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Technology Has Potential To Transform Nigeria’s Economic Devt – Popoola

John Popoola is a co-founder and the CTO of RouteWatche, a tech startup focused on enhancing security and safety through innovative use of data and technology. With over a decade of software engineering expertise, I specialize in crafting and maintaining data manipulation systems. My extensive experience in software development has been instrumental in shaping RouteWatche’s technology platform, enabling it to effectively address security challenges and empower communities.

Tell us about RouteWatche and what motivated you to go into this line of technology?

RouteWatche is born out of a critical need: the absence of a platform that seamlessly integrates historical data, real-time information, and predictive analysis to ensure safe route planning in Nigeria. This technology platform merges my passion for addressing the escalating safety and security issues in communities with my expertise in software engineering.

Recognizing the transformative potential of technology, my co-founders and I set out on a mission to create RouteWatche, a solution that empowers individuals to navigate their environments securely by harnessing the power of data analytics and advanced technological solutions.

Safety is a top priority for RouteWatche. Can you discuss some of the innovative ways RouteWatche uses data and technology to enhance security?

Safety is indeed a top priority for RouteWatche, and we employ various innovative methods to enhance security. These include real-time data monitoring, predictive analytics, and the integration of alert systems to dispense verifiable crowdsourced actionable data in real-time.

By analyzing patterns and trends through crowdsourced data, RouteWatche can proactively identify potential security threats and take preventive measures to mitigate risks, ensuring the safety of users at all times.

What role do you see RouteWatche playing in the security and safety of lives in a country like Nigeria?

Safety is a paramount concern in Nigeria, given the prevalent insecurity challenges backed by historical data. Communities grapple with issues ranging from crime hotspots to traffic accidents, making secure route planning necessary. In response to these challenges, RouteWatche emerges as a crucial ally.

In Nigeria, where community and informal policing are already prevalent, with streets and neighbourhoods often employing vigilante personnel to safeguard them, RouteWatche complements these efforts by providing real-time monitoring and analysis of security threats.

By harnessing verifiable crowdsourced data and predictive analytics, RouteWatche empowers these existing systems, ensuring that communities can make informed decisions to safeguard themselves effectively.

It doesn’t just add to existing efforts; it amplifies and enhances them, contributing significantly to creating safer environments for all citizens.

How does the app work and how easy is it to use, especially, for people with little education?

The RouteWatche app sets a new standard in user-friendliness, ensuring accessibility even for individuals with limited education. The interface is intuitive and comprehensive, allowing users to report incidents, view, comment on, and share reported incidents within their community.

This multifaceted functionality empowers users to actively engage with their surroundings, fostering a sense of community vigilance and collaboration. Moreover, the app provides real-time alerts, ensuring that users stay informed about potential security threats in their vicinity. RouteWatche goes beyond mere reporting; it facilitates active participation and communication, empowering individuals to take ownership of their safety and contribute to the security of their communities.

What would be your advice to the younger ones trying to go into tech?

My advice to younger individuals aspiring to enter the tech industry is multifaceted. Firstly, never stop learning and exploring new technologies. Embrace challenges and failures as opportunities for growth, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

Networking and collaboration are also key in the tech industry, so building relationships and seeking mentorship from experienced professionals is crucial.

Additionally, I urge aspiring technologists to leverage their skills and knowledge to make a positive impact on their immediate environment. Rather than viewing technology as a means to perpetrate evil, seek opportunities to use it as a tool for good.

Solve prevalent challenges, address societal issues, and contribute to building a safer and more sustainable future for all. By harnessing the power of technology for positive change, younger individuals can make a difference in the world.

What is the future of tech in Nigeria?

The future of tech in Nigeria is exceptionally promising, poised for unprecedented growth and innovation across diverse sectors. With technology becoming increasingly accessible and affordable, we anticipate a profound wave of digitalization sweeping through various industries.

This digital transformation not only holds the potential to drive remarkable economic development but also to significantly enhance the quality of life for citizens nationwide. From revolutionizing healthcare and education to empowering small businesses and fostering entrepreneurship, technology stands as the catalyst for positive change, propelling Nigeria into a future defined by innovation, prosperity, and inclusive development.

How would you describe people using tech for dubious reasons?

Individuals who resort to using technology for dubious purposes exploit vulnerabilities within systems, orchestrating actions like cybercrime, hacking, or the dissemination of misinformation. These activities not only pose significant threats to cybersecurity but also undermine trust in digital systems and jeopardize the safety and privacy of individuals and organizations alike.

Addressing these challenges demands a multifaceted approach, encompassing stringent regulatory frameworks, proactive cybersecurity measures, and enhanced digital literacy initiatives. Moreover, fostering a culture of ethical conduct and accountability within the tech community is essential to safeguarding against malicious activities and preserving the integrity of digital ecosystems.

By collectively fortifying our defences and upholding ethical standards, we can mitigate the risks posed by nefarious actors and ensure that technology continues to serve as a force for positive change in society.

What do you think government should do to improve tech in Nigeria?

To improve tech in Nigeria, the government should focus on several key areas, including investing in infrastructure to expand access to high-speed internet and technology resources, fostering a supportive environment for startups and innovation through policies and incentives, and prioritizing STEM education to equip the workforce with the skills needed for the digital economy.

Additionally, collaborating with the private sector and international partners can help drive innovation and investment in the tech sector.

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