Category archives for: Technology

Africa: Voice Still Outstrips Data in Business

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South Africa: Dutch E-Learning Specialist Launches

Johannesburg — DUTCH-based learning technology company, aNewSpring, has expanded to South Africa. It has opened a new office in Johannesburg with exclusive distributor, New Leaf Technologies. Co-owner, Rene Persoon, previously announced the plans at the recently held E-learning Insights 2017 conference in Cape Town and Johannesburg. aNewSpring has been working with New Leaf Technologies for over a year. “The company has been instrumental in the success of aNewSpring in Africa and we thought the timing was perfect to open a local office,” said Persoon. The aNewSpring learning platform has already been fully integrated with Sage X3 People, a leading HR management tool. The open Application Programme Interface (API) makes integration across a wide range of other HR and ERP systems very practical and relatively simple. “This is really good news for the South African industry,” said Paul Hanly, newly-appointed Managing Director of aNewSpring Africa. He said the company was building lasting relationships with clients and was able to provide local support, onboarding as well as localised pricing. “We’re not just another faceless cloud-based software solution. We are on the ground with a really good understanding of the African market,” Hanly said.

South Africa

Dlamini-Zuma ‘Knows Nothing’ of Cabinet Reshuffle

It is official: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is an African National Congress MP again. Read more »

Malawi: Multinational Computer Sponsor For ICT Awards

By Jeromy Kadewere

Information Communication Technology Association of Malawi (ICTAM) continues to attract international support after Oracle has pumped in K2 million towards the National Innovation Forum awards set for next month.

Oracle is an ICT company with its head office in the United States of America (USA).

The amount is the biggest that ICTAM has received.

The awards will be held on October 6 and 7 at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge.

ICTAM president, Wisely Phiri, described Oracle as a major partner of the association as far as the forum is concerned.

“Oracle is now a Gold Sponsor for ICTAM Innovation Forum awards. They are readers in Databases and also manufacture ICT hardware and software. The support shows that they believe in whatever we are doing in the country,” he said.

Phiri said the forthcoming forum will reward outstanding innovations in different sectors such as health, agriculture and finance that have been in use in the country for a year.

“We desire to inspire ICT individuals and organizations to develop solutions to help in different sectors,” he said.

Oracle Territory Manager for Malawi and Zambia, Lesi Rapetswa, said they donated the money to ICTAM because they are in full support of initiatives that help drive skills development, and bring socio-economic relief and improvement to the citizens of Africa.

“Oracle has been doing business on the African continent for more than three decades.

Oracle continues to invest in Africa, helping to prepare African youth for the fourth (4th) industrial revolution, through the establishment of partnerships with various government entities, private sector and ICT stakeholders,” he said.

Rapetswa said these partnerships aim to help foster the adoption of leading edge technologies in an effort to assist solving the day to day challenges faced by businesses on the African continent.

“Over the years we have worked with many Malawian organizations, we firmly believe that technology can play an instrumental role towards developing the country.

The ICT Association of Malawi through this wonderful initiative, aims to promote and encourage masses to use technology as a vehicle to make life better for Malawians which is something that we support and believe will go a long way in building the “Warm Heart of Africa”,” he said.

Commenting about Oracle, Rapetswa, said: “The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout America, Europe and Asia.

For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit usatoracle.com for more information.”

Recently ICTAM received K500, 000 from SkyBand whereas Africa is talking has also supported the course.

Malawi

Police Chief Rejects Rumors of Blood Suckers

Inspector General of the Malawi Police Services, Lexten Kachama has dismissed reports of some persons sucking people’s… Read more »

Nigeria: Dangote, Bloomberg, Others Discuss Use of Technology to Tackle Poverty

press release

Bloomberg Philanthropies hosted by former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, inaugurated its first Global Business Forum with an astounding line up of global innovators, including Africa’s richest man, Nigerian industrialist Aliko Dangote.

Following talks by former U.S. president Bill Clinton, French President, Emmanuel Macron, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Alibaba chairman Jack Ma, Aliko Dangote, took the stage with Bill Gates of Microsoft, Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, and Masayoshi Son of SoftBank. David Rubenstein, CEO of The Carlyle Group who moderated the panel on technology’s ability to disrupt poverty. Mr Dangote cited Nigeria’s 130 million cell phone lines and his own company’s initiative to use biometric data and mobile banking to target one million Nigerian women for small grants.

