such as MTN, Deloitte, Visa, Interswitch, Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System Plc and Beat FM.

Addressing reporters prior to the commencement of the main event, Diamond Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Uzoma Dozie, stated that the whole essence of the event is to demystify technology. According to him, the focus at the event is not just about the developers or the engineers, but specifically about how information technology is being utilised to solve problems and scale up businesses in health, education, etc.

Speaking further, he noted that the programme became necessary as a way of educating entrepreneurs on ways to derisk their businesses while increasing their productivity and ultimately ensuring customer satisfaction.

The whole essence of Techfest is to demystify technology. Here we are not just talking about developers or engineers, instead, we are looking at how to use technology to scale up education, health, etc. In other words, we are looking at how to use technology to increase productivity and create convenience for the customers. -Uzoma Dozie

On the cost implication of organising a two-day event of that magnitude, Mr Dozie stated that the company prefers to see it as an investment. According to him, it is important for Diamond Bank to educate its customers on the importance of utilising technology towards improving and securing their businesses, because only then will it be confident enough to lend to said businesses.

Also speaking during the interview sections was Mr Yemi Saka, a partner at Deloitte, one of the official partners of the event. He stated that his company decided to be a part of the event because Techfest is a first of its kind in Nigeria, with the potential of accomplishing more in the nearest future. According to him, it is impressive to see that a lot of technological innovations are taking place in Nigeria. Deloitte is, therefore, glad to be a part of an event that is poised “to continue to showcase what a lot of our young and vibrant people are innovating within Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, some representatives of MTN who spoke to Nairametrics during the event stated that the company willingly partnered Diamond Bank on the project because technology is what they do. The company was also present at Techfest with the intention of sharing ideas with other people in the sector.

The programme saw two-panel discussions, the first of which focused mainly on big data, how it is taking over the tech space, and how it will impact on businesses today and in the nearest future. The panelists, comprised of Diamond Bank’s CEO,  Uzoma Dozie and the CEO of Flutterwave, Inioluwa Aboyeyi, and others, also identified the importance of data to every business; particularly SMEs. According to them, data can, among other things, help companies to understand the behavioural pattern of their customers; and this will, in turn, help business owners to serve their customers better.

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The second set of panelists discussed angel investors, who they are, how to attract them, and how to be prepared for them.

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The event continues today, during which some of the startups from the different hubs will pitch their businesses for chances of winning a prize.

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