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Tuesday 15th June, 2021

TechExtra

NITRA Technology Forum Holds Today, Focuses On Cloud, Data Services

Vintage Confluence, CWG, Layer3 Join Train On Cloud/Data Services

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The Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA)-organised NITRA Technology Forum 2021 holds today even as more partners have been unveiled for the event.

The event, which holds at CitiHeight Hotel, Ikeja Lagos, and Virtually on Zoom now has a web-based cryptocurrency trading platform, Vintage Confluence LLC, Nigeria’s CWG Plc and Layer3 Limited joining other leading stakeholders to set issues around the growth of data hosting, preservation and utilisation in the country.

Vintage Confluence LLC is a leading global organization that offers solutions to Cryptocurrency Investors who need to sell their bulk Bitcoins in exchange for cash in Nigeria & South Africa.

The company’s mission is to provide traders with the most comprehensive Web-based trading platform available with no hassle or verification.

Vintage Confluence LLC is the most reliable, fastest and cheap e-currency exchanger with collective experience dating back to the origin of Bitcoin, providing thousands of satisfied customers with the right rates, at the right place, and at the right time.

As an active leader and certified vendor in the cryptocurrency industry since 2019, Vintage Confluence has been able to provide amazing exchange rates and quick execution of payment from small orders to large orders.

This platform provides a seamless interface between the trader and Vintage Confluence as its Vendor.

CWG Plc. is a leading provider of Information, and Communication Technology solutions services across West, Central, and Eastern Africa.

CWG is also a leading cloud services provider, enabling Africa’s SMEs to exploit cloud services for commerce and management.

Layer3’s core solution, Layer3Cloud is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution that allows businesses and organizations of all types to remotely and virtually build, manage, store and instantly deploy servers and data in a secure data centre based in Nigeria.

The company’s solutions cut across all sectors and include the innovation of the data centre, software, server & storage systems, mobile device management, security & network infrastructure solutions and access solutions including broadband and VPN services.

With the theme: Achieving 30% Growth In Local Cloud Hosting By 2024, NITRA Technology Forum 2021 will seek to bring stakeholders together in a panel session to discuss current challenges affecting Cloud businesses, policies that should facilitate growth and solutions to the challenges identified.

The forum will also dwell extensively on challenges and proffer solutions to factors mitigating against effective domiciliation of locally-generated data.

Chairman of NITRA, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, noted that over the years, Nigeria has been contending with the need to secure the country’s data and further boost local content in all sectors of the economy.

He acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic presented an eye-opener to many companies on the need to secure their data and cloud architecture.

“Specifically, the Forum will offer Cloud service companies, data infrastructure companies and other stakeholders, opportunities to reach out to their target market with solutions that address their challenges and needs.”

The event, which will be steered under the chairmanship of the Chief Executive Officer, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Muhammed Rudman, now has NITDA, Cloudflex, Rackcentre, Vintage Confluence LLC, CWG and Layer3 as sponsorship partners.

Also speaking on the event, the Association’s National Secretary, Mr. Chidiebere Nwankwo assured that the array of speakers at the event will not only chart a way for data and cloud growth in Nigeria but will also present options in data/cloud services that will offer micro, small, medium organisations opportunities to digitise at a very minimal cost.

He further stated that the event will be streamed live online via social media and the Zoom platform.

It will be recalled that the federal government has set things in place towards achieving local content development in the industry.

This quest was captured when the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) was instituted.

The 8th pillar of NDEPS highlights the mission towards Indigenous Content Development & Adoption.

Other Pillars are Developmental Regulation; Digital Literacy & Skills; Solid Infrastructure; Service Infrastructure; Digital Services Development & Promotion; Soft Infrastructure; Digital Society & Emerging Technologies; and Indigenous Content Development & Adoption.

Virtual participants can also join the conversation on the Zoom platform, via https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87428325362?pwd=dVRZQ2dWUnp4WjRzNzVFakhYUFBaQT09

 

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Innovation

2021 ATU Africa Innovation Challenge Launched, As Africa ICT Innovators Poised To Benefit

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Young Innovators......Photo Credit: Africabusinesscommunities.com

The second edition of the ATU Africa Innovation Challenge was Tuesday launched by the African Telecommunications Union (ATU).

ATU made the announcement in Nairobi-Kenya, in a virtual ceremony hosted with competition partner-the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), according to a report by Kachwanya.

Secretary-General of the ATU, Mr John Omo, while announcing the initiative, said: “This initiative will be instrumental in supporting institutional solutions that will boost innovation in Africa and address some of the challenges facing the African community.”

The ATU Africa Innovation Challenge is a programme that seeks to provide both short and long-term solutions and opportunities to the African Youth.