‎Mr. Dangote and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation cited their collaborated effort in fighting polio by vaccinating seven million children using mobile trackers.

Nigeria

Govt Traces Biafra’s Source of Funding to France

The federal government hinted yesterday that it has traced the financial headquarters of indigenous people of biafra… Read more »

Nigeria: NCC Remits N133.4bn to Federation Account in 2 Years’

Nigeria’s telecoms regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday said it has, in the last two years, remitted N133,426,062,786 to the consolidated revenue fund of the Federal Government.

The commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, said in a statement, “Although NCC’s primary role is not to generate revenue for the government, but to nurture and regulate the industry, figures obtained from the commission show impressive remittance of funds to the coffers of the consolidated revenue of the Federal Government, especially in the last two years.

“For instance, the Commission’s last remittance to the consolidated revenue fund, which was on June 30, 2017 was N12,705,154,120 and it came just less than 10 days after the NCC remitted the sum of N1,282,453,138 to the account.

“In the same vein, the NCC last year, transferred N20,000,598,873 and another N15,000,000,000 in March before remitting N29,475,867,407 and N16,500,000,000 in December of the 2016.

“In 2015, however, the commission remitted N23,512,316,450 in October after paying N6,856,182,132 in September of the same year.

“It is noteworthy also that the quarterly contribution of telecom sector to the GDP has been consistently impressive in the last two years.”

Mr. Ojobo also quoted the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, as recently saying the sector contributed N1.549 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2017, representing 6.68 per cent increase from the first quarter of the year (N1.452 trillion).

The National Bureau of Statistics report, Mr. Ojobo said, also confirmed that the telecommunications sector, during the second quarter of 2017, contributed 9.5 per cent to the GDP in contrast to 9.1 per cent contribution in the first quarter of the year.

“We are very proud of the remarkable contribution the sector is making. Even at the recent times when the whole economy was facing challenges, the sector had remained resilient and stable,” the NCC spokesperson quoted Mr. Dambatta as saying.

He added, “Similarly, the nation’s quest for attainment of 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018, has received a major boost as ITU-UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development confirmed last year announced that Nigeria had achieved 21 per cent level of penetration from less than 10 per cent 2 years earlier.”

Mauritius: Government Aims to Transform Mauritius Into a Viable Fintech Platform, Says Minister Sesungkur

press release

Government’s vision to upgrade the financial services will mark a significant shift in the paradigm for the sector. The diversification and upscaling of the financial services with technologies to spur a regional Fintech industry is the next big strand and Government is deploying all means and ways to create the adequate conducive environment to tap into this trillion-dollar industry.

This statement was made by the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Dharmendar Sesungkur, yesterday at the opening of a one-day consultative workshop on Fintech around the theme “Shaping the Fintech Landscape” organised by the Board of Investment (BOI) in collaboration with the Financial Services Promotion Agency at Le Meridien Hotel, Pointe aux Piments.

Fintech which is called upon to change drastically the face of businesses around the world provides a pathway to position Mauritius for the digital economy, fostering new business ventures, both in the financial services and technology industries as well as creating benefits across the country, underlined the Minister.

Moreover, he highlighted that as the BOI evolves into the Economic Development Board, their capacities and unparalleled expertise will certainly prove to be invaluable in re-engineering our financial services sector and the economy in general. With regards to the financial services sector, Mr. Sesungkur stated that his Ministry is currently engaged in the elaboration of a Blueprint for this sector.

The Minister expressed optimism that the workshop will bring together the insights, experience and endeavors of participants present into a focused, meaningful and, most importantly, realisable vision. He also recalled that the workshop comprised of panel discussions and will pave the way towards the establishment of a Fintech Association in Mauritius. The association will, inter alia, comprise industry leaders, start-ups, academia and Government to ensure coherence in the overarching strategy.

According to Mr. Sesungkur, through Fintech, Government will further diversify the base of opportunities by going full-throttle on an innovation-led growth model that will position Mauritius on the global and regional scene as an intelligent and forward looking economy. Fintech will also reduce costs through platform-based and decentralised technologies and the role of intermediaries, and provide faster services, he further outlined.

Mauritius

Third African Union Customs Expert Trade Facilitation Forum Kicks Off

The third African Union Customs Expert Trade Facilitation Forum aiming to provide a platform to exchange and debate the… Read more »

Angola: Cunene – Expert Calls for Responsible Use of Social Media

Ondjiva — A sociologist Garcia de Jesus Ndaepele Wednesday in southern Cunene province advised young people to make more responsible use of the social media.

