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Innovation

Ericsson, UNICEF Launch Global Partnership To Map School Internet Connectivity

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Ericsson and UNICEF have announced a global partnership to help map school connectivity in 35 countries by the end of 2023.

Mapping the internet connectivity landscape for schools and their surrounding communities is a critical first step towards providing every child with access to digital learning opportunities.

This joint effort is part of the Giga initiative.

Launched last year and led by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Giga aims to connect every school to the internet.

Ericsson is the first private sector partner to make a multimillion-dollar commitment to the initiative and does so as a Global UNICEF Partner for School Connectivity Mapping.

According to the ITU, 360 million young people currently do not have access to the internet.

This results in exclusion, fewer resources to learn, and limited opportunities for the most vulnerable children, and youth to fulfil their potential.

Improved connectivity will increase access to information, opportunity, and choice, enabling generations of school children to take part in shaping their own futures.

“The deepening digital divide is one of the many inequalities that the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored,” said Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships, UNICEF.

“School closures, coupled with limited or non-existent opportunities for remote learning, have upended children’s education worldwide.

“Our partnership with Ericsson will bring us closer to giving every child and young person access to digital learning opportunities.”

In addition to funding, Ericsson will commit resources for data engineering and data science capacity to accelerate school connectivity mapping.

Specifically, Ericsson will assist with the collection, validation, analysis, monitoring and visual representation of real-time school connectivity data.

The data generated through the mapping will enable governments and the private sector to design and deploy digital solutions that enable learning for children and young people.

Ericsson will also engage its extensive customer base to further advance the goals of the Giga initiative.

“Ericsson is uniquely positioned to be a key partner in helping address this important issue due to our technology expertise, global scale, decades of experience in public/private partnerships, and proven results connecting students and educators,” said Heather Johnson, Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson.

“Working together with partners, like UNICEF and the ITU, amplifies the potential impact of school connectivity and is a concrete first step in helping bridge the digital divide globally.”

“ITU brings a history of technology policy advocacy and regulatory expertise to the vital mission of connecting every school in the world,” said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau.

“We are thrilled that Ericsson will join Giga and help build the mapping tools necessary to make connecting every school a reality.”

The UNICEF-Ericsson partnership also contributes to the Generation Unlimited Global Breakthrough on Digital Connectivity that aims to give young people digital skills so they can fully and meaningfully participate in the digital economy.

Generation Unlimited is a global multi-sector partnership to meet the urgent need for expanded education, training and employment opportunities for young people.

Additionally, the partnership supports UNICEF’s recent COVID-19 Agenda for Action in which the organization called for global action to keep children learning, thereby requiring the prioritization of internet connectivity in rural and remote areas.

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Innovation

How LG Is Leading Next Generation Of ACs With ThinQ Technology

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With the recent increase in the number of people working from home, the demand for energy-efficient and powerful cool air conditioners has risen exponentially across Africa due to unbearable heat caused by the weather, especially during the dry season.

But LG Electronics has remained one company that has been at the forefront of the next generation of innovative Residential Air Conditioning (RAC).

With a vision to provide differentiated customer value, LG over the last 20 years, has pursued earth environment preservation, sustainable social advancement, and improved the quality of life of all its stakeholders.

Based on customer needs, the electronics giants have varieties of Air Conditioner namely: GenCool, ArtCool and DualCool Premium Air Conditioners.

A few years ago, LG introduced its GENCOOL Inverter V that can work efficiently with small capacity generators. Specially designed for the Nigerian market, the AC comes with benefits such as affordability, energy efficiency and durability.

Unlike the conventional AC (i.e. ON/OFF types) which requires a big-sized generator to start the AC due to their high start-up electric power, LG’s GEN COOL AC can be started with smaller generators due to LG’s innovative inverter technology.

According to LG, for the normal mode, 1HP AC needs a 1.5 KVA generator while 1.5 HP requires 1.7KVA and 2HP needs 2.2KVA.

Thus, the LG GEN COOL Air Conditioner comes with the GEN Mode which allows for the use of a small capacity generator in areas where electric supply is insufficient, eliminating the need for a large generator. So with the AC’s GEN Mode feature, you can minimize startup electric requirements.

LG Smart AC features

The electronics giant has equipped its ACs with Smart ThinQ technology, which, as per the company, allows the users to control and monitor ACs at any time and from anywhere with an app on the phone. Apart from control, consumers also get filter cleaning notification and control multiple home appliances through smart ThinQ.

Hari Elluru, Head of Corporate Marketing, LG Electronics, West Africa Operations, said, “We have more number of future-ready ACs with Smart ThinQ (Wi-Fi) along with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility.

“We aim to offer the best air conditioning solutions to our consumers through a robust product portfolio supported by effective after-sales service. Which gives us the confidence to continue our last year’s and the industry’s first initiative of same-day installation.”

Energy efficiency coupled with powerful cooling

The GenCool AC comes equipped with a Smart and Dual Inverter Compressor which reduces energy consumption by up to 60 and 70 per cent respectively.

The Dual Inverter Compressor motor has a wide rotational frequency and a higher speed cooling range than a conventional compressor, allowing the Air Conditioner to cool more quickly, last longer and run more quietly.

So no matter how high the temperature, the Air Conditioner distributes cool air immediately to every corner of the room. The unit has a 25 per cent larger skew fan which expels powerful blasts of air through its large outlet, optimally designed to fill spaces with cool air faster and farther.

Due to their twin-rotor, there is a faster cooling at a wider operating frequency or ‘broader tonnage’. Hence, a dual inverter offers better cooling in terms of precision in temperature control due to variable tonnage and speed of cooling.