This year’s competition, themed, “Best ecosystem practices in Africa enabling youth ICT innovation,” will run from 15th June to 28th September 2021.

The competition, sponsored by Huawei Technologies Limited (title sponsor) and Intel Corporation, is open to all ecosystem stakeholders such as regulatory authorities, entrepreneurial support organizations, incubators, accelerators, or institutions such as colleges or universities from Africa.

African organisations and institutions that have created an enabling environment for youth ICT innovations to thrive are eligible to participate.

The winning entity will be awarded USD 10, 000 aside from their practice gaining recognition as the best ecosystem practice in Africa enabling youth ICT innovation.

“I want to thank our sponsors especially the headline sponsor, Huawei, for once again demonstrating their commitment to promote innovation and the wider ecosystem in Africa,” said John Omo.

Honourable Dr. Peya Mushelenga, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Namibia, who was the chief guest for the event, applauded the two organizations for the initiative and acknowledged the significance of public-private partnerships in promoting development.

“The collaboration between ATU, Huawei, and other partners is a tool delivered to our hands. Let us use it to generate sustained economic growth in Africa,” he said.

“ITU is proud and pleased to partner with ATU for this particular Challenge as it aligns with our vision for inclusion of youth in digital transformation.

“Youth innovators are centrally placed to ensure the sustainability of innovation in Africa, and they need an enabling environment that fosters and nurtures innovation for them to thrive,” said Mr. Stephen Bereaux from ITU, a specialized United Nations agency responsible for all matters related to information and communication technologies.

The inaugural ATU Africa Innovation Challenge that took place in 2020 recognized and awarded 11 finalists across Africa who had developed mobile applications helpful in benefiting Africa’s fight against COVID-19 and its effects.

Egypt’s Mai Nagy topped the competition, followed by Mr. Abdinoor Yerrow from Kenya and Ms. Bequerelle Matemtsap Mbou from Cameroon. Other countries that made it to the top 11 were Zimbabwe, Senegal, Lesotho, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Benin, and Tanzania.

Reflecting on the first Innovation Challenge and the anticipated benefits of the second innovation Challenge, the title sponsor for the Challenge for two years in a row, Mr Samuel Chen, Vice President for Huawei Southern Africa Region, highlighted the strong partnership with ATU.

He noted that “Huawei is committed to developing innovations that bring the benefits of technology to all alongside supporting and enabling innovation and digital ecosystem development in Africa by Africans through training and partnerships alongside infrastructure and digital services.”

Participants will be required to submit (via the ATU website, www.atuuat.africa) a unique practice that has created an enabling environment for youth ICT innovation to thrive together with success stories of two innovators that are beneficiaries of the practice.

The practice must be an original idea/concept developed by the ecosystem stakeholder and must have been successfully implemented (and running) for a minimum of one year. It can be in the form of a policy, an initiative, or a programme.

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Innovation

54gene Wins World Economic Forum ‘Technology Pioneer’ Award

The World Economic Forum announced its selection of the 100 most promising Technology Pioneers of 2021 – companies that are shaping industries from healthcare to retail and many more.

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54gene, the health technology company deriving insights from the world’s most diverse populations to solve some of healthcare’s biggest challenges, was selected among hundreds of candidates as one of the World Economic Forum’s “Technology Pioneers.”

Founded in 2019, the company generates genetic insights from research cohorts in the world’s most diverse populations to improve the development, availability and efficacy of therapeutics and diagnostics that will prove beneficial to all populations.

The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers are early to growth-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the use of new technologies and innovation that are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

With their selection as a Technology Pioneer, CEO of 54gene, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong will be invited to participate in the World Economic Forum activities, events and discussions throughout the year. 54gene will also contribute to Forum initiatives over the next two years, working with global leaders to help address key industry and societal issues.

“We’re excited to welcome 54gene to our 2021 cohort of Technology Pioneers,” says Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community, World Economic Forum.

“54gene and its fellow pioneers are developing technologies that can help society solve some of its most pressing issues. We look forward to their contribution to the World Economic Forum in its commitment to improving the state of the world.”

“It is truly an honour to be recognised as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum,” said 54gene’s Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong.

“This is testament to the outstanding collective output of the 54gene team to address global health disparities and to imagine a world where precision medicine applies equally to all irrespective of one’s geographical location or economic status. There’s a long journey ahead and we look forward to continuing to collaborate and innovate with other mission-driven organizations all over the world.

For the first time in the community’s history, over 30% of the cohort is led by women. The firms also come from regions all around the world, extending their community far beyond Silicon Valley. This year’s cohort includes start-ups from 26 economies, with UAE, El Salvador, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe represented for the first time.