Garcia de Jesus was speaking to ANGOP on pros and cons in the use of social media.

According to academic, young people should take most advantage of the information and communication, but avoid the negative things.

Social media help increase access to communication and information on social interaction, but should not be seen as a means and an opportunity to promote actions harmful to the good society.

Families, as the main nucleus of society, should step up control of their members, by teaching them on how to take advantage of internet.

Young people should not expose themselves not even hurt the sensitivity of the others but respect for the elders, preserve their own dignity and build a society characterised by educated youths, he said.

Angola

Migration Service Repatriates Congolese Over Illegal Stay

At least twenty-five citizens from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) , including 18 women and seven men, were… Read more »

Nigeria: Concerns Over Impending Technology Risk Among Commonwealth Countries

By Emma Okonji

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Mr. Shola Taylor, has warned of an impending risk that is likely to rob Commonwealth countries of modern technology benefits.

He stated that many Commonwealth countries may likely miss out on the benefits of Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and augmented reality technology innovation, if they do not invest sufficiently in broadband and ICT services.

Taylor, who spoke at the opening of the just concluded CTO ICT Forum’17, which held in Maputo, Mozambique, called on Commonwealth countries including Nigeria to consider huge investment in broadband, which he described as a platform for the next frontier of technology advancement.

He called on member countries to invest urgently in broadband as well as in information and communications technology (ICT) services, or miss out on IoT and AI evolution.

Taylor, a Nigerian citizen was the chief executive officer of Kemilinks International, a global ICT consultancy firm based in Lagos. He had over 35 years of global experience in ICTs with government and the private sector, prior to his appointment as Commonwealth Secretary General in 2015, warned commonwealth countries of the danger of not investing heavily in broadband.

According to him, “With the IoT, we have a new environment conducive of opportunities for new forms of digital entrepreneurship or public service delivery. But there are still far too many without access to the internet, who are unable to take advantage of the opportunities and benefits that digital technologies have to offer.”

Taylor spoke alongside Mozambique’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Mesquita; Director-General, International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation, Patrick Masambu; and Deputy Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union, Malcolm Johnson.

The event, which was declared open by Mozambique’s Prime Minister, His Excellency Carlos Agostinho do Rosário, was attended by ministers, regulators, national ICT agencies, industry executives, non-profit organisations and academia from the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, South Asia and the Pacific.

“We need to investigate new options to provide broadband, including low-orbit space solutions. To achieve this, more investment is essential. Of course, universal service funds must continue to invest and deliver on increasing access. Countries must invest in services for their citizens, and in the infrastructure to support the delivery of these services, or they will miss out on the benefits of IoT, Big Data and augmented reality technologies,” Taylor warned.

“It’s important for us to continue developing infrastructures as well as information and communications technology services in order to ensure greater availability and coverage of online services,” the Prime Minister said.

Experts at the forum were of the view that internet access is the key to development, being the first step towards a digital nation.

“Big Data, Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and 5G will all shape our digital future. They are important steps on the journey towards a digital nation and we need to bring together technologists, regulators and policy makers, not only from the ICT sector, but all the sectors that will depend on the technology, in order to address these challenges,” they added.

The theme of this year’s forum was Digital Nations, Digital Wealth, with discussions focused on the prospects for socio-economic growth in a digital future comprising virtual environments, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, machine-to-machine communications and augmented reality applications. The forum attracted participation from other organisations such as ICANN, Facebook and Huawei who actively contributed to various sessions on universal broadband, regulation of virtual environments, the digital economy, security and privacy.

In Nigeria, broadband penetration has been abysmally low, prompting industry stakeholders to raise concern that Nigeria may not achieve the National Broadband Plan, which targets 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018, up from the current broadband penetration level of 21 per cent. Their concern however seems not to move the federal government of Nigeria, that has assured Nigerians of surpassing the 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018, given the current indices on the licensing of two Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) and the planned licensing of additional five InfraCos that will drive broadband penetration and internet access in Nigeria.

At the CTO Forum, consensus emerged from the discussions, which clearly stated that: The journey to the digital future is both individual and collective; Public investment is a necessity to connect the unconnected, as although 3G covers 85 per cent of the world, only half of the world population is connected to the internet. Other consensus reached, included that: Countries must develop coordinated multi-sectoral strategies for ICTs, to include broadband infrastructure, health, education, agriculture and other areas; IoT and augmented reality may require less and but more flexible regulation; The need to balance open data with privacy; Government to lead by deploying e-government services, among others.