Optimal comfort and health care

Powerful cooling does not come at the expense of the user’s comfort. With just a click of the “Comfort Air” remote button, the GenCool AC adjusts the vane angle to ensure that the out-flowing air does not blow directly to the user and cause sudden drops in body temperature.

The disturbance is also not an issue as the Air Conditioner operates at the world’s lowest noise level thanks to LG’s unique BLDC motor, skew fan technology and Active Low Vibration Control (ALVC) feature. It also maintains an incredible capacity for dehumidification to provide the most comfortable environment.

Health is one of LG’s core considerations when creating new products. The Art Cool AC offers top-quality features in favour of the user’s health and sanitation. Plasmaster Ionizer Plus, which disseminates over three million ions to sterilize and deodorize not only the air going through the AC but all surrounding harmful substances.

Next-level convenience

The installation has never been easier with the delicately designed installation elements of LG’s Air Conditioner: simple packaging, installation plate improvement, installation support clip, wider tubing space, detachable bottom cover and a quick button for running tests.

Less Noise

Ordinary inverter AC uses a single cylinder-shaped rotary compressor. Since the operation of a single compressor requires high-speed rotation, it tends to generate a lot of vibration. This increases noise levels, especially when the shaft of the AC is whirring at full capacity.

The twin-rotary compressors in dual inverter ACs turn with a phase difference of 180 degrees, which promotes more stability when they are operating at full capacity. More stability means fewer vibrations and whirring and ultimately lesser noise.

Consistent with this strategy, LG provides a wide range of products for heating, ventilating and air conditioning. The company’s industry-leading variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology minimizes efficiency losses, provides sustainable energy savings and offers some of the lowest life cycle cost of any system on the market today.

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AECF Launches US$1.2m Innovation Fund To Unearth Emerging Technologies

Fund seeks to support entrepreneurs using renewable energy to start or diversify existing businesses

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The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has launched a US$1.2 million Innovation Fund to unlock the potential of renewable energy to create new business opportunities.

Businesses and entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe can apply for funding.

The fund is aimed at strengthening the market readiness of emerging innovations, as well as secure financial, technical, and networking support for taking existing proven prototypes to scale.

Solutions that reduce the negative impacts associated with the use of traditional cooking options at the household and institutional levels, build climate change resilience among communities and support productive uses such as water pumping, agro-processing, cooling, and refrigeration services are examples that the Fund seeks to support.

In applying, businesses and entrepreneurs will need to demonstrate how their proposed innovations will transform the livelihoods of low-income households through the creation of jobs and diversification of livelihoods.

Under the Sustainable Development Goals, the world has set an ambitious target of ensuring universal access to reliable and sustainable energy by the end of the decade.

But with half of the African continent without access to electricity, and two-thirds lacking access to clean cooking solutions, additional investment is needed to drive innovation and accelerate the uptake of modern energy.

The Innovation Fund builds on AECF’s Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT) initiative, which was launched to support the private sector develop and expand its clean energy technologies to Africa’s rural communities.

The Fund will invest in technologies that meet market needs as well as accelerating the development of existing solutions to better serve African communities and not technologies in the prototype stage.

Chief Executive Officer of AECF, Victoria Sabula, said, “The Innovation Fund is key to enhancing large scale transformation within local communities. Investing in affordable and accessible renewable energy solutions can create jobs, grow economies, and build more sustainable livelihoods.

“Through the fund, we hope to unearth new ways that renewable technology – be it domestic, communal, or commercial – can be used to generate income and create jobs,” she said.

The deadline for the applications is 29th April 2021.

 

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NITDA Pledges Support For Indigenous Startup That Developed Sexual Abuse Reporting App

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Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi has assured that victims of sexual abuse in Nigeria through ICT will have the opportunity of presenting their cases without fear of stigmatization.

Abdullahi gave this assurance Tuesday while receiving the CEO of Shamrock Innovation Hub, a women and youth-centric tech innovation hub that developed HELPIO, an android based application used in reporting sexual abuse.

The support came as a  directive of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) liaise with the young startup, mentor her, monitor her progress and support the system under the stipulated regulation.

Abdullahi commended Shamrock Innovation Hub for the exciting and laudable development in creating sensitization and awareness to sexually abused victims with the aim of supporting them and eliminating any form of stigmatization while at the same time, bring perpetrators of the heinous crime to justice.

He assured the hub of the Agency’s support, mentorship and monitoring of their progress in line with stipulated regulations.

The NITDA DG advised the hub to evaluate their internal infrastructure size so that the Agency can examine possible areas of assistance, connecting the hub with a vast service provider for seamless integration and promised to provide solar panels to ease their operations.

With regards to awareness in rural areas, Abdullahi said that the Hub’s sexual abuse reporting application will be given adequate publicity on the Agency’s social media handles and the NITDA Impact weekly television programme, adding that the Agency will come up with a start-up innovation challenge to get the development of the application on iOS devices.

During the Hub’s presentation, Abdullahi considered that a large amount of personal information will be collected in the investigation of sexual abuse cases and therefore, advised that it was necessary for the Hub to align with the standards of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulations.

He said that the Agency will link the Hub with a Data Protection Compliance Organization to ensure compliance with the regulations.

Miss Sa’adat Aliyu, the founder of Shamrock Innovation Hub who had earlier sought support from the Agency expressed delight and appreciation at the Agency’s assurances of support and cooperation.

She said the HELPIO is a mobile application that provides a safe space for victims of sexual abuse and with the collaboration of relevant organizations like NITDA and other security agencies, the Hub will achieve its mandate of ensuring victims get absolute justice.

She sought support from NITDA for the provision of tools and resources which will help in the Hub’s training programmes and promises to give details of solar panels needed to enable the Hub to reach its maximum productivity.

 

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