The diversity of these companies extends to their innovations as well. 2021 Tech Pioneer firms are shaping the future by advancing technologies such as AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain, biotechnology and many more. The full list of Technology Pioneers can be found here.

Technology Pioneers have been selected based on the community’s selection criteria, which includes innovation, impact and leadership as well as the company’s relevance with the World Economic Forum’s Platforms.

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Mba-Uzoukwu @NDSF2021, Says Software Nigeria Has Key To National Development

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Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON)

President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu has described the Internet as a leveller for education and prosperity in a digital economy, even as software Nigeria has the key and capacity to contribute to national development.

Mba-Uzoukwu disclosed this in his keynote address to the 2021 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) held at the Golden Tulip Essential Hotel, International Airport Road, Lagos on Thursday, June 10.

The event was chaired by the President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof. Adesina Sodiya, who was represented by Dr. Olusoji Okunoye of the University of Lagos.

The theme of this year’s edition was ‘Digital Cooperation: Enhancing Multistakeholder Governance for Digital Economy.’

The ISPON president who dwelt on the “Role of Nigerian Software in Enhancing Governance in Digital Economy,” noted that there is nothing in human history as transformative as the Internet because it has largely changed everything.

He outlined some of these epochal changes to include the potential to level the playing field, namely education, healthcare, prosperity, lifestyle and well-being.

He also pointed out that humanity’s existence here was not a stand-alone, hence the imperative to recognize an ‘ecosystem’ in the technology space that is systemic in outlook.

Mba-Uzoukwu highlighted the point that in technology, the most intriguing ecosystem is the innovation ecosystem, a “human network that generates extraordinary creativity and output on a sustainable basis.”

Such an ecosystem, Mba-Uzoukwu said, performs best when it recognizes, synergizes and optimizes on the basis of a multi-stakeholder approach that accommodates the complexity of the ecosystem which creates dimensions of the impact that make governance an intentional mandate.

“Existence of telecommunication infrastructure, the first precondition to overcome the digital divide; current economic models for Internet access, place a disproportionate burden on developing countries, Challenges to financing access to backbones, ‘Free-rides’ of Over-The-Top services and challenges of balancing their contributions to telecom sectors of developing countries based on issues of taxation,” he said.

For instance, he said, global regulation of intellectual property rights paved the way for developing countries to access knowledge and information online, which led to the enthronement of “Truly, ‘Education For All’ for the first time in human history,” which avails developing countries to catch up, and this is the single most important factor.

This factor, he also said, encouraged ISPON to dare to dream again, which underscored the group’s answer in envisioning the growth of Software Nigeria into a world-class industry, and a key contributor to national development.

To realise this, the ISPON President revealed, they planned to sensitize the community about the local software industry; provide fora to share software development initiatives; aggressively support the expansion of Nigeria’s human capital, foster co-operation with Nigeria IT in the diaspora; cooperate with other countries to boost global exposure and competitiveness.

At the policy level, Mba-Uzoukwu said that the government, industry and academia, must continue to drive the evolution of policy across multiple dimensions including national security, intellectual property and privacy rights, education, information access and data sovereignty.

Education, for instance, he said, must be harnessed with the national aspirations to the potentials of technology for powering the pragmatic development of world-class, innovation cum oriented and entrepreneurial workforce, emphasising that employment and entrepreneurship must deploy technology in support of the genuine aspirations of Nigerian youth.

“Beginning with the National Association of Computer Science Students (NACOSS), we will create and expose opportunities for jobs and wealth creation through personal enterprise,” he declared.

The ISPON President further said that by nurturing innovation as a national capability, “we must be the advocates and platform for unleashing creativity and ingenuity of our people, particularly the youth and women whose access to opportunity is hindered.”

Mba-Uzoukwu underscored the fact that to achieve the World Summit on the Information Society, there is a need for a common vision, desire and commitment to building a people-centric, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information.

He cautioned that the implication of non-alignment to the above common vision, the concepts of social justice, merit and asynchronous development will not be part of its main drivers.

He noted that with the rapid diffusion of technology, “we must encourage a bridge-building, inclusive and partnering approach to community that embraces and empowers the youth, women and leverages on the experience of the elders.”

NDSF2021 witnessed other speakers including the Managing Director of the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSAT), Dr. Abimbola Alale who was represented by the Acting Manager Marketing, Mrs Ibiye Ukoko, Mr. Aderemi Adejumo of CloudFlex, Mr. Mohammed Rudman represented by Mr. Jacob Dagunduro, Executive Director, Operations at DigitalSENSE Africa Mrs. Nkem Nweke, and Mr. Francis Uzor or Wisdom Computer Technologies, among others.

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