The CTO ICT Forum is the annual ICT conference of the Commonwealth, which is the oldest and largest Commonwealth intergovernmental organisation in the field of ICTs.

With a diverse membership spanning developed and least developed countries, small island developing states, and more recently also the private sector and civil society, the CTO aims to become a trusted partner for sustainable development for all through ICTs.

Nigeria: NCC Set to Woo Foreign Investors At ITU Telecom World 2017

By Emma Okonji

Given the contribution of telecommunications to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which stood at N1.549 trillion in the second quarter of 2017, representing 6.68 per cent increase, up from the N1.452 trillion it contributed in the first quarter of the year, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that the telecoms sector has all it takes to attract quality foreign investment into the country.

To that end, the Commission said it would use the opportunity of the ITU Telecoms World 2017, taking place in Busan, South Korea, from September 25-28, to further showcase the potential of Nigeria’s telecoms sector, with a view to attracting more foreign investment to the sector.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who is passionate about deepening the country’s broadband penetration as enshrined in the country’s Five-year National Broadband Plan (2013-2018), said NCC would use the event to also woo investors to invest in Nigeria’s broadband plan.

He noted that the broadband penetration in the country currently stands at 21 per cent, as Nigeria is inching toward 30 per cent penetration next year, which is in line with its national broadband target.

With less than one month to go, organisers of ITU Telecom World 2017, said the stage was set for global ICT leaders to hold conversations and debates on topics spanning the role of data in smart digital transformation, 5G, achieving meaningful digital inclusion and more.

According to the organisers, the forum would feature smart innovation in the exhibition, with over 500 exhibitors to showcase latest Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) solutions and services that will shape the next generation of global leaders and digital experts.

The NCC is billed to host the Nigeria Investment Session at the forum, where it will further showcase the abounding opportunities for investment in the country, providing a platform for interactions between representatives of the Nigerian government, key industry players in Nigeria’s ICT and telecom sector, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and innovators, and investors.

Featuring a line-up of panelists playing key roles across the industry in Nigeria from government, regulatory bodies and indigenous and foreign companies, the discussions at the forum, which will be led by the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, will highlight progress in meeting the goals of the National Broadband Plan, strategies to deepen connectivity and flagship programmes to drive ICT development in Nigeria.

Nigeria

Govt Traces Biafra’s Source of Funding to France

The federal government hinted yesterday that it has traced the financial headquarters of indigenous people of biafra… Read more »

Uganda: Government Enters Shs2b Trade Information Portal Deal

By Ismail Musa Ladu

Kampala — For a long time, traders in Uganda have had difficulties accessing relevant information about exportation, importation and transit processes.

But this is about to change, thanks to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Tuesday between the ministry of Trade and Trade Mark East Africa-Uganda (TMEA-U).

The deal between the two will enable the start of the implementation of a trade information portal, an initiative that has already sparked interest among private sector players.

The initiative is funded by TMEA with support from its partners such as UNCTAD and the International Trade Centre to the tune of about $500,000 (Shs2 billion) for two years.

It will, among other things, allow the ministry to control and manage a one-stop portal with information about export, import and transit.

“The information portal will go a long way in enhancing the doing of business environment in Uganda by reducing the cost and time spent looking for the information, making traders more productive,” the acting assistant commissioner for external trade – ministry of Trade, Mr Richard Okot, said during the signing of the MoU.

The trade information portal is an online platform where all the information regarding export, import and transit of goods in Uganda will be availed to traders, government agencies and all interested parties for free.

Electronic single window

According to the TMEA-Uganda country director, Mr Moses Sabiiti whose organisation secured the $500,000 grant, to achieve the full benefit of the portal, it should be integrated with the Electronic Single Window which allows traders to clear their goods online.

He said: “Trade Information Portal will provide the traders with all the necessary information to enable them undertake the transaction on e-Single Window. And this is why the two platforms that are complementary should be integrated.”

Establishment of the trade information portal is provided for within the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, which Uganda ratified and came into force on February 22, 2017

In her remarks, Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde said: “For a long time, we have faced challenges accessing relevant and accurate information about export and imports. The trade information portal will therefore relieve us from that pressure.”

She added: “We will have to make sure this succeeds and the Permanent Secretary here will ensure that the portal is monitored and properly managed and ensure all necessary information needed to enhance trade is availed, including legislation and policies we have passed.”

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